Filmmaking can be extremely demanding and sometimes even overwhelming. There are hundreds of things to do, and there is always a shortage of time. Luckily, making use of certain working methods can double or even triple your efficiency! Today we are going to discuss 7 best practices that professional filmmakers use to optimize their workflow.

1 Learn shortcuts - You will be impressed by how much time you can save by simply learning shortcuts of the software you’re working in. The 3 most popular software packages used by filmmakers are listed below. By clicking on the title, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can find the essential shortcuts of that software.

FinalCut Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro

Sony Vegas Pro

2 Use presets - this tip refers to the post-production stage of your film or video. For example, you can use presets to define the color scheme of your footage. You can either create your own unique presets or find existing ones online. If you’re using Adobe Premiere Pro, then this library of presets might be something for you to check out. Please note, you can preset almost anything, so don’t limit yourself to color grading!

3 Use stock sound effects - every filmmaker knows that sound effects are of crucial importance when it comes to creating a believable atmosphere. However, if you plan on recording every single sound yourself - chances are you’ll lose yourself and never finish your movie! As a rule of thumb, if you need a sound which is tailor-made for your scene - record it yourself. If it’s something generic (like the sound of a train passing by) - just use the stock audio files. There are many websites such as Audioblocks, that offer inexpensive pre-recorded sounds.

4 Shoot a scene from multiple angles - this is one of those “just in case” tricks. You might be wondering - “ How does it save time if it involves more work? “ It’s simple, you won’t believe how many times things go wrong and you have to reshoot the entire scene. Having the same scene shot from multiple camera angles gives you more flexibility. For instance, if there’s a distraction you didn’t notice, looking at it from a new perspective might save your hard work. Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to keep more samples to work with, for the sake of visual interest and experimentation.

5 Plan ahead

This is one of those tips that sound obvious until you realize that you’re not following it. Most of the world’s famous filmmakers agree that careful preparation is one of the keys to achieving success. It goes without saying that you can leave room for spontaneous changes, “done on the spot”, but usually the more you plan- the better. Major consideration points, such as the time of the day or the length of the scene can and should be planned in advance.

6 Search for a reference scene beforehand

If you have a clear idea for a scene in mind - it is very likely that a similar composition, style or anything else has already been used before. That’s not something bad though! On the contrary, what a smart filmmaker would do is searching for reference scenes beforehand and analyzing them. In this case, looking for references and comparing them can be very beneficial. This way you have a better understanding of what your idea will look like. Moreover, you can note down the things you like about your reference - and implement them in your film. Same goes for things you don’t like - add your personal touch and improve them! By having a clear reference, you’ll save time figuring out how to set up the scene from scratch.

7 Let software automatically caption your videos - manual subtitling can be very time-consuming. For each minute of your video, it will take at least 5 to insert captions by hand. Save your time for tasks that are more important and use AmberScript’s automatic tool to get your subtitles done within minutes. Tools like YouTube only achieve 60-70% accuracy, while our software reaches up to 95% in many languages. Subtitling can be a game-changer for your video content - the reasons behind it are described in our recent blog post.