(1) Anything a person does in this world is only as good as the planning that
goes into the effort. A great deal of time and money can be wasted if a person tries to
complete a task without first planning how he or she will accomplish it. The more
planning that is done before starting a task, the quicker and more efficient will be the
(2) Your preplanning must include such things as assembling equipment, notifying
team members, ordering transportation, contacting the Public Affairs office if necessary,
coordinating with other agencies that may be involved with the mission, researching the
subject and writing a shooting out line.
(3) As part of your preplanning you will want to find out if there are any
special or abnormal situations that may cause problems with filming or taping. Weather
and climatic extremes could pose technical problems if you were not aware of them. You
may be stationed at a post where the temperature is 70 and the sun is shining; but where
you are going the temperature is 10 and it is snowing. You must make sure you and your
equipment are prepared for any climatic extremes at the area you will be working in.
(1) Once you are aware of what the mission is to be, you can start your
researching. First of all, are you familiar with the subject matter? If not, researching
is the first thing you should do. You may want to go to the library and look up the
subject and find out how it works, how it is done, or how to operate it. The more you
know about the subject, the more insight you will have in filming the subject. It would
be difficult for you to effectively film a golf match if you did not understand how the
game is played. It is the same with any assignment. You can be a more effective
cameraman if you understand the subject. Researching a subject before going on a mission
has saved more cameramen from doing a poor job than you can imagine.
(2) There are many sources for material on any given subject. If it is a
military subject, you may be able to obtain the information you need in your unit
publication files, technical orders, or regulations. You may have a unit on your base or
post that does essentially the same job. You could get the basic facts about the job
there. Do not forget about your post library. You would be surprised as to the wealth
of information and facts that are available at your library.
2. After all the necessary data has been assembled, you are ready to write a shooting
outline. The outline is not a script as you would use in a production. It is a plan of
what scenes you want to shoot in order to document a complete story.
a. The shooting outline is one of the first steps in preparing to film a story.
Let us say you receive notice that a high ranking dignitary will arrive on the post and
you will be required to document his visit.