Just curious - at what stage do you plan the cut-aways (I assume these are the ancillary shots of dolphins jumping, halyards slapping, etc.)? Are they planned at all?
Great question. Its things like cutaways that make a good video and easier to edit. My 1 shot videos generally dont have any cutaways whatsoever. This makes them easy to make but theres scripted 'virtual' cutaways still there.
It takes quite a bit of learning, and then remembering to get them.
For others who dont know what a cutaway is (example): If you are talking to camera and point to sea and say "see those dolphins jumping? Thats because theyre looking for fish..." At the moment of "jumping" you need to insert a closeup shot of dolphins jumping.
Or: "Look at this screw Im holding" You see some small object in your hand, but then you cutaway to a close up shot of it.
Or: In an interview you take shots of the interviewer reacting to the interviewee (or their hands etc) so in edit you can edit out irrelevant stuff by cutting away from the interviewee to a shot of something else and back again.
Obviously thats difficult footage to get so you might use old footage.
Generally you need to use footage shot on the day so the light is correct and the colour temp, quality and technical aspects are the same.
Yes they are planned insomuch as you know when doing any interview you need to get them. Do them at the end of the interview, or when setting up.
Every setup you shoot you must remember to get the cutaways at the end before moving the setup. Otherwise the camera has moved position and you'll forget.
So the beginner wants to write them in the script AND do them anyway.
So my scripts will always use 4 shots: Establishing Est, Wideshot WS, Closeup CU, and extreme closeup (and cutaway) ECU. Theres lots more shots but these are the scripted ones I use.. the others are made up on the job.
So a script might look like:
Est: Boat; Presenter on foredeck
CU: Presenters face
ECU: Object in hand or being referred to.
These are also edit points so any time you need to cut something from the CU you just go to the WS or the Est, or a ECU cutaway.
As I said before its very difficult to remember to do cutaways because you're so excited about finishing your main shot and you forget.
Every good director will tell you you never can have too many cutaways. Editors will tell you that you should be able to tell the story with just cutaways.
In my 1 shot videos there are no cutaways! It saves me a lot of time.. but there are 'virtual' cutaways pre-scripted in each video. i.e. I know what we need to have a close up of so I will hold it in shot longer. It certainly doesnt work as well as proper editing, but Im not bothered to do all that... id prefer to drink rum.
Last thing to remember: each time you do shoot something you could use in a later video remember to mark it, note it, file it. Those jumping dolphins you must be able to find again!