Evaluating My First Shoot

I have just undertaken my first day of shooting for Modern Mobile dating. This included setting up a Tinder profile and filming one of my contributors initial reactions and feelings about the application. These are the notes I have taken from the day, decided what strengths and weaknesses I had and how I can create more successful shoots in the future. 
I was able to engage my subject well. As I have had previous interactions with this subject, it allowed them to feel comfortable around me and perhaps reveal more of their true emotions, which allowed for a more interesting shoot. She was more willing to divulge more personal details and offered more of a complex analysis of matters as a result. Because of the relationship we have, I will be able to maintain this high level of discussion with the subject throughout filming, which should hopefully lead to more entertaining and successful footage.
The shooting wrapped up fairly quickly, lasting between 1 and 2 hours. I feel that the pre-production planning played an integral role to ensuring that this happened. By providing the shooting schedule, including topics to discuss, to the subject ahead of time, it allowed her to be prepared. This day of shooting highlighted the paramount importance of planning in a professional manner and how it can greatly affect the quality of your footage. Moving forward, I will continue to be diligent in my pre-production to ensure that my subjects are fully aware of all aspects of the role so that they are comfortable and confident. 
Despite making notes about how I was going to set up on location when making my recce’s, set up went slower than I would have predicted. As there are 6 people that live in the same house as the subject, it was difficult ensure that all noise was kept to a minimum and that they weren’t interfering with the shoot. This lead to myself making errors with the microphone set up, leading to the audio being too quiet. As this is a segment in which my subject is experiencing something for the first time, it is impossible to reshoot whilst still staying true to the documentary format I wish to pursue. So, it has lead to me having to put a lot more work into the post production sound edit to save the footage, something I could have avoided.

How can I improve this?

Unfortunately, reshoots aren’t a possibility without getting into a grey area of truth in documentary I do not want to be involved in. So, my only option is to run with the footage and salvage the audio as best I can. Luckily, sound was being captured from the microphone, the phone audio and the onboard camera microphone, so I feel I can definitely make something work.

In terms of improving for the future, whilst I did check the area for its acoustic properties before shooting, I should have still taken the time to properly test the audio on the day. As I allowed myself to get flustered by having to set up so quickly, it made me forget some key components that I had set myself to do beforehand. This is something I aim to work on in the future to ensure I keep a level head throughout. Whilst this is a setback, it is something I can salvage and improve on.

Moving forward, I will learn from my mistakes and head this quote from William J Clinton: “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit” (William J. Clinton, 1992)


William J. Clinton (1992) William J. Clinton Quotes At Brainyquote.Com [online] available from <http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/williamjc454937.html?src=t_mistakes&gt; [10 February 2016]


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