Ten tips to choose the best shooting location for your corporate video
February 27, 2014
In the TV & film industry there is an actual job called “Location Scout.” That person finds and secures access to the best filming sites. You may need to be the location scout for your video. Here is what to look for in the best spots for your video:
- Camera Friendly Locations: Consider backgrounds, wall colours and clutter level when choosing a location. An all-beige and grey office may not make the most attractive backdrop for an interview. But do know that the crew can move things around- adding some splashes of light, colour and visual interest to make your location into a more attractive set.
- Size Matters: Small cramped rooms are not ideal shooting spaces. If the camera must be right up in someone’s face, there’s little chance to see any background or throw the background out of focus for an attractive shot. Often, a larger office or room can be a great stand-in to someone’s real work space.
- Light Bright: Crews can deal with any kind of lighting- from dim to bright, fluorescent to natural, industrial arc or mercury – as long as they can turn them off! Be sure it’s possible at your location, as some kinds of lighting are very unflattering to subjects. The crew will want to switch these off so they can paint with their own lights.
- Quiet and Calm: Clean, crisp sound is essential to a professional-sounding video. Try standing in a location for 30 seconds with your eyes closed and you’ll get a true sense of what the room sounds like. Unless you want to hear ringing phones, noisy air vents or nearby industrial machines in the background of your video, chose a quiet location. An alternative is to hold off shooting until after hours, when you can unplug the phones and machines.
- Echo… echo…echo: A big empty space can also pose sound problems. A big concrete room may give echoes and tinny sound. The video’s director can help by scouting the location with you to help decide if the room is suitable.
- You’ve Got the Power: Crews don’t need a lot of power, but they do need access to 110 -120 AC outlets. If the shoot is planned outdoors, be sure there is access to an outlet, or advise the team if not, so they can bring their own generators.
- The Great Outdoors: For exterior locations, avoid sites near constant traffic, airports or any noisy exterior machines. Always check the sound on the site at the time of day you plan to shoot- you won’t want to film at lunchtime near a schoolyard full of playing children.
- Braving The Elements: Outdoor shooting can be risky: rain, snow or high winds can all halt a shoot. If your project needs outdoor filming, schedule in a back-up day for filming. If that’s impossible, plan for safer, indoor shooting.
- A secure location: Filming requires a lot of gear and most of it is delicate and valuable. A production crew needs a secure, easily accessible location to store the equipment they are not currently using. If they’ll need to change locations frequently throughout your facility, arrange for a storage area that they can access on their own quickly, without having to constantly ask for help.
- Nearby parking & unloading: Being able to park the location vehicle nearby is a big help to your crew, so they can easily access any equipment not being used. It’s not a must, but it will be the icing on the cake that will help your crew get through their day faster.
These 10 points can help ensure your shoots go smoothly and look and sound great on screen.
Need help figuring out if your location is camera ready? Contact us to help you scout your location.