Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn

Five Tips for Better Pre-Production in Your Video Projects

Even after working professionally in video for more than 10 years, I'm still finding ways to improve my studio's approach to preproduction. Here are some practical tips that I've learned from past experiences that have made my crew better at the process.

4. Avoid Day-of Pitfalls

The day has finally arrived, and it’s time to shoot your video. Assuming that you’ve got your gear, crew, and client ready, I wanted to share some things that have slowed down our production days, in the hope that they will help you avoid these pitfalls.

Get familiar with your local department of transportation office. Many of them have websites or social media channels like Twitter where they share current road closures, accidents, and detours around your location (Figure 4, below).

Figure 4. Be aware of road closures or other potential delays before leaving your house or studio for a shoot.

Working in New York City for many years, we’ve learned the hard way that these things can delay clients, crew members, and deliveries. Overall, they throw a wrench into your production schedule. Simply knowing and sharing these things with your client and crew can keep you on pace for a smooth shoot.

Some other simple, yet practical, items to share are forecasts, bathroom locations, wardrobe requirements, and break times. All of these can and will slow you down if not planned for ahead of time.

5. Know When and Where Your Light Will Be

One final tool that I like to use for the day of is a sun tracker app called Sun Seeker. There are other tools similar to this, but I’m a big fan of the 3D view that works with your phone’s camera to take photos on location and inform you how the sunlight is going to travel (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Sun Seeker will help you identify the best shooting times for your location on a given day.

These are things I’ll share and discuss with my crew when planning lighting and creating a production schedule. This information also comes in handy for capturing sunsets, sunrises, and time-laps shots.

There are several ways to approach preproduction, but at the end of the day, it never hurts to overplan for a shoot. Take these tips and add to them your preproduction checklist so that you can have the best shoot possible.