Capturing the perfect take — several times
Whether you’re shooting a scripted scene or an interview, you probably won’t get the perfect take the first time every time. Someone may flub a line or slam a door offscreen, a dog may begin barking, or a sudden rainstorm may interrupt a romantic picnic scene. Or, the “magic” just isn’t happening right away, and your actors need a few takes to warm up and discover the best way to play the scene. In any case, if you have to do it again, shrug your shoulders, yell “Cut,” and prepare everyone for another take.
Shooting multiple takes can be demanding because actors have to repeatedly speak the same lines and hit the same marks. However many takes you shoot of a scene, the acting always has to seem fresh. One way to achieve this goal is to let the actors vary their line readings slightly on every take. You can always revert to an earlier take if you don’t like the revised version.
After you capture an excellent take, shoot a safety take immediately afterward. This extra version ensures that your editor has two good takes to work with, just in case something goes wrong with the footage during the postproduction process.