Have you ever wanted to make your own movie? Writing, directing, and learning to edit your own film is a daunting proposition, but it gives you ultimate creative control of your creation. You should be ready to put in a lot of work just to get your movie made, but you should also be ready to have a lot of fun. So grab a few friends, round up a camera, and get ready to roll-- Hollywood is calling.
Writing Your Movie
Come up with an idea.
Unless you have an imagination the size of Oceania, this will be the hardest part. Coming up with the idea for your movie, however, does not need to be an intense showdown with the Artistic Muse. Try and get one good sentence, like the one you read in a movie description, to base your movie around. What is the conflict, character, or story you want to tell? Keep in mind a few things when planning:
- Smaller is better — if you are shooting this yourself, every extra character, location, and special effect will need to be financed and figured out at some point.
- What genre are you aiming for? Comedy? Sci-fi? Drama? Once you know your genre you can start thinking of plots and characters that fit it.
- What are movie combinations that you haven’t seen? While it seems childish, almost all movies and TV are hybrids of other movies, TV, and genres. For example, Twilight is Vampire + Romance Novel. Have you seen a good comedic western? What about a stoner sci-fi? How can you match your interests in unexpected ways?
- Where do you have experience? Can you comment on the day-to-day life of an office worker in an original way? Do you know more about disc golf than anyone else? Is there a movie in these experiences somewhere?
- Look up “log-lines” for your favorite movies for inspiration. These are similar one sentence synopsis of movies used to sell the script to movie executives. You can search 1000’s of them online.
Invent your characters.
Characters drive stories. Almost all movies are the result of a character who wants something but is unable to get it. The movie then shows the trials and tribulations of the character(s) as they try and fulfill their desires (get the girl, save the world, graduate college, etc.) The audience relates to the character, not your film, so you need to make sure you have well thought out characters before beginning. Good characters:
- Are round.This means that they have multiple facets, not just an “angry man,” or “strong heroine.” Round characters have strengths and weaknesses, which make them relatable to the audience.
- Have desires and fears. Even if there is only one of each, a good character wants something but is unable to get it. Their ability or inability to get over their fear (of being poor, of being alone, of space aliens, of spiders, etc.) is what drives their conflict.
- Have agency. A good character is not whipped around because your script needs them to go somewhere. A good character makes choices which push forward the plot. Sometimes this is only one choice that drives everything else (Llewellyn, No Country for Old Men), sometimes it is a series of good/bad choices in every scene (American Hustle).
Sketch out the major plot points of your movie.
Some people like to come up with characters and a premise and then start writing. All screenwriters, however, see the value of the 5-point plot, where 5 key, escalating moments make up the movie. Almost every single movie made follows this general structure, from Jurassic Park, and Just Friends, to Jupiter Ascending.’ This does not mean your script must follow this template, but there is a method to the madness. There are 5 major moments in every film that fall in the exact same place, and you need a good reason to deviate from this system if you want to be “original:”
- The Set-Up: Who are your characters, where do they live, and what do they want? This is the first 10% or less of your movie.
- The Change of Plans/Opportunity/Conflict: Something happens that sets your conflict in motion — Erin Brockovich gets a job, the school of Superbad throws a party, Neo is introduced to The Matrix, etc. This is roughly the 1/3 mark of your script.
- The Point of No Return: Up until this point, the characters are working hard to make their goals a reality. But, at the halfway point of the movie, something happens to make it impossible to turn back. A Bond villain attacks again, the Gladiator arrives in Rome, Thelma and Louise rob their first store, etc.
- The Major Set-Back: Since the point of no return the stakes have gotten higher. To the characters and audience, all hope seems lost. This is when the girl and guy break-up in every romantic comedy ever made, when Ron Burgundy gets fired in Anchorman, and when John McClane is beaten and bloody in Die Hard. This comes at the 75% mark of your story.
- The Climax: The characters make one last, all-out push to reach their goals, culminating in their biggest challenge of all. This is the run through the airport moment, the final holes in Caddyshack, or the showdown between hero and villain. Once resolved, the last 10% of the script ties up loose ends and shows the aftermath of the climax.
Write your script.
