Today I am going to be talking about indecisiveness and how it connects to film.
Many filmmakers are under the impression that, if they go a little too far or not far enough on a pan or rack focus, they can adjust after.
I cannot stress this enough: you can’t.
There is nothing worse than choppy film. It is neither appealing nor interesting. Some mockumentaries play around with incorrect focus to give the impression of a live shoot, as real documentaries would be. However, in serious film, the focus should be purposeful and planned.
When filming a rack focus, I personally like to keep a finger on my stopping point, so I know beforehand where it will end up. If you happen to go too far, however, it is often better to reshoot if there is time. If you try it enough times, you’re bound to get one shot you like. In fact, it is a good technique to film difficult shots multiple times even if they come out perfectly, just in case there’s a mistake.
If there is one piece of knowledge you should take away, it is to be a decisive filmmaker. Stick to your decisions. If you went a little too far on a pan, leave it. You might end up liking the result.
Next week, I will talk about the Rule of Thirds, and how it can help make a shot more interesting.
Cut to black, and there’s no going back.