I took care of a couple of insert shots for DRIFTER yesterday. One was of a soda can hitting the ground and then getting splattered with blood. I got the lights set up, the microphone on a boom pole and my camera all set. I mixed up a small cup of blood (dark karo syrup, chocolate syrup, red food coloring), did a little logo-cover-up work on the can with a marker and set everything up. Camera rolling, I walked over to the other side of the garage, filled my mouth with fake blood, dropped the can and then spit the blood all over it.
I reviewed the shot on the camera and......I didn't like it. DAMN!
I moved the camera up and in a bit, got the paper towels and bowl of water and cleaned up all the blood. Back upstairs to the kitchen where I had to get the ingredients out again and make some more blood. Back downstairs to do it all over again. Drop the an. Spit the blood. Check the camera.
I loved it!
Cleaning up the blood all over again. Turning off the lights and putting them away. Turning off the mic. Brining the camera back into the house, hooking it up to the computer, capturing the footage, dropping it into the movie timeline and fine-tuning it.
Man, that is a hell of a lot of work for one shot that lasts a couple of seconds.
And that's why I need to remember to try and minimize these types of insert shots on my next big shoots. It seems like a time-saver - let's take care of the actors and get them done and out of here and we can just take care of this inanimate object shot later.
If you take care of the shot right then. you already have the lights set up, the boom set and the camera there. You also have some crew to help you with the shot and hopefully clean up as you move on to the next scenes with or without actors. Plus mentally, it's easy to procrastinate that simple insert shot just because of all of the set-up/clean-up/break-down involved.
If you are really pressed for time, it makes sense, but if possible it's nice to try and get everything shot on set during the big shoot, just so it is done and you've got help with it.
Meanwhile, in hopes of raising a little bit of money to help pay for the latest DVD duplication, I pulled these VHS gems off of my shelf and am offering them for sale - $6 each including shipping in the U.S. If you are interested in anything, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org