While an independent filmmaker might not be able to get the high-budget money shots they saw in the latest popular film, high definition camcorders at consumer prices are making it possible for amateurs to get professional looking movies at a low price. Set up three lights around your subject if shooting indoors or at night. Point a work light at your subject at a 45-degree angle from the front of your scene, creating the key light that represents your main light source; bounce the light from a second light off of a large piece of white foam core and onto the other side of your subject, creating a soft fill light; bounce or angle a weaker third light across the back of your subject, creating a back light that separates the subject from its background. Place a camcorder on a tripod to ensure a steady shot. The lightweight build of most consumer camcorders make them too difficult to hold still for effective handheld shots, so a tripod will give a more polished look to the final image. If possible, buy a more expensive tripod that will give smoother pans and a steadier hold. Set up a lavaliere or boom microphone to capture sound. Most camcorders come with an input for a microphone. Using an external microphone almost always produces crisper sound than using the camcorder’s built-in microphone. Frame the shot, making sure there is a little head room above any human subjects and a little lead room in front of them if they are looking to the side. Set the focus to “Manual” if possible. Adjust the focus so that the main human subject’s eyes are sharp. Adjust the exposure if possible to ensure the brightest parts of the image aren’t too bright in the viewfinder. Press “Record” to capture the image.