Tushar Kant, Media Professional, Republic TV
LIGHTS, CAMERA, AND ACTION, is a phrase loved by media professionals worldwide. This phrase is used to kick start the shoot of a show, where scenes and dialogs are staged but imagine a scenario, where you have to shoot a series with men in uniform and those men in uniform right from the first day of training are taught, EK GOLI, EK DUSHMAN. There you do not get the chance to say LIGHTS, CAMERA, AND ACTION. There you have only action, action, and action. You have to be as fast as a bullet because soldiers whom you are filming work on the principle of EK GOLI, EK DUSHMAN.
While filming, just how fast you are is not important but what is equally important are the equipments which you use to shoot. They need to be equally fast in responding to the commands which you are giving. When I say equipments used for shooting, then it not only means cameras, but also mic, lights, reflectors etc. And all these equipments complement each other, they all should be well-synchronized. Let us go step by step.
If it is a multicam set up then all cameras should be well-synced, to get apt result. All of them need to be well set in advance so that you get each and every emotion and expression of our soldiers whom you are filming.
It is not that only the cameras with high end telescopic lens that do the magic for you. I remember filming of specials forces soldiers; they are so fast in their actions that even in the blink of eye you can miss the action. In those cases if you have cameras like GoPro and OSMO then I think that half of the work is done. Whereas GoPro in the super view mode gives fisheye view shots the OSMO camera at the same time can do the job of a steady cam. I have used OSMO in many action sequences where you can move along with the action without caring for shaky visuals. Drone cameras are the cherry on the cake.
However good your camera must be, but if you lack the knowledge of lighting then your shots will be of qualities which we used to get in soap box camera used in home in the 90s.
However perfect your shots must be, but if the quality of the audio is poor then your shots are not perfect. From the camera ambiance mic, one can get the desired audio of the actions. But when it comes to interviewing one can take no risk. I remember most of my interviews are in places where apart from the interview audio I also used to get unavoidable ambient audio. Regardless of how good a lapel mic you are using, you will have ambient sound, but at the same time I must admit that those ambient sounds have only enhanced my show and not degraded it.
After pre-production, now it is time for post-production. It is always said films are made on the edit table. So it does not matter, how careful I am on location, when I sit on the edit table with my video editor, I will find NG shots (shaky shots, soft focus, over exposed shots) and for audio correction I need to take the help of software.
You all must be thinking I have talked about all aspects of the shoot, post production but not script, then my dear friends for making a show on soldiers you do not need a script just make the sequence of the events and let the soldiers speak. People want to listen to real heroes of India.