Five fundamental mistakes in filming

13 Jan 2021
An article by Johannes Rofner, Managing Director and passionate fisherman.

Filming has always been a big and above all important part of my life. Even as a child, I was fascinated by this possibility of capturing reality with moving images. But should I pursue a career as a filmmaker and perhaps even study in this field? The heart said yes, the brain said no. And because my brain won out (which doesn’t happen often), I started studying tourism and leisure management. But as fate would have it, it was precisely in this course of study, far away from the world of film, that I met a like-minded person by the name of Clemens Joast. And because the tourism industry probably didn’t want us, we both ended up working for a small private broadcaster – without film studies. And this fact already brings us to the first really fundamental mistake: 

1. You have to feel film, not learn it!

It’s really a big mistake to think that you can learn filming. Now don’t misunderstand. You can or even have to learn the basics. Every filmmaker should know the basic settings of a camera. ISO, aperture, shutter speed and so on and so forth … But now comes the crucial thing, and you can’t learn it: the right eye for the right things. Style or no style – that is the question! Only those who have a feeling for the right image can inspire people with it.

2. Let there be light

The mistake that many filmmakers make, especially young filmmakers, is not paying enough attention to light. Light can be used to create almost any mood and it can help to give your image that final touch. Are there any rules? No – not really! What looks good is good. 

3. Listen to hear

Really, really decisive for a good video is the sound. And by sound, we don’t just mean the song that lies beneath the images. It all starts with the filming – a good atmospheric sound is what gives a picture life. And if the sound is not what you want, there are still Foley’s and the sound design in the edit, where there are really no limits. To bring it to the point once again: Sound is king! 

4. Focal length and uniformity

Low focal length, little depth of field, but optically every shot looks the same. You can do that, but you don’t have to. This mistake happens very often, especially with newcomers to film. Long shot after long shot after long shot. But it can be so easy if you simply resolve a scene with the “5 shot coverage” rule. As the name suggests, a scene is divided into 5 shots. Total, half-total, close-up, detail and one free shot of your choice. Very simple, but very helpful. And then there is the issue of focal length. The focal length also changes how we see the image. Our human eye has a focal length of around 35mm (full format) – this means that everything we film with 35mm looks as if we are seeing it with our eye – which can be a good thing, but it also means that a picture can quickly look boring. Interesting are often the settings that we don’t know in this way. This can be a wide-angle shot or a macro shot. The focal length changes the look of a picture but also the depth of field. You could fill a lot of pages on this topic – but we won’t do that now 😉

5. A video not with ueberall. produce

And the last really crucial mistake is not to produce a video with ueberall. If there are any questions left, and there probably are, which is what I was thinking while writing this text, feel free to contact me anywhere. and anytime.