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My first shoot

My first shoot

On Wednesday the 6th of June I went on my first shoot with the Take One team, where we filmed two staged focus groups for the Garnett Foundation.They provide ‘powerful experiential learning programmes using live theatre based training to engage and transform your staff.’


Video is a really good way to engage with your audience as it gives them that visualization of your message/product. People process visuals 60,000 times faster than they do text, so if you want people to remember what you have to say, then a video is a good way to do it. This is why The Garnett Foundation chose us to make an effective video for them to use with their clients.

Before you head out to do a shoot it is best to make sure you have a list of the equipment you plan on taking with you, so that you don’t forget to take anything or leave anything behind at the end as equipment is valuable. It was a 6am start for the Take One team as we set off from our studio in High Wycombe to the shoot in London. We had to make sure we were there at least an hour before the actors were, so that we had time to get in and set everything up.

We were ready and set up by 9 o’clock then we just had to wait for the rest of the acting team. The filming lasted until about 5pm then it was time for us to pack everything up and head home. Film sets can be very stressful especially if you’re against the clock, but luckily it was a fairly relaxed day, everyone knew what they were doing and we all just go on and did it.  Unfortunately on the day of the shoot, the venue we were filming at was hosting a BBQ on the field outside, which caused some problems for us with the sound engineer;  so we had to keep all the windows shut to keep as much noise out as we could which did make the room incredibly hot and we turned on the fan every time the camera wasn’t filming!  The Director had a good idea before the last take though, ‘Ice Creams all round after this one!’

On the day of the shot I was the Clapperboard operator. I have never realized how important that job is until I was there. As the Clapperboard operator I was in charge of keeping track of which scene we were filming, the amount of takes we had done of each scene and how many overall clips were taken. It may not seem like its very important job but it is, if the clapperboard operator makes one of the takes wrong it can make the editor’s job very difficult.  The editor relies on the information on the clapperboard to locate footage they want to use, and synchronise the raw materials; if it’s not done right, then they can’t easily find the footage.

 It was really different for me to work with professional actors as I have only ever filmed actors from my college.  They all knew their lines and they adapted to changes in the script very well, which impressed me a lot. They stayed in character the whole time and didn’t need much direction, which made the day run even smoother.

 This wasn’t just my first shoot with Take One, it was my first shoot outside of college, which was very exciting. It may not have been a big set, but I do feel like I’ve learnt a lot from the experience and what it’s actually like to film for a client. I learnt a lot of practical lessons that day such as, what equipment we have, how to use the equipment we have, how to pack the equipment and how to charge everything with batteries.  

I also learnt some tips from everyone on the set like, eat and drink when you can, sit down when you can and go to the toilet when you can, since when you are on set you never know when you may get another chance too.  I already knew that you should prepare for everything that can go wrong before you go just in case it does happen. But there are also things that you can’t plan for since anything could happen really, like when we were there at the shoot and they were having a BBQ. We didn’t know that they were going to be having one, but we compromised the best we could. Being on a film set can really test your problem solving skills.

I am looking forward to the next opportunity I get to be at another shoot as I feel there is so much more I can learn from everyone.  As I said in my previous blog ‘Being an Apprentice at Take One’, I feel that this apprenticeship is going to open a lot of doors for me in the future, and I am really excited about that.  




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