If you are producing the movie yourself you can use any writing format you like. However, screenwriting software like Celtx, Writer Duets, and Final Draft will help you get studio-quality formatting along with tools specific for screenwriters. These programs will auto-format for you, and are a great way to know the length of your movie– 1 page of formatted script equals roughly 1 minute of screen time.
- Give yourself some notes on things like setting, scenery, and actors, but focus mainly on the dialogue. You’ll be making the other decisions later, when you have cameras, actors, and locations.
- Prepare yourself for rewrites as well. It is nearly impossible to get all of your moments — characters, plots, themes, jokes, etc. — right in the first run through. Once you’re done, return to the script and try and read it objectively. Would you watch this movie?
Do a table read to improve your writing.
Table reads are essential for honing a good script and preparing to film. Get together a couple of friends or actors and give them each a script 2-3 days in advance. Then invite them over and do a dry run of the entire movie, having them speak out the parts while you or someone else narrates the actions. Make notes of any lines that sound unnatural or awkward, where a scene falls short, and how long the script takes to read.
- Ask the actors/friends what they thought. Where did they get confused, what did they love? Ask them if they felt like their character was well thought out and consistent.
- Try not to play a part and just listen. Do you hear your movie coming to life? Does it sound like you hoped it would? You want to hear these moments now, not when the cameras turn on.
Preparing for Production
Make a list of all of your equipment and equipment needs.
Making a movie takes a lot of gear, including cameras, microphones, and lights. Take a quick inventory of what you have for equipment, then find ways to fill in the holes:
- Cameras: Of course, you could never film a movie without a camera. For most movies, you need at least 2 cameras, and preferably 3. That said, modern camera advancements have made it possible to film a movie with an iPhone 6, so you don’t have to drop big bucks anymore. The most important thing for a professional film is to have cameras that shoot in the same format (1080i, for example), otherwise the video quality will change subtly with every cut. If you’re on a budget, you can usually get away with using your phone or a standard DSLR camera.
- Microphones: If you’re in a bind, spend your money on audio equipment: audiences are proven to notice bad sound before bad video. While you can use the attached camera microphones if you must, a Tascam or shotgun mic is always a worthwhile investment.
- Lighting: If you can get a get great 3-5 piece lighting kit, use it. These lights have a variety of functions and settings that help you light any situation imaginable. However, 5-10 cheap clamp lights and extension cords have lit many an indie film. All you need are lights and different light bulbs (tungsten, frosted, LED, etc.) to customize your scene.
- Essential Accessories: Depending on the movie, you’ll need memory cards, a backup hard drive, tripods, light reflectors, extension cords, black tape (to cover or tape down wires), and computer video editing software.
Make a storyboard for each scene.
Storyboards look a bit like rough comic books — you draw the general shot, then add the dialog that needs to be said underneath. You can download templates online easily, then draw them in before a shoot. Storyboards are like checklists while you’re filming, helping you capture each shot you need so that, when you’re editing, you don’t realize suddenly you’re missing something.
- Each frame you draw becomes your shot list — a detailed book filled with every camera angle you need to capture to tell your story. Once your storyboard is finished, copy it and put it into a binder for later reference.
- Make notes of cuts and transitions, and essential sound-effects. These drawings don’t have to be art, they have to tell the story of your film visually.
- These may feel tedious, but they will save you time on set, which quickly gets expensive.
Find your sets and locations.
There are many schools of thought about choosing sets, and none of them are wrong. You can build your own sets for ultimate creative control, but this takes time and a lot of money. You can shoot in houses and locations you have easy access too, like your friend’s house or backyard. Alternatively, you can rent out spaces that you love, getting the rights to film at a school, hotel, or park. No matter what you do, make sure your set fits your movie, and will allow you and your crew to take over the place for multiple hours, undisturbed.
Use your storyboard and equipment list to make your budget.
This may be the moment every filmmaker hates the most, but you need a realistic idea of your film’s cost before you start shooting. You do not, for example, want to get halfway through shooting and realize you can’t afford to rent a car for the climactic chase scene anymore. Keep your budget simple and realistic. Do you really need 10 prop guns, or can you do with 2? Can you eliminate or change a scene with 100 extras to have 10? You need to budget for:
- Equipment that you don’t currently own.
- Props, costumes, and locations (such as renting out a ballroom or restaurant).
