The ultimate guide to corporate office shoots
Filming at a corporate office may seem like a breeze. If you’re the video marketing crew, you expect everything you need for a successful shoot is pretty much there. If you’re the client, you may just expect the crew you hired to show up and do their thing. But expectations may fall short if you overlook basic location logistics.
Inevitably you’re going to have a knowledge gap between each other. You may not be familiar with what a film crew needs for a productive shoot. It may be your first visit to your client’s corporate headquarters.
In either case, here’s a handy checklist you both can refer to for a more efficient production day. The first one to mention these points to the other gets a gold star.
Does everyone know a film crew is coming?
The last thing you want to do is disturb the natural order of the workplace. There’s still a business to run. But employees are going to notice there’s a little something different about operations on production day.
The cameras and lights might give it away. So give them a heads up, especially if you want them on camera! Let them know what you’re all trying to achieve. Some employees may even have a great suggestion for content.
Who has the rights to the office building?
If the building is client owned this shouldn’t be an issue. But if the office space you’re filming in is a rented facility you’ll be in for a rude awakening if the landlord decides not to play ball.
Make sure everyone who’s involved with the building’s ownership signs off on your shoot. Don’t wait until the day of to start a contract negotiation with your crew waiting in the parking lot. Speaking of parking lots...
Where do we park?
The CEO and top brass probably have the best parking spots. That’s cool. But depending on the size and scope of your production there may be a lot of gear to wheel into the building.
Don’t make the film crew haul it all from the darkest depths of the parking lot where all the potholes and weeds are. The faster you can get in the door, the faster you can get started making your video.
Where’s our production HQ?
All that gear needs to go somewhere. Have a designated room you can use as a production hub to keep gear organized and away from heavy foot traffic.
The more power outlets, the better. Camera batteries may need to be charged or laptops may need to be powered up, which brings up another often overlooked necessity.
What’s the Wifi password?
No it’s not for Facebook. At least it shouldn’t be. Everybody’s documents are hanging out on ‘the cloud’ these days and you may have to access google docs or look up relevant information. Plus a lot of today’s camera equipment utilizes Wifi for memory storage or other online softwares.
Where’s the bathroom?
Let's be honest, this is the most important checklist item. Over the course of an 8 hour shoot day, nature will probably call.
Make sure anybody who hasn’t been in the building before knows where the restrooms are, including outside guests for interviews. That way, nobody has to play hall monitor.
Are there any power constraints?
This can be an important conversation to have ahead of time depending on what’s being set up for your shoot. Higher end lights requires more power. If you're working with large hot lights (HMIs and tungsten units), double check your power needs and consider renting a generator.
Don’t find out the restrictions of your electric grid by blowing a fuse. That’s a quick way to put your production day to a halt. Not sure how to calculate your power draw? Consult a pro if you can, and check out this handy infographic.
Are there any location constraints?
Before production day there should be a clear plan of attack on where you’ll be setting up for specific shots. But you also need to know what’s off limits before it makes the final edit of your video. Maybe you have trademarked equipment you don’t want competitors to know about. Or you’re working with other companies copyrighted materials under a non-disclosure agreement. In either case, it’s important you communicate where not to point the camera and hit record.
The creative of your video will dictate additional circumstances to prepare for logistically. But sometimes those are the areas of interest that get the most attention while some of the basics fall by the wayside. Answering these basic logistical questions ahead of time will make for a much more efficient production day.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to commit this to memory. Download this free production checklist to keep with you the next time you’re planning you’re next video shoot.
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