Best Practices on Set

  • Take the time to plan out your shots.  You can do this ahead of time, or as you arrive on set.  Having a plan to follow saves time, and allows for more creativity once you get everything you had in your plan. 
  • Pay attention to lighting! If you do not have access to studio lights, you have to pay attention to how the available light will impact the footage you get.  You should be balancing your Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO to get the perfect shot. 
  • Get as familiar as possible with your camera.  Whether it is a phone or a DSLR, be prepared to use it to the best of your abilities. 
  • Be prepared for things to not work out.  There are plenty of times that an idea works perfectly on paper but fails miserably on set.  Do not be afraid to abandon these ideas and come up with new ones. 

Outdoor Sets

  • Remember that you natural lighting changes! Keep checking your shots to make sure they look consistent, and save tour editor some time in color correction.  
  • Find somewhere quiet.  It is very easy to forget how noisy the world is to a microphone.  Check your levels and make sure that the dialog is coming in clear. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the area.  Make sure your crew is comfortable with performing in a public space, or in the woods. 
  • Be realistic about the time you need to film.  Anything and everything can happen, so set yourself up for success with a solid storyboard and shot list to keep you on track. 
  • Make note of your camera settings.  This will make life easier should you have to return to location to re-shoot anything.  

Photography with Your Phone

iPhone App Suggestions:

  • Camera+ 2
    • Full manual capabilities, RAW and HEIF file formats.
  • Moment
    • Compatible with iPhone 11 wide angle lens.  JPG, TIFF, and HEIF Formats for Photography.  HEVC and H.264 for Video.
  • Musemage
    • Compatible with iPhone 11 wide angle lens. Full manual capabilities, blue screen keying, photo and video capture.
  • ProCamera.
    • Compatible with iPhone 11 wide angle lens.  Full manual capabilities, Lowlight mode, photo and video capture. RAW, JPEG, TIF, and HEIF formats for photography. HEVC and H.264 for Video.
  • The Built in Camera app


Recording Tips for Live Webcam Discussions

How to Improve Your Production Value When Using a Webcam. Provides audio and lighting techniques for online videoconferencing.  Produced by Cambridge Community Television (CCTV)

Studios Produced Tutorials


  • Keep your audience in mind.  Who will be seeing this final product?  Make sure that the language that you use is appropriate for them.
  • Consider the medium.  Is this the script for a voice over?  Does it fit into a documentary?  Something more narrative?  What visuals accompany your dialog?
  • Your script should be written in a visual language.  This means that we are showing how a character feels rather than telling the reader.  Your shots and performances should be informed by the script to communicate the emotions of a scene.
  • Leave enough room for your actors to interpret the text as much as possible.  They play an important roll in any production. Let them shine. 
  • Do not be afraid to improvise!  If a moment captures you when you are recording, let it and see what comes. You may surprise yourself.

Scriptwriting Software