How to prepare for a video shoot – Tips for location, wardrobe and more

November 23, 2018
Are you planning a business video shoot for your brand? First of all, congratulations! Video is the best way for you to communicate with your audience, and the whole process is far easier and less intimidating than you may think. So, you’ve got your script, you’ve sorted out who is willing to speak on camera, you’ve allocated a day or two for filming, and you’ve got all of your equipment ready to go (at Shootsta, we make that part super easy). Basically, you’re well on your way to a well-prepared video shoot. But what else do you need to think about before the big day? Here are our top 3 tips:

1. Choose Your Location Wisely

The best filming locations are those that will put your viewers at ease. You can use a room in your office or you can shoot in a quiet outdoor location. Try to avoid overly clinical surroundings, though, as these can appear formal and stifling. What you want is:
  • A location that is calming and uplifting
  • Little clutter, as this will distract your viewers
  • A location (and props, if desired) that reflect your brand
If possible, opt for a long, deep room, because this will allow you to use shallow depth of field – which provides contrast between the subject (the person talking, who is in focus) and the background (which is soft and out of focus). In terms of lighting, natural lighting from big windows is great for promoting a natural, relaxed appearance. Try to avoid overhead fluorescent lights or anything that sits directly above the subject (as these will cast unflattering shadows). On camera, a less bright, naturally lit room will appear better than a brighter room lit with artificial lights – just make sure you’re facing that natural light. The room you choose should be quiet on your shooting day/s, so you won’t be interrupted by ringing phones, traffic, noisy air vents, people upstairs, or any other sounds that could interfere with your audio. We recommend you spend some time in your filming location at the time of day you will be filming, so you can gauge how loud it will actually be when you start shooting!

2. Plan Your Wardrobe

Something else you need to consider is wardrobe; the last thing you want is a panicked call from talent on the day, beginning with the dreaded, “Oh no, what do I wear?!?”. The main goal is to ensure your cast wears clothing that’s professional, camera-friendly and representative of your business. Wardrobe items that trigger brand recognition through colours or uniform may also be important, from a consistency and messaging perspective in your digital strategy. Try to avoid clothes that are too visually distracting (i.e. garments with patterns, fine lines or writing), as this may create distortion on camera. Solid colours tend to work best, but try to avoid high-contrast pairings (like a bright white shirt with red trousers). Make sure the clothing fits well, and is ironed or steamed. Also, make sure your talent knows how much of them will appear on camera – just their torso? Their whole body? This will help guide their outfit. In terms of makeup and grooming, some powder on the face is great for preventing shine or redness, and hairspray can be used to combat pesky flyaway hairs.

3. Be Organised – Be Very, Very Organised

The most important part of preparing for a stress-free video shoot is being organised. Make sure you create lists for anything and everything you’ll need on the day, and prepare as much as you can in the week/s before your shoot. Here are our tips:
  1. Make sure all of your equipment is charged, and have spare batteries
  2. Ensure all your paperwork (including release forms for talent and film permits for public places) is ready
  3. Have organisational supplies on the day – pens, paper etc.
  4. Print out numerous copies of the script
  5. Give all cast and crew members a run sheet (which tells them when they need to arrive on set), and also a contact sheet (which contains the emails / numbers of all participants)
  6. Make sure your camera SD cards are clear, and that you have backups
  7. Double check all equipment is functional
  8. Carefully pack props and clothing (according to the lists you wrote) so you don’t forget anything
  9. Have some cash handy for coffee / food runs and emergencies
  10. Ensure talent and crew members know when and where they need to be, and what they need to prepare ahead of time
  11. If you are shooting at your office, make sure all staff are aware, so they can reduce environmental noise
  12. Create a shooting schedule – you don’t need to stick to it religiously, but knowing which scenes to shoot and in what order when will definitely come in handy!
Love all this? Learn more and watch our on-demand recording of ‘How to present on Camera’.
Our #1 tip: Don’t leave the prep until the night before! You don’t want to be stressed and sleep-deprived when you’re filming – a shoot should be exciting, and an experience that both your talent and crew will enjoy, remember, and want to take part in again! Overall, the most important thing you can do is prepare as much as you can ahead of time, and then try and relax. A video shoot is a fun challenge, that’s sure to bring your employees together and take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Interested in simple, fast and effective video? Shootsta can help

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