- Crew and actor fees. It is possible to get crews and actors for free, but it rare to get people to help for more than 1-2 days without pay. You might be able to offer favors in return for them helping you out on a shorter production.
- Food and transportation costs for you, the crew, and the actors.
- Know that, for a “professional” shoot, with paid crew and actors, you should budget, at minimum, $5,000 a day.
Hire actors and crew members.
You have your characters, your shot list, and the necessary equipment — now you need someone to use it all. How to cast actors is a personal choice — you can hold auditions using Craigslist or newspaper posts, visit local theaters, or get your friends involved. As for crew members, there is a variety of posts that you need to fill:
- Director of Photography (DP): Arguably the most important job, they are in charge of cameras and lights. While you direct the actors and give the final say on the shot, they handle the technical aspects of the film. You need someone who understands lenses, cameras, and lighting, even if it is just a friend who is into photography. It is very, very hard to effectively light a scene, place, cameras, watch actors, and set the scenery at the same time, so get someone who can take some of the load off you and allow you to direct.
- Assistant Director (AD): Schedules the shots, makes sure the shot list is covered, films small scenes if the director is occupied. May help budget as well.
- Camera and microphone operators: Self-explanatory, but essential. You can’t make a film without them.
- Make-up Artist: While anyone can do this, their main job is continuity. Unless a lot of time goes by in your film, you need the actor’s face and costumes to look identical in every single scene, otherwise the audience will notice the changes. Take pictures every day of the costume, make-up and scenes to make sure it looks the same.
- Sound Engineer: Listen to all the sound as it is being recorded, ensuring that it is right. They also place the microphones to pick up dialog after the lights have been placed.
- Line Producer: Checks out locations ahead of time, makes sure permits and contracts are written and signed.
- Production Assistant: Always useful, these people do whatever needs to be done– preparing food and coffee, wiping memory cards, and even holding a camera when needed. You can never have enough crew members.
It doesn’t matter who you are working with or what the project is — get a contract signed. This protects you in the case of accidents, legally obligates people to see your movie through to completion, and prevents lawsuits in case the movie gets picked up. You can search online for “Actor Film Contract,” “Producer Contract,” etc. and tailor it to your needs easily and freely, so don’t skimp out on this step.
- Contracts are, paradoxically, a great way to preserve friendships. Instead of arguing over something later, you can simply return to what you already have in writing.
- Make sure to have a provision, especially for actors, that requires them to finish the film once they begin shooting.
Make your filming schedule.
Realistically, unless you only have a few people in your script and 1-2 locations you’re only going to get 5-10 pages of your script done in a good day. For big or difficult scenes, you may only get 2-3 pages. The more time you can spend filming the better, but the more time spent filming the more money you will spend as well. How you balance this depends on a few factors:
- What scenes all take place at the same location? Can you film them, even if they are out of order, on the same day?
- What scenes have massive shot lists? Getting these done first can ensure you get the “big” scenes the way you want them.
- Are any shots expendable if time/money is running short? Put these last.
- This schedule may, and likely will, have to be fluid. But the more you can stick to it, the better.
Filming Your Movie
Prepare for everything in advance.
You should be the first one on set and the last one to leave every single day. Filming a movie is not easy, and you need to assume that anything that can go wrong will. Actors get sick, weather doesn’t cooperate, and there are 100’s of little decisions (lighting, character placement, costumes) that need to be made every hour. The only way to have a successful shoot is to do as much work as you can before you even start.
- Review the day’s shot list. What do you need to get, and what can you cut if you run out of time?
- Rehearse with the actors. Make sure they know their lines and how you want them played.
- Review lighting and camera choices with the DP.
Let everyone know what is expected at the beginning of the shoot.
Give everyone the details in a straightforward manner right from the top. This is especially important for low-budget films, as you will usually be getting some acting and work for free. Let the cast and crew know your goals for the day’s shoot and how thankful they are for your support.
- Give out the day’s schedule in advance so everyone is prepared.
- Let the crew know about any special effects or moods you are going for and how they can help create them.
- Review your shooting procedure so that everyone knows their role.
Set up the scene blocking.
Blocking is where the actors are, and where they go. This is the first step to any filming, and the most essential — all the lights, cameras, and sound cannot be placed until after it is done. If the scene is well rehearsed this should be easy. If not, you’ll need to spend some time placing the actors in the right spots.
