10 crucial things on long takes focuspulling long set takes By Fabio on 4/5/19, 9:21 AM • 781 views Long takes One of the tricky parts of our craft are long takes or one take shots. There, a little mistake can screw the whole take and force to repeat from the top, so you definitely don’t want to be responsible for that. Here are my tips for this kind of situations.
battery and card: probably is not even worth saying BUT, since sometimes we are a bit overwhelmed with all the rest is always better to double check. Also, keep in mind that the director could prefer to retake from the beginning at any moment WITHOUT cutting, so if you want my two cents, have always a 50% extra on your card, just in case. The take is lasting ten minutes? Unless you have 15 on your card... reload! Same goes for batteries, you really don’t want the camera to suddenly shut down in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime performance of the main talent.
YOUR battery Once you made sure that the camera is good to go, check that your devices also have enough juice to get through the take: hand unit, monitor, RF. Not sure? Change batteries!
Confortable position. Sometimes we don’t think about it, but a minute can be very long, leave alone ten minutes or more. And you have to be concentrated the whole time so make sure that you are in a position you can hold for as long as it takes. And another thing we sometimes don’t think about: if you are not in a comfortable position, you may need to change position several times and some actors are extremely sensitive about people moving in the background, even if your are not in their direct eye line. Also make sure you have near a water bottle with the cap partially unscrewed. It may sound silly but this saved me quite a few time when I needed to cough
Not a TOO comfortable position. Yes, sounds like a joke but if you are tired, in a dark situation and in the same position for a long while, if you are to “cozy” you may lower your level of concentration and you don’t want that to happen, trust me.
Watch your surroundings: another thing that definitely sound silly until you find yourself in that situation. Maybe you haven’t check it but there is probably a little plastic bottle just waiting to be hit by the tip of your foot, or a very noisy apple box or whatever. So make sure there’s nothing potentially noisy at the reach of your legs and arms.
Extra marks: usually actors hit their mark, if you are lucky enough they nail them, but on long takes they may not, or at list not hit them all, so if you want my two cents, take references and mark of the objects in the set (such as chair, tables, windows and so on) so that your don’t depend just on the marks of the actor
Script : if you can have the script in front of you, so you know at all time what’s going to happen. I usually memorize the action, but it may be tricky if it’s a 10 minutes take with 3 talents speaking and moving.
Focus point (where at any time) take the time to confirm with the DoP and/or the director where they want the focus at anytime of the take. Specially nowadays that lenses are usually fast and sensors are getting bigger and bigger, even on a 27 the focus is critical enough to oblige you to choose, and you don’t get enough money to take that kind of decisions ;-p
Communication with your 2nd AC: find a way to be in constant communication with your 2nd, visual or otherwise. Again, a lot of things can happen during ten minutes and you don’t wanna be all alone
Enjoy the ride: last but not least, once you have taken all this precautions try to relax and give the best. There are a few things more rewarding that a perfect long take and, hey, aren’t we all here for the fun??!