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Five "To-Do's" to Keep Your Shoot On Schedule

"How much for for just an hour shoot?" Video professionals field this question often. The reality is, there's just not much we do that only takes 'an hour.' When planning out your professional production, it's important to have realistic expectations for the time it takes to create high quality content. In this article I'm going to explain how taking a little extra time in the day can achieve better results, save you money, and yes...actually save you time!

video production producers working to have a plan of action for the video shoot
Cast and crew taking time to discuss the next scene and block out the action.

Remember, don't tell your video producer how long they have,

ask them how long they will need.

If an hour is all you truly have to get that moment on video, then hiring a pro is still your best bet. Only a professional is going to reliably capture what you need with decent image and sound in that small window of time. It won't be as good as it could be, but it will get done. But if the goal is to craft a production that has all the elements you'd expect from a professionally produced video, then working with your video producer to determine the time needed for your production and setting a schedule for the day that can accomplish what is required is what's most important.

We have a saying, "hurry creates scurry...scurry creates mistakes."

Remember, don't tell your video production pro how long they have, ask them how long they will need. They are the pros, if they are experienced professionals they have done this hundreds of times and can help you set the pace of the day. Looking at the day's schedule from their perspective will ensure nobody is rushing around and getting exasperated and falling behind schedule. We have a saying, "hurry creates scurry...scurry creates mistakes." "When people hurry they aren't comfortable, when they aren't comfortable they forget things and make mistakes. This happens both in front of the camera and behind the lens. The overall goal is to record everything you need and get some extra content too! If you are rushing through that process in the interest of "saving time", it's going to short the production in the end. This should never be a race to get it all done.

Have a solid plan and leave some breathing room in the day to get to the next location, set up equipment, and get multiple takes.

Look at these two rough outlines for the day's shoot. Sure, the plan with the "X" looks great, but it's not feasible. I mean, we can do that with no lights, no mic, and an iPhone...but is that why you are here reading this article? In actuality, plan "X" is really going to take all day but now you are behind schedule and rushing to make up for lost time. Now the "√" schedule is far more feasible and realistic. With the "√" plan there's time left in the day for moving to locations and even stopping for lunch. Believe me, a lunch break is ALWAYS a good idea. Besides giving the talent and crew energy for the rest of the day, it's a way to bring the stress level down and talk over what you've shot and what you need to still capture. It's a little break in the action to reset everything.

Videographer shoiting with Canon C300MKII for a news promo
When everyone is on the same page and has the time to be creative, things go smoothly and faster than if you try to rush the process along.

Often video on your website or social media is your future client or customer's best impression of what your company is all about.

"We will wing it!" is an option, but it's never a great plan. The result of not picking out the right locations and blocking out specific times in the day will likely mean re-shooting scenes later or finding ways in the editing process to 'make it work.' Remember your organization's image is important. Often video on your website or social media is your future client or customer's best impression of what your company is all about. If you are working with the CEO of your brand or your company's clients are part of your shoot, it's becomes even more important to have things under control. If you are a marketing director for a company, then the emphasis to get this done right becomes super important for you. You can't 'wish' a tight schedule into existence, it's like trying to stuff a week long trip worth of clothing into an overnight just won't get everything to fit in there. So what can you do to make sure things go smoothly and your shoot's goals are met?

Here are 5 things you can do to make

sure your shoot stays on schedule:

  • Tell your video pro what you want to do and how you want it to look, then ask them to determine how long they think each portion of the shoot will take.

  • Scout out locations with your video pro or send photos of the locations you think would work best for the shoot. This helps your pro determine what equipment they'll need and which angles to shoot from.

  • You can't teleport from location to location. Add in enough time to tear down and set up for each location you are shooting in.

  • Build in break time for lunch or just to stop down and reassess the day. This becomes flex time if talent is late or if some parts of the shoot go longer. It also gives extra time to capture more content when you see things your forgot to include.

  • Elect a time-manager and don't let others pressure you to hurry. It just takes what it takes to do it right. In the end nobody is going to remember the time it took to shoot the video, but the video lasts forever and you'll have to see it it's important to take the time to make it perfect.

Videographer shooting with Canon R5 on slider
Having time to try new angles can make all the difference in capturing footage that really resonates with the intended audience for your video.

It's our belief that when everyone on-set has a good vibe, things work efficiently and people perform at their best.

A video shoot isn't at all like it's portrayed in the movies. With Lunarvue Media, there's no stressed out beret wearing director yelling, "CUT!!!" And we never get upset if you don't like our ideas and want to try something new. We have decades of experience to bring to our shoots. Our goal is to collaborate with you and help manage the day. We want everyone relaxed, comfortable, and having a good time. It's our belief that when everyone on-set has a good vibe, things work well and people perform at their best. When that happens, we get a lot captured in a day (likely more than you'd expect) and because there was never an unrealistic expectation of an expedient schedule, we wrap on-time and on budget. Doing it right the first time is what we want to do too. I've seen rush-jobs turn into two or three day shoots and that costs more in the end. Taking the time to do it right yields better results and saves you time and money.

Canon C300MKII on set for marketing video production shoot
Having great equipment is important, but having experience and the know-how to get things done and work on schedule is more important.


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