Watika Lemon is making a movie! Or at least a short horror film. In this series, we will walk you through the behind-the-scenes process. One warning: we have no idea what we’re doing, so please don’t take any of our advice to heart.
One of the things I learned from photography is the importance of lighting. The better the quality of lighting, the sharper the image will be. To shoot video, you need a constant light, so the flashes I use for photography wouldn’t help. After some research, I eventually decided on an LED light – an Apurture Amaran HR672W.
There were a couple reasons for this. The first is that based on the reviews and the type of movie we’re making, I think it will fulfill our needs. The second is that it’s easy to upgrade with additional lights should we ever want a more extensive system.
While the light probably wouldn’t work in a large studio, for the compact spaces we’ll be shooting it, it produces more than enough light. Indeed, I had to keep the power set pretty low to get the effect I wanted.
For the camera, I’m sticking with the camera I use for still photography, an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. It can capture 4K video, and has built-in 5 axis image stabilization that works incredibly well.
Once we had all the equipment, we ran a few tests in the bedroom that we’ll be using as a set. It started with getting the lighting right. This involved adjusting the light’s power setting along with the camera’s exposure compensation until we hit the desired levels. Next, we tried to re-create the shots from the storyboard. This is where I ran into the biggest problem. The camera lens I was planning to use (a 25mm) wasn’t wide enough (or the room was too small) to capture the whole scene. To get the whole actor in the frame, I would have to leave the room, which would obviously limit the shooting options.
Rather than compromise too much, I decided to spring for a new, wider lens. I suppose I could have gone through with the old one, but the view was so small that I would have had difficulty depicting all the necessary action in the frame at once.
Another thing I learned is that I should probably use a tripod. Even though the image stabilization works wonders, I tend to sway back and forth slowly, which makes it hard to frame the shot.
All in all, I think we have what we need, equipment wise (except for a microphone – still need to get that).
Next time, we’ll look at the casting process.