Monday 7 July 2014

Pre-Production on a shoot ( the basics )

Before we start I am going to say this is a mammoth topic, and so I wont cover anything like everything here, but I will cover the main points. A good base, good practice. 

So you have got someone interested in sorting a shoot with you. Amazing, now you have the work secured its time to put the age old saying of "fail to plan and your planning to fail" into action.

Getting work is the easier part of the puzzle, its getting repeat business that's the key thing, and that rests on doing a good job. You are only as good as your last job. With that in mind some pre planning on shoots is essential, but making sure you do it right saves a load of head aches on the big day.

Do your research on the client

If you didn't pitch for the job ( in which case this will have come while putting the pitch together ) and they approached you, do some home work. See who their clients are, what their markets are and there existing branding.Then work out how you can match what they are going to be expecting, and go one better.

The Pitch document for Antidote. A well put together, professional pitch with relevant information on why it will help their company is a big help landing work.

Plan locations 

The internet really is amazing for this step. Get on Google images, see what the place they have in mind looks like, get a rough idea in your head of the kind of stuff you will be shooting. Check it out on Google earth, see if there is anything else worth bringing into the shoot near by etc. If they let you have input on the location this refers back to step one, talk to people you know who have done stuff you admire, and aim high. Maybe not a two week trip to Nepal, but a few days in say Snowdonia instead of the local park might be worth pitching, if you can sell the benefits of doing so to the client.

You have everything from roads, directions, contours, paths etc You can see where is wooded, where is open and it gives you loads of photos from the ground from lots of places, even out in the middle of the mountains... god bless the internet.
Prepare the gear 

Its just plain common sense but we have all made the mistakes. Make sure all batteries are fully charged, all the cards are in their case, lens's and sensors are cleaned, tripods etc are sorted, if you need a car/bike etc to get about make sure that's good to go etc. All small things but if you rock up to a shoot and realize that SD card is still in your laptop, or the sensor needs cleaning and your now on top of a mountain, its less than ideal.

Call sheets 

Now these are not needed for all shoots, mostly just the ones that include a fair few people and locations etc. If the shoot has any more than 4 people involved it is always useful though.
Include simple stuff and then email it round to everyone on the shoot and print off a few copies and bring them along.

Names, Emails, Phone numbers, Where they are coming from, How they are getting to the shoot, Postcodes and addresses for meeting places and locations, maps, info on local petrol stations, food stops, maybe a breif description of the shoot etc

A little look at a few bits of the call sheets we get for shooting the EWS for DirtTV. There are other pages with everyone's contact info, details of accommodation, maps etc etc but it is a big help to have all the useful info in one place.

If you do all that and do it well, you will be setting yourself up for the least stress full time while actually shooting as you can. Things will still go wrong, and not to plan and that's where experience comes into play, and the only way of getting that is to jump in at the deep end.

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Sandell10 July 2014 at 21:20

    Cheers Jacob man! pretty useful stuff!