Clear Your Frame

You would think this would be obvious.

You would think it wouldn’t have to be said: clear your frame.

That is Director-speak for “whatever is not supposed to be in the frame must be framed out, or removed.”

If, after having told any member of your camera crew repeatedly to check and clear their frame, they do not, then you are dealing with

  1. incompetence
  2. passive-aggressive behavior
  3. willful insubordination

None of these are acceptable. Remove them from set immediately.

It is essential for any filmmaker who is responsible for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (and eventually millions of investor and studio dollars) to learn the power of dismissal.

Always be fair, but be firm.

Tyranny breeds rebellion, so you can’t be a tyrant. But you should be running a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy.

Make the call. If you don’t have the answer, get a short list of options from people with opinions you trust. Then make the call, and politely demand everyone to comply.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter how pretty your shot is, how compelling the acting is, how gorgeous the art direction is—if Camera B is reflected in the mirror behind the actors YOU CAN’T USE THE SHOT.  And forget “camera safe”—clear your frame edge to edge.

Be a professional.  Clear your frame.


~ by David Jetre on December 27, 2007.

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