Lessons learned

Things Mario and I picked up during the shooting of The Curse of the Red Book.

During shooting:

  • Light is king. Make sure you expose shots correctly or takes will not match and destroy the illusion of continuity.
  • Everybody has an opinion, but only the Director’s count. Can’t have too many people trying to “suggest” alternatives all the time as the process becomes too fragmented. Need clear, decisive leadership willing to listen to remarks but not be swayed all the time.
  • Shot lists/storyboards are essential planning/communication tools. Be prepared to do a lot more work salvaging what you shoot later on if you didn’t make sure everything you needed was already shot (by following the shot list.)

During editing:

  • More is better. Having more material to choose from is always better, but beware of having too much since just looking through the different takes will make it impossible to complete the work in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Sound is hard. Make sure that you absolutely need live sound and do it well if so. Otherwise be prepared to play lots of tricks during the sound editing part of the job.
  • The tools (iMovie/iDVD in our case) are extremely powerful these days, give them the time they require and they will help you tremendously. Don’t be afraid of them.
  • There are lots of ways you can fix what you have shot and make it into a cohesive whole. It will just not be the cohesive whole you were trying to film when you started.


    perfect be the enemy of the good.

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