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Getting some Action: How to Prepare for a seamless video shoot

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Robert Sharp & Associates has been in the video game since our humble beginnings over thirty years ago. Since we’ve been in business almost everything about the way we film and edit video has changed. From the cameras, we use to the editing software, audio capabilities, and more! In fact, we remember the days we had to record on tapes and reels instead of SD Cards! However, there is one thing that has always remained the same and that is how to successfully prepare and organize for a video shoot.

Whether you work as a videographer for an agency or business or do freelance work, understanding how to effectively organize and prepare for a photo or video shoot is a must. Shoot days can have many moving parts including talent, weather, daylight, locations, etc. Failing to prepare for a video shoot and map things out ahead will lead to a stressful day and you may even risk not capturing all your necessary assets.

Step 1: Create a Storyboard for your project

A storyboard is a graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. Storyboards are a helpful way to visualize your end product and then work back to determine all the elements you’ll need. Storyboards help determine who you need for talent, where you will be shooting, what will be happening in each scene, and if there will be any audio. Another great thing about actually drawing out your storyboard is that you can share your vision with others.

Step 2: Review the Script

If you are working on a project that involves a script of any kind, make sure you are familiar with it before the actual day of filming. Familiarizing yourself with the script will help you have a better understanding of timing, what shots should be captured, and any information you may want to pull out in post-production. If you are going to be conducting any interviews as part of your shoot, make sure to have a list of thoughtful interview questions made up ahead of time. Think about what your project is about, and then craft your interview questions accordingly.

Step 3: Find and Coordinate with Talent

As soon as you have an idea of what kind of people you will need in your photo/video shoot you should immediately start reaching out to talent. Work with your client to determine what they are willing to pay for talent or if they are going to find their own. Oftentimes people may reach out to family and friends to pose as talent, or you can use a professional casting service. Make sure to give your talent plenty of notice for a shoot. Instruct them on what you would like them to wear, how to do their hair, makeup, etc. Make sure to follow up with them leading up to the shoot to make sure they are still able to make it.

 Make sure to have all your talent sign some sort of talent release form. This protects you from having to reshoot if one of your talents decides they don’t want you to use their photos. 

 Step 4: Develop a Comprehensive shot list

A shot list is essentially a road map to your video/photoshoot. It outlines all the photos you need to capture. Shot lists ensure your production days run smoothly and stay on schedule. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog article that outlines how to plan and create a shot list.

Step 5: Take Direction

Many freelance videographers prefer to direct their own shoots which is fine for those who have confidence in taking charge and directing a room. However, when dealing with a large-scale production involving many moving parts, it may be beneficial to have a separate director from the person actually filming. This allows the videographer to focus on their work, while the director aids them in creating the scene. It can often be difficult to stay on track and on time during video shoots, so having a director there can help keep things moving.

When it comes to video shoots this age-old adage rings true, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Without a clear plan in place, it will be nearly impossible to capture all the necessary shots within your allotted time frame and budget.

If all this sounds like a little too much for you give Robert Sharp & Associates a call at (605)341-5226. Our team will handle everything from conception to the creation of your final product, taking all the hassle off of you and your team

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