Shooter Reference Guide

Some helpful and general guidelines for our volunteers in the field

Camera Settings

  • 24 fps, 1920 x 1080
  • Neutral Color Settings
  • White Balance to conditions you are shooting, every time you change locations

General Camera/Shooting Etiquette

  • Use a tripod/monopod to stabilize your shot
  • Format your SD/CF cards at the beginning of the shoot
  • Check focus often (esp on DSLRs)
  • Be aware of battery levels on all camera/audio devices, have spares
  • LISTEN TO THE PRODUCER! They are here to help.

If conducting an interview:

  • Show the producer the interview setup & incorporate changes that they request.
  • DON’T be shy!!-If you need to stop a shoot to troubleshoot audio/camera, notify the producer.
  • Make sure the producer/interviewer is sitting as close to the lens as possible to ensure quality eyeline. 
  • Interviewees NEVER look directly into the camera, always at the interviewer. If they are, please remind them to not look at the camera between questions.
  • Good:       Screenshot 2014-10-15 16.12.55.png

  • Not good:   Screenshot 2014-10-15 16.14.37.png


General Audio Etiquette

  • USE HEADPHONES to monitor audio recording
  • Get AT LEAST 30 seconds of room tone (or outdoor tone, if you are outside) at the beginning or end of shoots.  Just say “room tone” at the beginning of the clip so we know it is there.
  • If using a zoom recorder, format SD card in recorder.
  • If using a lav mic, always have lav on channel 1 and shotgun on channel 2
  • We use a lot of nat sound with our broll clips, so make sure to not talk while you are filming broll.

Checklist Pre & Post Shoot

  • Discuss equipment needs and shoot logistics with Stone Soup & the producer before the shoot via the call sheet email we send out.
  • Set up a time to pick up or arrange delivery of any necessary equipment you need to borrow from Stone Soup Films.
  • To avoid lengthy footage transfer times, arrange to use Stone Soup’s SD/CF cards to shoot with.  If not possible, we do have a dropbox file transfer you can use.
  • ASK QUESTIONS.  We are often so familiar with the way that we do things that we forget to explain them sometimes.  If you have any questions about the organization we are working with, the story overall, how this shoot fits into it, or really anything at all, please feel free to ask.

Production Assistant (PA) Expectations

PA-ing is a learn-as-you-go gig and it is sometimes challenging to anticipate how to be most helpful without asking a million questions. Some advice when you’re on set:

1) Always show up 15 minutes before your call time.

2) Print out your call sheet and keep it with you. This will help with remembering crew names and tracking the day. Always carry a pen.

3) Try not to sit down if everyone else is working. If you don’t have
anything to do, ask a crew member if they need a hand.

4) Make yourself a fly on the wall. Keeping an open ear and anticipating
what people will need will make you an essential part of the crew. Leaning
against a wall near the set will put you in a good position to help.

5) Help the crew when it’s time to wrap out. Carry heavy things if you can.
Always ask the producer/coordinator if there’s something you can do to help
wrap. Never leave unless you’re released by the person in charge.

6) Help other PAs! You’re all jumping on a moving train together so you
should act like a team. These will be the people recommending you for work
and vice versa so every single job is an opportunity to network.

7)  It doesn’t matter if you have little/no experience as long as you show up and do the work with a great attitude and willingness to learn.

If you have any questions, contact Melissa at melissa@stonesoupfilms.org