- Keep this as simple as possible– walking in straight lines, basic entrances and exits, and mostly still positions. It is not a play and the cameras will only capture a small fraction of the entire scene. Let the camera do the movement whenever possible, not the actors.
- Tape can be placed on the floor to tell the actors where to end up after every shot.
- You can often pre-plan using crew-members or a detailed shot list to save time. If you have the blocking already written out, your shoot will be much more productive.
Set your cameras up.
There are an infinite number of ways to place, move, and use your cameras. This is why a shot-list, which is basically a list of your prearranged camera positions, is vital to save time and money. In the interest of time, the three essential camera angles in a scene of dialog are:
- Establishing shots, or masters: Establishing shots contain all the action of the scene — the speaking characters, the set, and the movements. They are long, wide shots that, if anything went wrong, you could use to film the entire scene, as they capture everything.
- 2-shot (2-cameras): One camera over each actors shoulder, pointing at the other actor. This way you get to look at each character as they talk.
- When filming 3 or more actors, try and block it out so that you have 2 characters in the frame at once — this way you only need one camera to capture their dialog.
- Watch some of your favorite movies with a discerning eye. How, for example, would a movie capture a dinner date between 2 people? You’ll notice these three camera angles (one of both of them + the table, one of the guy, one of the girl) more than any other set of shots.
Set-up your lights.
Remember, it is always better to have more light than to have less. It is easy to darken an image in post-production, but it is very hard to make it lighter without sacrificing image quality. Use natural light to your advantage whenever possible and, above all, keep it simple. Your goal is a nice, gradual range of lights — deep, dark shadows and very few big bright spots.
- Put your camera in black and white to see just the lightness of the image. If it is still an interesting shot in black and white, it will look incredible in color.
- The hour and a half around sunrise and sunset is considered the best time to shoot in natural light. The lighting is soft and even, and you can even use this time to illuminate “nighttime” shots, which are dimmed later on in post-production.
- Use “practicals,” or in-scene lights. Having trouble getting the light right? Stick a lamp in the shot, or turn on the ceiling lights.
Know how to start a shoot.
The techniques for beginning a film will vary from set to set, but they should not vary from shot to shot. Having a routine before you start filming ensures that everyone is on the same page, every time. When possible, this is the AD’s duty. A sample routine would include:
- “Everyone this is picture, quiet please!”
- “Roll sound!” This is the cue to start microphones. When done, someone yells, “Rolling!”
- “Roll Picture!” This is the cue to start cameras. When done, someone yells, typically, “Speed!”
- Read off the title, scene, and take number, “[your movie name], Scene [scene number], Take [take number].” If you have a clapboard, it is slapped and someone shouts “Marker!”
- 3-5 seconds of silence.
Shoot your coverage once you have the scene you want.
Pick a few extreme angles, interesting shots of the environment, or close-ups of character’s faces, hands, or props and run the scene again. These shots may only last for 1-2 seconds in the movie, but they are essential for editing. Look at any movie and notice how many small, seemingly useless shots are used to get into the world of the scene, show an emotional twitch, or simply transition from scene to scene. Film these shots once the actors have delivered their lines to your liking.
- Do the characters talk about the cake on the table? Then you need a shot of just the cake on the table. Do you need to show what time it is? Then you need a shot of the clock on the wall.
Review your footage every day and cross off your shot-list.
You may need to make some sacrifices depending on your budget and time, but even Hollywood directors are forced to do this. After every day, make sure you have everything you want and need, then cross it off your shot list. You need to know now, not 3 months later as you start editing, if something is missing.
Pick up B-roll shots.
B-roll is simply the shots that don’t include actors. It is usually used in transitions, opening or closing credits, or setting up a new location. Head out with a camera and you DP and get as many hours of footage as you can. You primary goal is to think about footage that may compliment the film. For example, the B-Roll in Punch-Drunk Love is a series of abstract, multi-colored shots that match the protagonist’s confused, anxious, and crippled mental state. Spy movies usually have a lot of B-Roll of gorgeous beaches, bustling cities, and dramatic landscapes. B-roll tells your story subtly and visually.
- You can never have enough B-roll. When you’re editing, this is the connective tissue that holds your scenes together to make a legitimate movie.
