Pick-Up Photography

Pick-up photography is defined as any photography taken after completion of principal photography in order to enhance the narrative.

On the BFA and MFA Thesis cycles, students may make a request for pick-up photography to improve moments in the film that were not captured successfully during principal photography. Pick-up requests may not be made for additional moments or scenes that were not part of the original shooting plan. Pick-up requests may also not be made for F1, Doc, F2, F3, D1, or D2 projects.

Since pick-up photography involves time and resources, requests will not be approved automatically. Approvals will only be granted if the time and resources are available and if students make a compelling case for the value of the pick-ups to the film (including proof that you can’t solve the problem with careful editing choices). In other words, they are a privilege to be earned.

No show will be approved for more than six hours of pick-up photography. And all pick-up photography will need to be completed and cut into the edit before picture lock. In some cases, this may mean that the turnaround time for pick-up photography is tight, so students will need to be diligent and proactive if they want to put in a request.

Pick-up request procedure

Students will need to complete a Pick-up Photography Request form, in which they must provide the following details:

  • the exact nature of the subject matter to be shot;
  • the reason why it was not shot with the first unit crew during principal photography;
  • the date, times, and location of the proposed shoot;
  • the crew required for the proposed shoot, including names and signatures (you’ll need to determine how many crew members you need and you’ll need to recruit them);
  • notes on any special equipment requests;
  • notes on any budget plans;
  • any other supporting documentation.

Once the form is completed, to ensure that all relevant parties are in the loop and have given their blessing to the proposed shooting plan, faculty approvals for the pick-up photography must be collected in the following sequence:

  1. Directing instructor
  2. Cinematography instructor
  3. Editing instructor
  4. Head of Visual Effects (Jonathan Stone), if applicable
  5. Head of Post-Production (Chuck Allen)
  6. Head of Set Operations (David Wiley)
  7. Head of Production (Tony Ciarlariello)
  8. Associate Dean (Andrew Syder)

For BFA Thesis, all requests must reach the Associate Dean for approval no later than the day of the first cut screening, but submitting them sooner will increase the chances of them being approved.