- Being prepared and having the day planned out in great gory detail paid off in spades. Since there was no ambiguity about what needed to be done we were able to just move from setup to setup very quickly. I think this had a positive effect on morale as everyone seemed to have a good time and god knows, I was laughing with the crew throughout the day.
- Use deeper focus on 2 shots. Because the depth of field is so narrow when the lens is wide open, the actors in a 2-shot were able to go in and out of focus as they moved with regular body language.
- Have a stand-in for each actor if possible. Our lead actor's absence seriously slowed the day down while we waited in vain after shooting around him.
I am sure I will have a lot more lessons to be learned as I move through post production.
Last night I did a rough cut of the first scene. It needs color correction and some other tweaking as well. The initial shot has some focus issues as the depth of field with the lens pretty much wide open was far too narrow to keep the two actors in proper focus. I will know better tonight after I render it out and look at it on the regular TV set. Lighting wise, the opening shot re-framed to eliminate a lot of the background looks much better then the previous tests.
In putting together the rough cut, I assembled the edits and then dropped in the 3 sound clips from the digital recorder and synched them up using the on-camera's sound. When I ran the first test and got to hear the sound, I was aghast. It was filled with hiss and wind noise and all kinds of garbage and as soon as I heard it I knew it was not usable.
Then I noticed that I had reversed the mute settings for the audio tracks so I was hearing only the on-camera sound instead of what I had recorded. Once that was corrected, the sound was beautiful. Excellent quality on-set dialog was recorded that has VERY low hiss. In one shot that was the best of 5 takes that I want to use, I could hear an airplane flying over clear as day in the on-camera sound. In the digital dialog recording you can barely hear it in the background so I suspect that I will leave it in since it does not detract from the dialog and lends an added touch of realism.
There is a deliberate continuity error in the film. We will see how many catch it :)