It would be easy to think that filming errors are generally made by new filmmakers. And they are. But the experts are sometimes guilty too. Continuity gaffs are more common than they really should be. From The Italian Job and Shrek to Pulp Fiction and James Bond, there are startling errors to be found.

So how do you avoid making the same mistakes?

At NEEDaFIXER we believe that pre-production is where mistakes can be avoided. Before you even get to continuity, there are so many potential filming errors to be wary of.

Let’s have a look at them:

Check everything!

Arriving on set with a key piece of equipment missing, or with lifeless batteries could be annoying and embarrassing. It could be expensive too, as you pay people to stand around waiting. Create a checklist for every shoot. Don’t leave the office until you have confirmed everything you need is loaded.

Lack of focus.

A lack of focus can ruin a shot. Once mastered, using focus to enhance visual storytelling can be amazing. For moving objects consider focus pulling equipment to avoid ‘pulsing’ in and out of focus. Know your equipment inside out. Or, employ somebody who already knows their stuff.

Precariously Balanced.

Footage which is shot out of balance will be difficult for the viewer to ‘read’. We naturally start scanning what we see from the left and the top. If the main point of interest in the shot is away from here, attention may wane before the message of the footage has been enjoyed. Use the ‘rule of thirds’ to fit the shot into a grid. Some cameras now offer a grid overlay on the screen. This will help exactly locate the subjects.

Switching Positions.

Another filming rule to use is the ‘180 degree rule’. If your footage seems confused with subjects appearing to swap sides, it may be worth learning this rule. Having an imaginary on screen axis which the camera never crosses is a simple way to avoid accidentally swapping subjects from left to right. It’s a guideline rather than a rule but effective in avoiding these errors.

Smooth And Balanced Sound.

Imagine you’ve planned all your footage in pre-production and filming has been fantastic. Then you review the scenes and the sound is inconsistent, distorted and uncomfortable to listen to. Worse still, you haven’t captured the sound at all. Here’s some basic tips for grabbing the best sound quality:

  • Make sure all microphones are still.
  • Do not rely on the camera’s audio recording.
  • Keep hidden microphones from being too close to the mouth for dialogue.
  • Buy the best equipment you can afford.
  • Or bring in the experts.
  • Avoid interference, keep mobile phones well away!

Mistakes are easily made whether you are shooting a 30 second marketing clip or producing a full movie. Pre-production should be meticulous, employ the best you can afford, both in people and equipment. 

NEEDaFIXER are experts in all aspects of filming and production. Get in touch to find out how using us could eliminate all of these errors and take the worry out of creating your footage.