Chicago Film Video Production and Post Production Company
from speaking in the present tense, to speaking in the past tense by substituting the word “was” for the word “is.” We were only able to do this because we had images to cutaway to.

One of the scenes in the film mentioned above was shot at an HIV/AIDS respite facility. Located in a church on Chicago’s west side, a minimal staff ran daycare and head start programs, provided respite for families dealing with HIV/AIDS, ran a monthly food distribution program and held art therapy sessions for families in need. The day we shot was in the middle of summer, maybe 90 degrees outside and it was the one day a month all of these programs occurred at the same time. We got to the location in the morning and shot all day. Late in the afternoon we did an interview in the stifling church sanctuary with the art therapist- who also ran the food distribution service. He was tired, sweaty and exhausted. If time and budget not been a concern would should have come back another day for his interview, but instead we went forward. Very quickly it was clear he was tired. Every other word he spoke was “Uh” or “You know.” We were very concerned, but at this point had committed and we felt we could save it in the editing room because we knew we had really great cutaways to choose from.

Cut to a month later. We screen the film for the client. They love it. Mr. Art Therapy came up to us and told us how much better he came off than he thought he would. It was all due to the cutaways.

Things to Consider For Your Film or Video Production

1) If you can shoot the interviews first and then get cutaways later, it is often easier because you know what the subject has said, and how much time you need to fill,

2) Shoot lots of footage, Try to shoot scenes that can tell a story visually. In the example above we shot the food being delivered to the church, volunteers unpacking it and then re-packing it into family-sized bundles, the families coming to pick up the food, and volunteers helping them out. The entire event took perhaps four hours, and we used maybe a minute of footage, but it told the entire food distribution story, and allowed us to edit the interviews to have the subjects say what we wanted them to say.

3) If using still photographs, make sure you have lots of them and they are in good condition. We are always surprised when clients tell us of the great photographs they have, then show us a picture of the back of someone’s head. Also, it is most effective when you can pan across or zoom into a still picture. These moves allow you more time, and we are in the moving picture business, it makes the scene less static overall.

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