In-camera editing

This style of filmmaking is very different. Here you film every shot in sequence (as it appears in the script) one after another. Instead of downloading the footage onto a computer and editing, each shot is filmed in sequence and at the end of filming you have your completed production.

This is a great idea for a beginner’s exercise. It allows students the opportunity to get used to the equipment and the process of filmmaking, as well as to help them understand the importance of being organised before filming – if they haven’t thought through their shot list properly, they will soon realise this when they understand they can’t go back and film it.

It’s also a great way to film if you don’t have access to post-production facilities or if you think editing and post-production is a little beyond your students’ capabilities at this time.

The final product might be a little rough because you don’t have the advantage of fine tuning the edit and you can’t add music or titles in camera, but a clever story and engaging performances will make up for that.

When making a film in-camera, make sure you follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure you have a well-organised shot list that covers everything in the script.
  • At the beginning of the memory card, record fifteen seconds of black before you start filming shots.
  • Just as every scene must be filmed in order, the titles must be filmed in order. Students can be creative about this.
  • Film each scene, shot-by-shot just as the storyboard shows.
  • Use the pause button between shots and not the stop and start buttons.
    Remember – every time you hit record, the camera needs a moment to ‘take up’ and you might lose the last couple of seconds of the previous shot. Always use the pause button.
  • Try to end each shot neatly and without too many seconds to spare between each shot.
  • Film closing credits.