- You can, and should, shoot B-roll before and after a scene “ends,” as these 2-3 seconds are a great way to bring the audience into the scene slowly.
Back up your footage every day.
At the end of shooting take the time to pull your footage off memory cards and download it to a secure hard drive. This small step at the end of the day can save you hours and hours of time in the unfortunate case that you lose your footage.
- Most professionals use more than one backup, copying all the footage to at least two sources before erasing anything on the memory cards.
- Take this time to organize your footage as well. Make a folder for the day you shot, then organize the footage in that folder by scene. This will make shooting much, much easier.
Editing Your Movie
Choose the right editing software for your movie.
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to video editing software (often called Non-Linear Editing programs, or NLE), from free programs like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker to complex, professional-grade powerhouses like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier. What you choose to use is largely a matter of personal preference and the type of project you are working on:
- Free software, like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, is really only useful for small movies, usually anything under 20 minutes. They aren’t designed to handle a lot of video and camera angles and have a limited number of transitions and options for effects.
- Paid Software is necessary for any aspiring filmmaker. If you use multiple cameras on a scene, need smooth text, transitions, or effects, or simply want a professional-grade program, you need to invest in good software. Currently, the three “industry-standard” programs are Avid, Final Cut X, and Adobe Premier, and each comes with a hefty price tag, often $400 or more. You can often, however, subscribe to these programs for a small monthly payment.
Import a scene into your video editor.
With a short film (under 20-30 minutes), you can likely import all the footage at once. But if you’re making a feature film, or simply working with a lot of camera angles, you’ll want to edit your movie in pieces. Import only the footage you need for the scene, as well as any relevant B-roll.
- If you have multiple cameras on the same scene, use your program’s “Sync” option to line all of them up together. Find your programs “multi-camera editing mode,” which makes it easy to switch between multiple shots simultaneously, by searching for “[Your Program] Multi-Cam Edit” online. This matches up all the cameras so that you don’t have to spend hours making sure each cut is in time with the last shot.
Use your first few shots to set the mood and theme of the scene.
The first shots will establish the focus of the scene. You have an almost infinite number of choices, but some of the most common include:
- The Establishing Shot: This is by far the most common way to start a scene. This shot shows all the main actors, the scene, and the location at one time. This allows the audience to get a feel for the scene, and they can then follow along with the rest of the cuts to come.
- Character Focused: Whether they say the first line or not, following the main character of the scene the tells the audience that this is the person they need to pay attention to — something will happen to them or they will have some realization.
- Setting the Scene: Use B-roll and shots of the room/environment to get a feel for the location. This is used in a lot of movies, particularly horror, where a scene might start with 5-6 creepy shots of a haunted house of dangerous room.
Build the dialog around the actor’s best takes.
Rewatch your footage and see which scenes you like the best — where everyone hit their marks, the dialog felt natural, and the footage is clear and in focus. If you can find one take where everything is well done, you’re in luck, and your work will be much faster.
Show each character as they deliver their lines.
This rule is not hard and fast, but you should almost always begin with it. From there you can decide if it is more important to watch a character listening or a character talking. Watch Whiplash or There Will Be Blood for a good idea of where scene focus should be in dialog oriented films.
- The best character to show in a scene is usually a matter of feel. Who does it feel like needs to be the focus of the line? Does an actor give a particularly good expression or reaction to something? Where would your eyes go if you were sitting in the room with the actors?
Fill in any gaps/mistakes from B-roll and other takes.
Sometimes you don’t get one good take, and you need to combine a lot of footage to make the scene work. This is incredibly common, but it should not be difficult if the actors hit their blocking correctly each time. This is when you add the detail and color to the scene. For example, a character might offer someone the cake on the table, and you can cut to a shot of the cake. Or, in a tense interrogation scene, you might show the criminals face up close, sweating and worried, before cutting back to the next line of dialog.
- There is no right way to edit a scene, as long as you remember that you are trying to tell the story above all else. Let the images do the talking as much as possible.
Adjust the timing of the scene to give it rhythm.
