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Toolkit detail
Step-by-step guide for filming living heritage

5. Production planning for filming



Planning is half of the task. Having a clear plan – that is  flexible enough to effectively respond to unexpected situations (ex. unavailable practitioner or videographer for different reasons, bad weather if filming is outdoors, or similar) - will make your process less stressful, less time-consuming and cheaper. 

Tips for film production planning

  • A clear filming agenda is needed in order to respect people's time dedicated to the project and avoid missing important moments.
  • Be sure to discuss the timing and planning of the filming thoroughly. Avoid letting the filming process get in the way of the making process, as this can lead to frustrations for everyone involved. 
  • Analyse the different steps in the craft process and translate this into a workable production plan. A spreadsheet that is accessible for everyone can be very helpful to keep track of the timing, filming days, actions and notes.

Spreadsheet example

Tips for preparing an interview

It is not only important to know what will be filmed, but also what will be said. Therefore, prepare your interview questions in advance and write them down.

  • Make sure to prepare open questions to avoid ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers in your interview.
  • Print out the questionnaire twice and email it to yourself. Be sure to have one copy directly with you while interviewing, and one copy in a bag as backup.
  • When preparing for an interview, think also about how you will approach the image and the editing. You can plan to use the interview as one long uninterrupted take or combine it with images that illustrate what’s being said. Use the chosen approach when you make up the shot list.
  • Depending on the function and goal of your film, you can decide whether to share the script with practitioners or not.
    • For example: for education purposes, the filming method is in an explanatory style. In this case, it is fine to share the script and have practitioners prepared to answer your questions as the final product will be clearer for the general public. 
    • In other cases, such as a film project for identifying and inventorying or transmission, it is better not to share questions in order to avoid rehearsed answers and to keep the interview spontaneous and give space to practitioners to express what is important to them.

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