Ten things to do before a video shoot

The actual production of your video, that’s when we arrive on site with all the production equipment, is step 4 in the Square Daisy video process. Even with all the thought and planning that has gone into the creation of your video to this point, it’s not just a case of turning up on site and capturing the footage that’s required.

To make sure that the production stage goes as smoothly as possible, the day of the shoot needs to be carefully planned too. This will ensure that every minute on site is used efficiently, saving money, time and providing the best footage for the edits.

10 points to check prior to the video shoot

1. Shot list

Make sure that you have a shot list in place so you can get the right footage for the edit.

This means that on the day the focus is all about setting up the best shots to get that content, rather than rushing around trying to remember what it was we needed to film. It maintains focus, eliminates wasted time, protects the budget and generates the best output.

2. Security passes

If you need to set up security passes or get approval to film in certain areas, make sure this is sorted well in advance. Completing forms and gaining signatures can take longer than you imagine.

3. Parking

Parking can sometimes be tricky. If your video is at a client location (like a case study for example) check that there is parking at the location and it is booked. If there isn’t, where is the nearest parking, how much is it, is there a height restriction (we drive a truck for example to carry all the kit), what are the opening times, how far is it from the location and does it need to be booked? You wouldn’t believe how many thousands of pounds of wasted shoot time is spent trying to park.

4. Unloading equipment

Still on the subject of parking, it makes a huge difference to the start of the day if the crew know where they can unload equipment and what time they can start doing this.

Whilst we love looking at our health app at the end of the day to see if we’ve reached the magical 10,000 steps, we’d rather not gain them through having to walk miles to unload equipment. The closer to where the filming is taking place the happier a crew is, and the more time spent filming rather than keeping fit!

Obviously, we understand that some locations don’t make this achievable. In that case we won’t feel so guilty as we munch on a chocolate bar!

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5. Contact details

Have all contact details to hand for the people who will be filming on the day. Make sure they have yours too.

Being in constant contact avoids wasting time trying to find each other if there is an issue to be discussed and resolved.

6. Weather

Our Great British weather can put a spanner in the works.

If you are filming outside, have a contingency plan. If the weather forecast looks as though it’s going to pose a problem, is there a contingency to postpone the shoot at short notice and will it incur financial penalties?

Don’t just hope it will be okay on the day; scenario plan so that you know exactly what your options are.

7. Brief staff

If your staff are taking part in the video, make sure they are well prepared beforehand.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen much time wasted when people have to be coaxed into being on camera. Nerves and reticence can make people do silly things or mess around, which only wastes valuable time.

In addition to what they are expected to say or do on camera, it’s helpful to provide a heads up on what to wear to ensure that they fit in with the overall feel of the video.

You may decide that hiring a model is the right solution. If so, make sure that security passes and release forms are completed and signed.

8. Have a storyboard in place

Creating a storyboard is step 2 in the Square Daisy video process. The storyboard tells you what the edits should look like before a camera is even turned on.

This stage helps to identify any issues that could come up during production and allows us to rectify them prior to the shoot.

Of course, it’s not always possible to say if something is going to work or not. In this case, we suggest you have a contingency in place. This will avoid having a big hole in your production, but the crew should have a good idea what is achievable and what is a luxury.

9. Timescales for final edit

It’s natural to be excited and curious and want to see the results of filming as soon as possible.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done before your video is finished.

To make sure all expectations are aligned, and deadlines don’t slip, agree on the timescale for getting the final edit back and make sure you stick to those deadlines. The production company will have other projects on the go, so like a take-off-slot at Heathrow – miss it and you will have to wait for the next available space.

10. Rigorous planning for the video shoot day avoids extra costs and wasted time

It ensures you end up with the right shots for the edit and the very best outcome for your video.

We’re realistic and, like any good agency, can adapt and adjust where required, but we do suggest that you use this 10-point check list to make sure everything goes to plan on the day.


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