acting Acting and shooting scenes with just two people...

So, I don't know if you recall me showing you horror comedy videos before. My friend wants to do filming now with a tripod. But how can two people really be acting and working a camera at the same time? I did say to him that people usually have a camera person to do all of this stuff. I'm also playing the monsters in it, so one person usually holds the camera, and we do it like it was in the style of found footage.
Once you have a tripod you don't need anyone behind the camera. The only issue is that the shots would be static and you would have to mark your positions on the floor so can you walk back to after positioning the camera.


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It would be best if you had a dedicated DP (camera person)... shooting will be faster, editing will be faster (without trimming those long cuts), shots will be better composed, and bad shots will be detected instead of finding out you can't use a shot later = reshoot.

If you have some friends available, you just tell them you need some help, and there's free pizza! That's how it starts. Good luck!
As actors, you have enough to worry about...lines, costumes, makeup, action. You need a camera person to look for bad takes, things in the frame that shouldn't be there, remembering to turn the camera on and off, moving the tripod to a
new angle, monitoring the memory cards, slating scenes, acting as assistant director, and MONITORING AUDIO. You will save a lot of time and frustration by bringing a camera person onboard.
At the very least you should have a crew of three - DP/cinematographer, PSM/Boom-Op and a generalist to handle everything else from moving lights for the DP to fetching coffee to slating and maintaining the logs.

You also need to pre pro everything to the last detail. A thorough, exhaustive pre pro, complete with basic storyboards, will save you hours on-set and gets everyone on the same page. This makes for a comfortable shoot and unexpected problems are inconveniences rather than disasters.

I worked with a producer on a number of projects who was a fanatic about preproduction. She was the master of the shoestring budget. By far the largest budget item was craft services - food & drink and other "comfort" items. The first pre pro meeting was herself, the screenwriter, the director and the primary actors for a table read. Inevitably there would be script revisions. The next meeting would be a technical meeting with herself, the screenwriter, the director, the primary actors and all of the department heads. As an example of one crew the DP did commercials and corporate work, the gaffer/lighting was a commercial photographer, H/MU & wardrobe was a woman who worked weddings, corporate and the like, the editor was another commercial/corporate type, and I did the production sound and audio post. At the meeting was beer, wine, soda and lots of tasty noshes. We would walk though the whole script and put together our technical, location, personnel and other requirements. The third pre pro meeting, where we all got complete binders from the previous meetings notes, would nail down all the technical details and have a complete read through following basic storyboards (sometimes drawn on location photos), again with food and drink. By the time we got to the shoot we were a functioning team with confidence that we knew what we were doing and had everything we needed. Her husband, who loved to cook, laid out a lavish craft table and made delicious meals. (No alcohol until we wrapped for the day.) The shoots went (mostly) smooth as glass, lots of laughs and, occasionally, even some extra time for improvisation and "arty" stuff. Aside from meals all we got was gas money, yet everyone wanted to know when the next project would be because working with Dianne was really, really FUN! The "corporate" folks got a chance to be creative for a change, and everyone was treated like a professional.

I really miss Dianne; we were all slated to start her first feature with a real , substantial budget when she was diagnosed with cancer, God rest her soul.

But the moral of the story is you can't do it all yourself. But, to attract good talent, you have to make the project attractive in every way you can on a shoestring budget by treating them as professionals and collaborators.

Sorry that I got so long-winded.



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I really miss Dianne; we were all slated to start her first feature with a real , substantial budget when she was diagnosed with cancer, God rest her soul.

I was all smiles and loving this post until here...

A good reminder that life is too damn short amid excellent advice.
When I first started out, I shot, directed and acted in my films entirely my myself.

It is possible to do it with just the both of you and I think it’ll be a fun challenge.

First set up the shot on the tripod. Make a really interesting looking composition. Find props or furniture you can place in the foreground to give the shot depth.

Second, practice the part of the script you are filming within the frame you just created. Figure out where each of you will be. If there’s movement of your character, figure that out.

Third, hit record and film it.

Fourth, decide on the next part of the script you are shooting and start again at setting up the shot.


Be sure to get different shots of the same part of the script so you can edit together wide shots and closeups.

Also, grab b-roll and insert shots of anything noteworthy in the scene.

When you edit it all together, you’ll see it come together!

And if there are scenes where’s its just one of you on screen, the other person can be the camera man while you’re on screen if you need the camera to move during the shot.

Let us know how it goes.


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So yes it is possible. But now it is not because he flaked. This is a good time to take the other suggestions here about getting more people. The more the better because there will always be flakes, and you will always need plans B, C, D, and E! :)