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Field Production Tips: Video Shoot Lessons from the Road

I’m on a big shoot this week, traveling around the east coast on production and have had reminders of many hard-won video production lessons from over the years.  Here’s a few of the one’s that have stood out that I think may be helpful for you as you plan an on-location shoot…

*Plan for Travel Time: *Not just flights but cabs, shuttles, security lines and jet lag, which saps energy, morale and creativity.

Unloading Time: *Once you get to locations, just getting all the gear in can take more time than expected, consider parking options, elevators, etc.

Meals: Seems obvious but people need fuel, especially when working hard on production and traveling.*

Interview Set-Up Times: *Depending on the gear and situation, lighting for an interview can frequently take anywhere between 15 mins or up to 90 mins, to get things right.

Finding Locations: *Scouting locations is always a great idea if time permits but if it doesn’t leave time to actually find teh right property, parking, entrance, security badges, etc.

Sunrise/Sunset: *‘Magic Hour’ shots are always nice, but don’t forget that daylight can work for or against you when shooting outside, and with the availability of office staff, etc.

Traffic: If you are unfamiliar with an area’s traffic paterns, this one can kill you. Don’t forget to factor in rush hour and lunch hour traffic when traveling to/from locations.*

Holidays/Special Events: *Ever try and shoot on Thanksgiving? Make sure you check into other things like federal holidays, parades, seasonal decorations, etc. which can make or break street scene shots.

Noise pollution: It’s impossible to plan for everything: airplanes, lawnmowers or construction. Try and ask ‘offenders’ to take a break, it works!

*Weather: *Anything shot outside can be effected by normal/or abnormal weather, as well as travel.

KEY TAKE-AWAY: Plan for the unexpected: *This is the key take-away, don’t fill your schedule so full that you don’t have time in reserve to adjust for the unexpected, which almost always pops up. I hope these tips help your next production go smoothly!*

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Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

Good luck!

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice

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