Film Day

I finally filmed my video Saturday, April 19th! The weather was great, I had 11 gunfighters that showed up along with three other can can dancers and my “main” character, and it was a great learning experience! I filmed the majority of the video, except for when I used two cameras or was actually dancing in the final scene.

The Days Schedule:

I met my girls at the Alamo Saloon at 8:00am to get ready for the day. My mom and brother allowed me to do my makeup and get dressed for the day by preparing the saloon for my film. They set up the props like the sarsaparilla bottles and hanging the banner and removed any modern items that could be removed.

The gunfighters began to show up around 8:30am. Shortly after 9:00am, I had them fill out release forms( I had my dancers sign theirs before the film day since they needed parent signatures ).

photo (1)

We began filming around 9:30am and were surprisingly finished by 10:30am!

Everyone chatted afterwards while enjoying the shortbread cookies and brownies my sister and I had made for them the night before.

Equipment Issues:

I had to get a little creative with my equipment since our school doesn’t have a video dolly. Luckily, we had this beast(below) at my house that we just strapped one of the tripods on. I think I found a way to film without having to move the cameras. I can’t remember if we ended up really needing it, but at least I was prepared!


(my cats thought they needed to be apart of this special moment)

Filming Issues:

Everything was running fairly smoothly, until my last scene. This scene was my MAIN scene of the whole video. It was the time where the Can Can Dancers finally came out to perform! I had one camera set up for a front view of the stage, and from the camera persons position, there was a second camera set up to the left of them. This was so I could do cut scenes during this scene to show it from multiple angles.

I ended up having to film this scene four times:

  • 1st time – this was a practice run through of the dance
  • 2nd time –  the main camera(front view) did an auto power off during the scene
  • 3rd time – the same camera stopped recording again due to the SD card being full.
  • 4th time – could only use one camera to film the dance from the front view

This was extremely frustrating for me due to many reasons.

  1. The main camera I used was hardly used during the filming process.
  2. It didn’t help that this camera was 32gb and I couldn’t record directly onto it. It needed to have an SD card.
  3. I didn’t know how to really run the camera, and there wasn’t a manual with it.
  4. And the most frustrating part of the whole thing was that when I checked the SD card, I found that I was sent with a 2gb SD card to put into a 32gb camera for my final project.

Learning Experience:

I learned many things throughout this experience, the good and the bad.

Camera: I learned that I should depend more on myself when it comes to equipment, like the camera. If I had checked it thoroughly, I would have found the 2gb SD card and fixed or worked around the problem before it was too late. I also realize that I should have tried to find a manual for it online to learn more about the SD card issue.

Filming: Although, for the most part, everything went fairly smooth and quick, there were a few things I could improve on.

  • I didn’t have my “Scene Checklist” written up and ready for the day. Procrastination is sometimes my best friend, but when you’re depending on other people and they’re depending on you, it becomes my worst enemy!
  • I needed more direction. I had the role of Audrey and the Can Can Dancers planned out, but didn’t have specific direction for the gunfighters.
  • I was able to catch a few things while filming that I fixed,and re-filmed, but I know there were a few things that I wish I would have caught because they’re not things I can fix through editing.
  • I had so much going through my head making it hard to be organized, catch some “flaws”, and be confident. This would have helped things run more smooth than it did.
  • I should have gotten more sleep the night before. I was up till 3:00am making shortbread cookies for the big day. At least my “cast” enjoyed them!

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with what I ended up with. For not having experience with anything like this before, I did a pretty good job! The best part is that one of the gunfighters asked for a copy at the end so he could share online for me! I haven’t even finished my video yet and I am already getting a head start on promoting it!




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