Best Served Fast

This is an all-to-familiar situation to those who shoot on the run. Online corporate little films are bread and butter for many freelancers. That is fantastic if you shoot around a corner from where you live and you can pop back home for lunch. But when you are miles way which most of us are, preserving that moment could be a problem. Its there and it wants to be embedded ASAP!

Again, I write this not to educate but to share. Most camera ops I know edit their own footage and in my experience (I am one of them) that is great. If you shot it, you know the best takes, you know where things are and it all becomes a faster process.

Here is a thing: you get back in the office or home or a studio and suddenly, the essence you captured turned into a number of rushes some of which are not as good as you initially envisaged. I have noticed that time and time again, when I come back (frequently pretty knackered), copy the footage across and suddenly: that spark is just not there anymore.


This is something that works for me. You may be different, so do keep that in mind! I discovered that after the day of the shoot if you capture and quickly throw together a rough cut while having that life-saving cup of coffee before a long drive back it works best. And it’s always more than just remembering the best takes, but capturing a moment. Laying out a structure based on your emotional memory (not factual, emotional) is a key. The structure should always have a very high emotional component, an I-feel-for-it factor. I capture it ASAP. And to me it really doesn’t have to be long. I can add bits or remove bits in the office. But the spark is captured!

Long drive: use that precious time on the road.

While I was driving in a joy of silence from one shoot, I thought: my Sat-Nav tells me 3 hours to go and what is my computer doing? Nothing.

So after the next shoot I made sure that it is either transferring, rendering/exporting a rough cut or doing something else that’s time-consuming. Anyhow, the bottom line is: plan the time driving for the computer to do drone work.

And don’t touch it while you drive! Ever! Get home in one piece!

Be safe on the roads, wherever you are in the world.

Until the next shoot!

Mike Bogatyrev


About zinasemenova

Russian filmmaker and blogger at

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