Planning a Video / Photo Shoot
You might think that once you have a script, a camera and the actors that you can just start filming. You shouldn't. It will lead to lots of mistakes, lots of wasted time, potentially some injuries and ultimately your film will not look good.
The first step is to develop the storyboard (click here for more details on this). Ideally your storyboard should be detailed enough to have all the shot angles, types and movements. If not, you might want to develop a shot list - literally a list of the shots you are going to take. Note - some video producers work off a detailed script that has all of this information on instead.
Once you have a clear idea of what you are going to film you need to:
- Scout the locations (both indoors and outdoors) . This is called a recce (pronouned rek ee) it should include :
- a risk assessment with a focus on hazards and safety - eg:
- if there is a pond how deep is it, how will you prevent people falling in, how will you make sure the electric wires don't fall in.
- where are cables going to be routed - will they be a trip hazard, how will this be limited (trunking, cable matts, tied to walls etc)
- medical provision
- transport and parking
- Secure the location (indoors or outdoors) - make sure you have access at the times you want and that others don't
- Get a crew together: directors, camera operators, lighting and sound technicians, runners.
- Cast actors or presenters (either professionals or people on your team).
- Organise all equipment - might involve buying or hiring specialist equipment eg a crane or dolly track
- Ensure makeup and costume is present if needed.
- Obtain all necessary licenses and permissions.
- Make contingency plans if anything goes wrong.
- Write the call sheet, or timed plan of filming - eg on this day at this time we will film this shot / sequence
Image - Alnwick Castle (from Harry Potter Films)