Video “Shoot Day” is Here! How to Maximize Your Big Day

Shoot Day” is just what it sounds like – the day when the cameras, crew, actors and everyone else involved shows up to actually film your video. While your video team strive for a seamless experience on-set, that is because they are professionals who do this every day and can make it look easy.

You, as a client however, may or may not have ever done this before, and might not be aware that you can play a role in making your Shoot Day incredibly productive – or not.

How Long is a Shoot Day?

What’s included in a shoot day? When you're making a corporate video, it's important to know how things in our industry work. You are going to be getting either a half day or a full day shoot and will be billed accordingly. Video teams don't work by the hour, because the logistics required to put together the equipment, travel to the shoot, set-up, break-down, etc. require at least a half day of work. However, you should note that in some markets the half day option doesn't exist. Even if you only want to make a one-hour video, you are going to pay for a full day of shooting because the people coming to shoot for you won’t be able to book other shoots on that same day. With regards to actual time, for a corporate video, you should expect a half day to be five hours and a full day to be ten hours.

Why Aren’t the Cameras Rolling Yet?

What does that mean? What does that include for you? There is a lot to think through, much of it BEFORE Shoot Day. In many cases, your crew may have already visited the location to plan shots, identify potential problems, or stage things to improve the video. Even with that, on Shoot Day your crew won’t be shooting for the full amount of time. Setting up takes thought and planning, and there are sure to also be changes on the fly. How long is it going to take to get the lights, cameras, teleprompter, and all other equipment dialed-in for your shoot? Lighting can take a long time to perfect, so make sure you're having conversations about that with your production team. After set-up, the crew will need to do some testing with the talent on-camera, including refining their lighting, hooking up their audio, and making sure everything is working to create a picture of excellence.

All Set-Up? Great, Let’s Take a Break…

So now we are ready to record, but your crew has been working since the wee hours of the morning, so they're going to need to break for a meal or a quick snack. If you have a half-day shoot, you are less likely to need a big break, but if you have a full day shoot, there needs to be a meal break of at least 30 minutes. Video production teams are famously durable and can easily work a full day on their feet while forgetting to take a break, but ensuring they get one is going to help your crew refresh and perform better. So, with your break finished, it is now time to record again. But…sometimes during a 30-minute break, things change (i.e., natural lighting changes with time-of-day, perhaps someone moved a prop, or maybe someone tripped over a cord). The crew will first retest the set-up to ensure you can resume with the same quality and consistency. And then at the end of the day, you also need to plan time for your crew to breakdown the set, pack up,and get out of the building.

How to Budget the Time in Your Space

If your video team has booked studio space for you, you will have a block of time. If the shoot goes over that allotment, there will be a fee for overages. So, what's a realistic way to budget your time? In a half-day shoot, with a really simple set up, you can expect up to three hours of recording (out of five). In a full-day scenario, you can expect up to seven hours of recording (out of ten), or six if the setup and lighting are more complex. What if you only have an hour of content to shoot? Keep in mind that if you are going to pay for a half-day shoot anyway, get the most bang for your buck by having a plan to shoot some additional content that you can use later. Plan ahead with your video team to draft up an additional script and another bonus shot-list. For example, if you are doing a demo video with someone introducing a product, do another set of shots with close-ups of the product and its features which can be edited later into another video for use in something like a product tour. All the extra shots can be used at a later date and edited into another fresh video or generate some still shots for your website too.

Be a Patient Planner

So while you have hired a team of pros to do your video with you, try your best to maximize the benefit you get from their work by planning ahead. Map the time over the day, review the script and shot list with your team, build additional scripts and shot lists if you have extra time, and plan for a lot of waiting. Planning ahead and practicing patience on shoot day will make all the difference.

And, bring snacks!

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Redmond, Washington