Editing is about pacing and timing. You need the film to flow naturally. This is why editors think in terms of individual frames — the micro-second still shots you see if you pause the screen — instead of seconds. Many editors work to music for this reason, editing the frames to fit a beat or song and give the scene rhythm. You do not have to stick to the natural rhythm of the actors on screen, and in many cases you shouldn’t. Adding or deleting pauses, even by a few tenths of second, can make a good performance a great one. For example:
- Comedic, action oriented, or high-energy scenes have very quick timing. There are not a lot of spaces between the lines, and the words almost fall over each other to come out. This makes the scene feel quick and lively.
- Tense scenes are usually slower. Pauses are drawn out, B-roll is used heavily, and shots are held for a long time to make the viewer uncomfortable. For a master-class in slow editing, watch 12 Years a Slave, particularly the hanging scene in the middle of the movie.
- It takes a human brain 3-5 frames to recognize an image. This means that, if you’re trying to be too quick with things, you may just confuse the audience.
Learn the different types of cuts to edit professionally.
Editing is the art of telling a story through cuts. In other words, a movie is simply a series of videos put back to back, and how you cut from one to the other is how the audience perceives the story. Therefore, how you order cut from one video to the other is all the “matters” when editing a film. The best cuts are seamless, telling the story without the audience every realizing that we’ve jumped from one scene to the other.
- Hard Cut– an immediate cut to another angle, usually in the same scene. This is the most common cut in film.
- Smash Cut- An abrupt shift to completely different scene. This calls attention to the cut, often signalling a surprise or big shift in the plot.
- Jump Cut– An abrupt cut made within the same scene, often of a slightly different angle. These are rare, and usually show confusion or the passing of time.
- J-Cut– When you hear the audio from the next shot before you see the video. This is a great way to link two scenes thematically, or provide narration.
- L-Cut– When you see the video from the next shot before you hear the audio. This is a great way to show a character talking about something, like a promise, then doing it (or breaking it).
- Action Cut– A cut in the middle of an action, like someone opening a door, that “hides” the cut in the action. For example, one character could move in for a kiss, and as their head crosses the screen you cut to the head entering the screen of another angle, usually the person about to be kissed.
Stitch together your scenes with B-roll and transitions.
Once you’ve made your scenes, it’s time to start pulling them together. If you’ve editing all your scenes as separate files, import them into a new “Master Film” project and put them in order. Then, use your B-roll, coverage shots, and transitions to make them flow seamlessly together. Whereas you originally looked at the scene timing, now you’re looking at movie timing — can you trim a scene back here and there to make things move faster? Do you need a little more B-roll between scenes to give the audience time to react to a dramatic moment? Again — timing is everything.
- This is a good time to ask a friend to watch the movie with you. Do they get everything that’s going on? Are there any plot points that are lost in the shuffle and need more time? Any that are over-explained and can cut away?
- In general, the more you cut, the better the movie. If a scene isn’t working, and it doesn’t add anything useful to the plot, get rid of it.
Correct the color and sound of your movie to make it professional.
Once you have the movie as good as it can be it’s time for the long process of clean-up. The last, and most important, steps for a professional movie are color correction and sound mixing. While there are entire books written on the subject, the best advice is to just make it all look consistent — the scenes have similar lighting and color, and there are no spots where the sound is glaringly loud or difficult to hear.
- There are many studios that, for a small fee, can be paid to do professional color correction and sound mixing. If you are unsure how to do this and want a professional movie, you should absolutely pay for professional color grading and sound mixing.
Edit to tell the story, not to be flashy.
There are a lot of flashy, famous, and stylized movies out there that seem like a great idea to copy. Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, in particular, have seen their animated, kinetic styles in movies like Pulp Fiction and Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels, appropriated by young filmmakers everywhere. What these people don’t realize is that those directors chose that style because it fit the movie. The editing looks effortless because it simply let the stories (kinetic, action-oriented stories) take center-stage. Your number one job when editing is to let the story tell itself naturally. You guide the viewer, but at no point should the viewer comment on the editing. The best editing is invisible.
- Try writing a bit of music to go with your movie. It just gives it that special touch.
- Have your actors look over the script and ask them to write down things they would like in the movie. Try to have them in a logical sequence and make sure they are not too outrageous for your movie.
- Many towns have halls that can be rented out if you need a more spacious set.
- But be careful of this, as the sun shining on your back may cast shadows in your shot.
- If you film outdoors the sun may hit the camera at a bad angle. Try avoiding this by shooting on a cloudy day, or move around until the sun is facing the cameraman’s back.