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Are you considering a video shoot for your small business?
Whether you’re doing it yourself with some mates on the weekend or hiring a professional production company or videographer to create your video, check out our Small Business Video Shoot A-Z to make your video shoot run smoothly!
A. Actors – Who will feature in your video? Will you be taking a starring role in your video production as the “face” of the company? Will you be featuring customers giving testimonials? Are you dramatising a “day-in-the-life” of your ideal customer or doing a fashion shoot with your latest range? Think about how you will source the talent for your video shoot. Model agencies, school moms, business connections, clients or random people off the street can all work but you have to know what you want.
B. Branding – Will you feature extra branding/signage on the shoot day? Do you have t-shirts with logos to wear? Banners to place in the background? How much branding do you want the video to feature? (see: Equipment)
C. Catering – Will you need to feed everybody? How long will your shoot be? What time of day is it? It always pays to keep your cast and crew decently fed. Water and snacks are always happily received on a shoot day. (see: Jolly)
D. Daylight – What kind of light does your shoot require? Are you filming outside in the bright daylight? Consider umbrellas & extra shade. Are you filming at “magic hour” in the gorgeous yellow sunlight that comes in at an angle at sunrise and sunset? Be wary that you have limited time with his light! What time does the sun rise & set on shoot day and will this influence the images you are trying to capture?
E. Equipment – The production crew will come with their own video equipment (cameras, tripods, lighting, audio and more) but what (if any) equipment do you need to supply on the day? If your business makes things or provides a service ensure your equipment is working! If you’re filming offsite make sure you pack every little bit of equipment you might need to make your video shoot a success, and pack your banners. (see: Keys)
F. Footage/Files – How are you going to deal with the finished files from shoot day? Will you take them home? Does the cameraman hand them over to the editor? Make sure your footage & files are safe at all times, you just expended serious effort to make them!
G. Grounded. Keep everyone on solid ground. Nobody’s a movie star, nobody should be acting the diva. Nobody will die if one of one shot doesn’t come off JUST RIGHT. Yes, you’ve invested time and money in this thing, but you are not curing cancer. Keep it real.
H. Hand-Held. What kind of camerawork do you want? Talk to your director/producer/cameraman early on to establish the style of your shoot. Hand held and “natural”, or solidly on a tripod? Do you need any sliders for camera motion? Discuss.
I. Imagination – Bring some to shoot day! Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the footage you’re shooting becoming a final polished video. Use some imagination and ask questions of your production crew to help you envisage the final product.
J. Jolly – Sometimes on set if the shoot has been going on a while and energy is flagging, you may need to step up and give everyone a jolly-along. A bag of snacks? A coffee-run? A change of script if someone is struggling? Think about how to get around problems and be a problem solver.
K. Keys – This is no joke: who has the keys? Wherever you are shooting, think about each aspect of the video shoot in relation to the keys… If you are shooting in any kind building or you need a vehicle to move between locations access is everything - make sure you have the keys! (see: Locations)
L. Locations – Where will you shoot? At your office, in a park, in a studio? Will you pay them or offer product placement in return for the location? If you’re planning on travelling between locations factor in travel time and parking into your schedule. (see: Permissions)
M. Makeup – Will your onscreen talent need makeup? Will they do it themselves or will you supply a professional? Do you want full make up or the natural look? Be specific or you might get a surprise on the day. (see: Actors)
N. No – Speak up on the day. It’s your video. If you don’t like a take, ask to do it again. If you don’t like the way something is being done, say so. Conversely, listen to the reasons your crew provide if they have to answer “no” to one of your requests. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone has the capacity to be reasonable! (see: Options)
O. Options – Sometimes it’s hard to say which thing will look better/sound better, so if you have time, you can try it both ways. Better to capture your options on shoot day than discover later that you don’t have what you need. Within reason!
P. Permissions – Will you need to get any additional permissions for your shoot? From other suppliers or retailers of your product? From the location where you’re filming? Sorting these out in advance will greatly decrease everyone’s blood pressure on the day. (see: Branding)
Q. Quality/Quantity. Nail this down early… Do you want amazing quality video or lots of video? Budget? This will influence everything about your shoot, so decide how you will use your video (and therefore which of the quality/quantity side you're on) early on.
R. Read – Before you finalise the script, read it out loud! You read it, give it to your partner/brother/mother for them to read it. Record yourself reading out loud. If it sounds dodgy or unnatural in any way, reword it so it comes out of your mouth sounding natural (or if it’s technical, at least not tongue tied!) (see:VoiceOver)
S. Script – Who will write this? Will you as the business owner/expert write this? Do you want the director/producer to write it? Collaborate? One writes, the other edits? Scripts are the basis for your whole shoot – but keep in mind that things happen on the day that might require some flexibility around the content of the script, keep on message and don’t get bogged down in the precise wording. Pick your battles! (see: Read)
T. Transport – How is everyone getting to the shoot location? If they don’t drive, consider who they are and how important it is to get them there on time and consider providing transportation. (see: Keys)
U. Underwater. Who doesn’t need an underwater shoot?! (Me please: any chance to jump in the water.) Not relevant to all (or indeed many) videos.
V. Voice Over – Don’t forget to capture your voice-overs on the day. If you’re filming a piece-to-camera think about getting the main content in voice over as well as on camera. If you’re doing the voice over separately (ie: professional VO artist in a booth) make sure you capture enough footage on shoot day to cover each aspect of the voice over. (see: Script)
W. Weather – Keep an eye on the forecast. Think about alternatives in the case of extreme weather. Can you move a shoot inside? Can you move it undercover in the same vicinity? Could you change the whole shoot day? How will that impact everyone involved? Get creative. (see: Daylight)
X. eXtras – (cop out, I know) Are you putting together a business overview video that needs some “customers”? Loyal clients or friends and family make great (cost-effective) extras! (see: Actors)
Y. Yelling. Best not to, if you can help it. A calm no-nonsense demeanour on set is worth quite a few decibels. (see: Jolly)
Z. Zonked. How you will be feeling at the end of the shoot day. Zonked, but happy you’ve completed your shoot.
Now… to the edit suite!
Tanith is TIN CAT PRODUCTIONS for all your video requirements...