There’s a lot that goes into video shoots; from conceptualising the ideas, to planning the concept and each frame of the video, writing a script, organising a location, team and cast, ensuring that videographers have all the equipment they need for the video shoot, all the logistics such as timing and food, and more. There’s a lot that can go wrong if you haven’t organised and planned for the video shoot beforehand.
Fear not because, I’ve put together three easily-avoidable ways in which a shoot can go wrong, as well as ways to overcome this to help ensure your video shoot goes to plan on the day.
1. A Lack of Preparation
Like with most things, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Sounds cliché but from the general video shoot concept to the smallest, most specific of details, preparation is key. And I mean, key! At Cincera, we usually take most of the workload off our clients when it comes to production and logistical preparation, for example, things such as filming gear, the script, location, even clothing suggestions. This is usually to take the stress of our client or the rest of the team we’re working with.
But, when actors – or in the case of commercial video shoots, clients, haven’t rehearsed, or even looked at the script this, as you can imagine, is the easiest way to hold a shoot up (I speak from experience)! Not only is it frustrating for everyone on the team, it is likely to take more time whilst the actor reads, memorises and delivers their lines, it is also likely to increase production costs. Also, a lack of preparation comes across in the video, where delivery isn’t as strong and confident. Whilst we ensure we have the script on a cue board for our actors, a lack of preparation can look like simply reading off the cueboard on screen, which can look wooden and compromise professionalism.
Each member of the team has a pivotal part to play, and if you’re camera facing and haven’t done your part, well, that defeats the point of the video shoot altogether. The easiest way to overcome this is by simply reading the script, and learning your lines prior to filming.
We recommend our actors and clients to have a review of the script upon receiving it, and begin learning and memorising it section by section. The more familiar you are with the words in front of you, the more at ease you are likely to be and therefore confident on screen. It’ll also save a lot of time, aggro and embarrassment!
2. Lack of Adequate Equipment
Many brands take on video shoots in-house which can be a lot more cost-effective. However, it can also go horribly wrong as there is a lot more to consider in production than meets the eye. Often when a production team is compromised, as is the quality of the end result.
If you’re taking on the video shoot by yourself, make sure you’re educated on what needs to be done from start to finish. This includes the planning of each scene and frame, the adequate filming material such as a high quality camera, lighting and sound – if it’s not within your budget to buy these outright, you are able to hire them. Ensure you write a watertight script, and your cast are fully prepared, I’d also recommend familiarising yourself with the post-production process which involves adding music and colour correcting. At Cincera, we also run DIY video workshops to assist you in familiarising yourself with the video shoot and production process.
Also, depending on the purpose of the video, your smartphone, paired with a good video editing app can produce a great video. I wouldn’t recommend going DIY for a company promotional video, but for social media videos, this can be great!
If you’re enlisting professionals to put together the shoot, ensure they are aware of the surroundings where they’ll be shooting, if they haven’t seen the location in person it is worth taking a photo and video of the location and sending it to them beforehand so that they can get an understanding of the environment, lighting etc. Also, sounds obvious but make sure they have the correct kit for your needs!
3. Lack of Energy
It is not untypical for shoots to start off on a high; the whole team is excited and raring to go, the set is ready, the cast is prepared, and off you go! But, as the day goes on, and fatigue kicks in, the excitement and enthusiasm fast fades.
A lack of energy sounds, almost silly, when listed as something that could go wrong but the low energy comes across on camera and in production. It can also have a knock on effect on the team you’re working with. This is often the case on video shoots where filming takes place over a long day or even video shoots which are more than two days long. To keep morale up, maybe arrange a catered lunch or snacks and drinks as well as a good music playlist to keep the whole team going. There’s nothing more exciting than cake and coffee on set when motivation is dropping!
Also, from experience, we’ve had clients who come onto set with a “let’s get it over and done with” mindset, and the urgency to get the video shot also shows through. From the outset, don’t go into the video shoot rushing to get it completed – remember, this is just as much a part of your brand as a normal day of work – if anything, it’s actually more important, as the video is likely to reflect your brand even out of hours. I’d recommend making a day of it, and immersing yourself entirely – allow yourself to be a star for the day!
So there we have it, three ways in which video shoots can go wrong very easily; a lack of planning, a lack of correct equipment and a lack of energy. By overcoming these three potential challenges it will be more likely to ensure a smoother shoot process, better delivery and as a result better engagement for your video.
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