Making videos is always an adventure.
Part of the reason as to why you need a checklist before filming videos.
You’re going to always want things to turn out perfectly. However, this isn’t always going to be the case, especially on your first take.
This could be a little frustrating.
What could make this even more frustrating is if you do have an amazing shot, but end up realizing that you forgot to do one simple thing with your camera before the shot and now everything is ruined.
Your shot is no longer useful and you have to start from the beginning.
Doing something like this and ruining your shot multiple times in a row can make you want to stop filming altogether.
Have a Checklist Before Starting
The best thing you can do before you even start filming is have a checklist.
A checklist can help you make sure you have everything you need so that you don’t make a crucial mistake that’ll make your footage unusable.
Below you’ll see things that should always be on your checklist before you start filming.
They are going to be after you have everything set up but before you actually want to start filming.
You might be surprised at how many small things you need to check to make sure once the camera is recording, you’re going to get the shot you want.
Make Sure Camera is Actually On
This one may seem very obvious but trust me, there are plenty of times where your camera might not even be on.
This should always be the first thing you do.
Make sure your camera is on.
There are a number of ways you can actually tell if your camera is on. The most obvious one is seeing if your screen on your digital camera is actually on.
You should also be able to hear your camera turning on and trying to find focus.
These are indications that your camera is actually on.
I know this might sound like an obvious thing, but making sure your camera is on is something that some people will fail to do at some point.
Make Sure Lens Cap is Off
I’m sure you’ve heard of people that have taken a picture but it comes out black. The reason for this? It’s because they took the picture with the lens cap still on.
This could be something that comes to bite you in the rear end quite often if you aren’t conscious about it.
You really don’t want to be filming for an extended period of time, thinking you’ve got all the footage you need to have a great video, only to find out that you forgot to take the lens cap off.
Just make sure you at least have the lens cap in your hand at some point before you start recording.
This will almost ensure that you’ve taken the lens cap off.
Be careful though because it’s pretty easy to lose a lens cap and you don’t want to constantly be replacing those.
Make Sure Settings are Right
There are a number of different settings that you can use for any number of shots that you’re trying to get.
You need to make sure that your settings are right.
You can’t just turn your camera on, take your lens cap off, and start filming.
If you do this, you’re more than likely going to have the wrong settings.
When you film things with the wrong settings you might have things that are always off.
Things like the exposure might be way off. The shutter speed might not be at the right setting, which will have a massive effect on your exposure and possible motion blur with any subjects in your frame.
You need to make sure your settings are right and double check these settings. Maybe even triple check these settings because when you have the right settings, you don’t have many excuses as to why your video isn’t great visually.
Make Sure Camera is Actually Recording
Again, this is one of those things that seems obvious and that there’s no way this can happen to you, until it actually happens.
There have been numerous times where I have started “recording” and noticed something wasn’t right. Once I checked the camera again, I noticed that I wasn’t actually recording.
Lucky those times that I made this mistake I wasn’t “recording” for very long so I didn’t feel as though I wasted any of my time.
However, there may be times where you think you’re recording and end up going on about your video for a while and end up finish. Then when you go back to your camera you’re instantly devasted.
It’s going to be so discouraging when you realize you have to start over.
You may have thought you pressed the record button and you very well may have, but in the end you may not have pressed it hard enough to actually make your camera start recording.
This is why you either want to make sure there is a little red flashing light or a timer that begins when you press the record button. This will ensure that you’re actually recording.
Trust me, this is something you don’t want to do because you’re going to feel extremely silly if it’s a mistake that you make.
Make Sure Microphone is On
Although this is something that isn’t going to be the worst problem it could still pose a significant issue.
Most cameras nowadays are going to have a built in microphone that you can use.
However, these microphones typically aren’t the best. They can get the job done but they won’t give you the best sound quality you could have.
If you have a microphone that attaches to your camera, you’re going to want to use it.
It’s important to make sure that it’s on when you start recording. Some microphones are going to automatically turn on so you won’t have to worry too much about it.
Some microphones require you to manually turn them on and that could easily be forgotten about when you are beginning to film.
If you want a very good microphone, one that is going to allow you to have good audio, no matter what, you should look into a Rode mic. Rode mics are always reliable.
Even if you have a microphone that will turn on automatically, it’s always important to make sure that it’s still on.
Every microphone will have some sort of indication that it’s on.
Check Off Everything
There may be a few more things that you want to add to your personal checklist, but the points listed above should be on your checklist no matter what.
For example, you may want to have a checklist about how to set up your shot for a video.
These are all things that will look obvious, but that’s what makes them so important. They can easily be overlooked.
You don’t want to be that person that overlooks something so small.
Yes, it’ll be great to never make a mistake with these things but mistakes always happen.
Having a checklist of these points will help reduce your mistakes as much as possible if it’s something you always follow.
Don’t follow the checklist and you’ll come to find that the little mistakes pile up a lot more than you like.