How to Set Up a Video Shoot

The key to a successful video shoot is preparation. And any video production company you work with will know that. But if you’re planning to shoot some high-quality video for a creative campaign or a client on your own, you need to plan extensively to avoid post-production woes and onset delays. Here are three tips to help your shoot run smoothly and save you time. 

Create a Schedule

Having a schedule will allow you to stay organized throughout the day. Prior to the shoot, make a shot list and plan your filming locations accordingly—right down to the angle. Film all the scenes that take place in the same space so that you can save time on traveling between locations. Work with the director of photography to discuss each shot and how long they will likely take. This will all factor into creating the perfect schedule and ensure that you have allotted the right amount of time. 

Set Up Your Space

Make sure you have an idea of how everything will be set up before talent and crew arrive. Even if it is just you and one other person at the shoot, it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared. If you don’t have time to set up the lights early, try to have a lighting chart so you know where your lights will go. Make sure you know what props and wardrobe are needed and have those ready to go before filming begins. Drawing a blueprint of where each light, prop and person needs to be is really helpful.

Always test your camera, lights, microphone, and other equipment before the shoot. Make sure you have a box with necessary supplies. It will be useful to have these items at a video shoot:

  • Scissors
  • Gaffer’s tape
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Markers
  • Garbage bags
  • Clothes pins
  • Tape measure
  • Wet wipes
  • Laptop
  • Extension cords
  • Toolbox
  • Headphones
  • Notebook and pen

Take Notes

So you’ve set up for the video shoot, but your job isn’t over yet. In order to have a successful shoot, it’s important to stay on top of your plan. Record room tone on the microphone to make editing easier. Use a clapperboard or paper to mark each shot. During the shoot make sure you check each shot. Keep track of everything you’ve filmed and take notes. Was it a good take? Write it down. Was it a bad take? Make a note. This will help later down the line when you start to edit your footage. After filming, make sure that all of the footage and audio is saved, backed up and labled.   

Here at EMB, we do in-office video shoots all the time for our EMBiz series. Need help with your video shoot? We know what we’re doing. Contact us today!

Eryn Pendergast, Executive Assistant
Elevate My Brand

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