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Instructor: Kathy Cennamo

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Planning to Shoot

If there is one thing that separates the amateurs from the pros, it's planning. Amateurs point and shoot. Pros plan every step in the production process. Sometimes you'll have to "plan" as you shoot. But when possible, plan in advance. Planning before you shoot gives you control over the footage that you get on tape. Most importantly, it helps you anticipate, and avoid, potential problems. Although there will be times when you simply don't have a chance to plan first, an awareness of the planning process will allow you to "plan as you go".

Before you shoot, you must know how the footage will be edited. Will the shots be edited in camera? Or in "post-production"?

Editing in-camera simply means that what you shoot is what you get. But you're still editing. You must decide what shot goes where. You're making these edit decisions as you shoot. It requires planning and forethought!

Editing in post production allows you to take the shots you've recorded and reassemble them later using editing equipment. You can collect your shots in any order and shoot as many as you like. At the editing stage, you select only the shots you want and assemble them the order you want.

No matter how the footage is to be edited- in-camera or in post-production, you need to plan your shooting very carefully.

Here's how….


  1. Determine the purpose of your video.
  2. Create a script, storyboard, and/or shot list of the scenes you'll need.
  3. Scout locations.
  4. Prepare for the shoot.

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