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Some Very Simple Filming Advice

I’m logging, 3.5 years late, the footage I filmed walking round the M25. It was a brilliant trip. We really worked hard to film it well. The story was great. The weather was perfect (i.e. epic). The landscapes were beautiful.

It was the first trip I ever filmed. It could have been brilliant. It even includes me and Rob naked in bed together. (I haven’t been naked in bed with Rob since that time back in Siberia when the local weatherman also joined us, naked, in bed. Another story…)

I am watching it now raging at myself, squirming, and cursing this great film that got away. Here are some of the ways I totally screwed up the filming of it, and how you really need not make the same mistakes, even on your first attempt at filming.

  1. Use a tripod whenever possible.
  2. Choose whether it will be a wide shot or a tight shot. Don’t zoom in and out wildly.
  3. If you are walking across the shot, make sure you begin/end off the screen (idiot!)
  4. Begin filming several seconds before the action / speaking begins. Turn off several seconds after it has all ended. Hold your shots.
  5. Film enough (wide, tight, cutaways, narrative, B-roll, atmosphere). But not too much. Don’t be ridiculous. We shot 24 hours on the M25! To put it in perspective, Leon and I shot 27 hours walking across the Empty Quarter. The M25 is a pain in the arse to edit now!
  6. Repeat point 1, 2, 3, 4 a LOT.
  7. Find quiet places to do considered, thoughtful pieces to camera.

Agghhh…. Seriously, Humphreys. You are a moron!

Even if you have never filmed something before, begin by not making the same mistakes as me.

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  1. I’ve not mastered the outdoor style but having to do video shorts at work I endorse this list thoroughly. I’d add THINK about what you are trying to show and make sure the shot has it. Also audio is tough to get right. Do you really need live audio? Avoid it if you can. Overdub usually comes out better.

  2. This is hilarious.

    You should read How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck. My boyfriend gave me the book for Christmas last year and it is SO USEFUL… Although, I’m sure you’re better at filming now than you were.

  3. Some good advice here, thanks. I intend to start using video a lot more while out wild camping…



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