Cheating shots and stealing shots are two unrelated techniques to help filmmakers get the shot they need to tell their stories. Cheating shots is when lights, actors or other elements are adjusted after they've already been shot in order to create a better shot. Stealing shots refers to quickly and secretly getting shots at a location without film permits, usually with a skeleton crew.
- Frequently in the world of filmmaking…you'll hear about cheating shots and stealing shots.…While these two concepts aren't really related…and aren't nearly as immoral as they sound,…both can help you get better shots.…Before we steal shots, let's look at how to cheat.…Usually, after shooting a master shot of the entire scene,…we go in tighter for reverses or close-ups,…and often when we go in closer,…things don't look quite right.…Characters might be too close together…or the light might not be good enough…or we might want to pull characters…farther away from the background…in order to create more separation.…
This is what is referred to as cheating in filmmaking.…When filming the scene where Korda'a gets discovered,…we created a POV, or point of view, shot…so we could give the audience a sense of…how intimidating it would be to be this little girl…and have all these big adults just kind of…coming and swarming at you.…In reality, Natty wasn't that much shorter than everyone,…as you can see here.…So we cheated the height of the POV shot…
Watch and learn how to shoot a script, using visual motifs, atmospherics, framing, and different types of shots to tell the film's story. Find out how to give direction to your crew and be a good leader, while staying on budget and on schedule. Plus, get tips to improve shots during retakes or in post, and to become a better director, storyteller, and communicator.
Note: Like the rest of the Creating a Short Film series, this course was shot during the production of The Assurance. It offers a unique window into the actual struggles and challenges filmmakers have to overcome to get films made. Find the rest of the courses in the series on Chad's author page.
- What a director does
- Interpreting the script
- Scouting locations
- Choosing the tone and theme of the film
- Using motifs
- Shaping the story through visuals
- Being a good leader on set
- Respecting budgets and schedules
- Planning shots
- Moving the camera: on a tripod or dolly or in handheld shots
- Using rolling takes
- Framing shots
- Adding atmospherics
- Directing in post-production
- Becoming a better director
Skill Level Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actorswith Chad Perkins1h 49m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 01 Producingwith Chad Perkins1h 6m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 02 Writingwith Chad Perkins3h 17m Intermediate
1. Preparing for Production
2. Themes and Tone
3. Shaping the Story
4. Running the Set
5. Planning Shots in a Scene
6. Getting the Shot
7. Improving the Shot
8. Directing in Post-Production
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