Business Runnymede is a part of the council tasked with supporting the business community so as to help the local economy. Part of this is around inward investment – essentially attracting large national and global organisations to relocate or set up premises in the borough.
To help with this they wanted to create a compelling video that highlighted all of the great things that would encourage businesses to do it. The team there had some ideas on what they wanted to achieve and what needed to feature in the edit, but relied on us to craft the structure and key messages. But how do you film an entire borough council in two days? With careful planning, great communication and plenty of snacks.
Watch the finished video below:
This kind of video promotional video is perfect for any large corporate that has offices across multiple locations, a regional or national tourist board, or any other public sector body looking to drive inward investment.
It’s not all about creativity with video production
An essential and less glamorous aspect of any video production is the planning and logistics. We needed to film 16 different locations around an area of 78km² in just two days, so it was critical to map out a route that maximised our time and efficiency. Our contacts within Runnymede borough council reached out to businesses and private locations that we planned to shoot at to gain the relevant permissions and arranged points of contact at each location. With such a diverse range of locations to accommodate this was no mean feat! Locations included a secure lab at Royal Holloway University, a board room at a global IT company, a canal bridge, several business parks, a logistics company, and a building site!
8 things to consider when filming a corporate video across multiple locations
- Storyboarding – The storyboard is a crucial stage of pre-production as it outlines what exactly is being filmed and what message it communicates for the both client and the crew. It’s the stage to make changes and experiment with ideas before finalising and locking down the details so that a shot list and production schedule can be formulated. It will denote exactly how many locations will be required and what shots at each site. But with a production like this there has to be flexibility as there isn’t usually to budget to travel to every location and do a recce first, so the creative elements of the storyboarding are usually done on-site, on the fly!
- Multiple locations – You have to really think about how filming in lots of places will affect the budget because of the time required for this. How long will the crew have at each location? How long will it take to get there? Does the route planned allow for maximum efficiency? What are the traffic conditions like at the time you plan to change location? Obviously you can’t legislate for everything, but try and have a contingency in place.
- Drone footage – Aerial footage looks great for big outdoor spaces and architecture, but there are many things to consider when planning for flying a drone. Firstly, you need a licensed drone operator, who has the correct qualification and insurance for capturing aerial drone footage. Additionally, the drone operator will also need permission from the ground owners where they are taking off and landing, permission from local airports/air fields to be in the airspace and clearance from insurers if they are flying near to or over busy motorways. There needs to be risk assessments created and submitted and on the day of the shoot, the drone can only take off from an area 50m clear of any buildings or people. You also need to consider flight time, as a battery will usually allow up to 40 minutes flight time before needing a re-charge, which will be reduced if there are high winds. There is one obvious thing to consider too – the weather. Your drone footage will be much nicer with clear, blue skies, but if you have to change the date for the weather at short notice, you need to go through all the previous elements all over again!
- Permissions – Do you have permission to film at the location? Is it publicly or privately owned? If you are going to set up a camera on a tripod, you need to gain permission to film. If the location it is publicly owned you need to apply to the relevant local authority for permission. If it is a public space is there a realistic expectation from the people there that they might be filmed? If not you may need to get consent forms signed by the people in the public space.
- Parking – Boring but necessary, especially when heavy and bulky camera equipment is involved! Is there parking at the location and has it been reserved for the crew? Precious time can be wasted looking for a spot to stop which could have been used more effectively for setup and filming.
- Set-up and pack down time – Have you planned enough time for setting up and packing down camera equipment at each location? With every change of location there might be a different kit requirement, as well as general maintenance such as battery and card changes.
- Exterior – Do you want an outside location? Have you considered the weather? We are always subject to the great British summer, which can throw anything at you! If it’s important to have a sunny day what is the contingency plan? If it’s raining, is it safe to use the kit?
- Interior – If you are filming indoors, is there a room booked? Can the kit be left in a secure location? Is there a contact at the location who can meet and take you to the room? Is the lighting good? Is there enough space in the room for all the crew and kit? Is there noisy air conditioning that can be switched off?
This list gives you a glimpse into the preproduction stages of a location shoot, and how it can easily become a logistical nightmare! Luckily we know what we’re doing and can help clients with all the stages to make the project a big success.