What to Choose: Shooting to Edit OR Coverage?

IMG_2520You’ve done everything you possibly can to be prepared for your shoot. Casting, set decoration prep, equipment rental, and script creation – you name it, and it is checked off. Now, it’s the day of and all of the set-up goes smoothly. The camera is about to roll – but wait, what exactly are you shooting? In other words: are you shooting to edit or are you shooting with coverage?


Shooting to edit is for the planners. It is for the people that have the vision of their video already complete in their mind, and all they have to do is capture that in real life. This method is really helpful if you really do know exactly what you want. It also saves a lot of time in post-production. So, if you just want the video faster or need to save money, shooting to edit is a great possibility.


Coverage is for the cautious. Even though you may have planned and worked really hard during your pre-production, you still want to shoot as much as possible while there. Come to think of it, why not? We are no longer shooting with film, in which every second the film was used was money going down the drain. Now that everything is digital, it’s easier than ever to record as much as you want and then either delete the unwanted footage or just dump it all onto a hard drive. With digital, the filming is ripe with endless possibilities.

That being said, just because you CAN does not mean that you SHOULD. This is meant for both options, because leaning too hard on one or the other can harm you in the end. If you just shoot to edit, you don’t allow for any room to explore other shots or angles during the shoot. Your vision, to be honest, might have looked great in your head but could be horrible in reality. Sometimes those extra shots you spend a few minutes on can help make your end product that much more exciting. On the flip side, you don’t want to go into a video with no plan at all and just shoot as much from as many different angles as possible. You don’t need to go overboard with the amount of footage that you capture. If you do, just consider how much extra time it’ll take in post-production to go through all of that and figure out what you like the best.

As with most things in life, it’s all about balance.  You really want to focus on the best of both worlds. Go in with a plan, but don’t be so rigid so as to avoid shooting anything that wasn’t on the list. You never know, the unexpected shots might become your favorite shots of the day.

Skillman Video Group LLC is a Boston video production company. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.