What a pro looks for on a simple, single camera shoot
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 10:58PM
Legend Media Producers in corporate video shoot, how to video, video shoot

So really, how "hard" is it to do a video shoot - just one person - interview style?

The answer is . . .  that it depends on who's shooting it.

You could ask the same type of question to a doctor on a visit. How hard is it to give a shot to a sick patient? Well, it's not hard, but I'm pretty darn sure you'd want a doctor that's done it many times before, AND knows what he's doing. Right?

It just makes good sense to go with a video professional that's been there and done that as well. The alternative is wasted time and money. I don't like to waste my time and my money. You don't either, I'm sure.

So I thought it would be educational for all, to go down my mental checklist of preparing for a normal single person, interview style shoot, in an interior location. You could title this, "What a pro looks for on a simple, single camera shoot." Clever, huh?

Here's my "real-life" list of (6) "what's running through my head" bullet points -  as I'm walking into that room.

1. I'm looking at the walls - what's on the walls, as well as the colors. I want rich colors and textures as well as interesting angles and lines. That would be ideal.

2. I'm looking for a room with some length to it, so I can bring depth into the shot. I want my interviewee to NOT be up against a wall. I want them to be the focus. In fact, I might shoot them with a narrow depth of field, so I can actually throw what's behind them out of focus. I can only do that in a room with some space.

3. I'm listening. Is there an air conditioner running? Traffic noise? People noise? Phones? If so, I might try searching out a quieter room.

4. What are my challenges with lighting? Is there some natural light spilling in from the windows? If so, I love that. Is all my available lighting coming from above? If so, I'll want to introduce at least a few of my own lighting instruments to give the interviewee a more realistic look.

5. What am I supposed to feel when I watch this interview after delivery? Is it a corporate, straight up piece? Or is supposed to have some warm and fuzzy moments? Depending on the answer, I'll need to decide on the camera set to go with. Sharpness, saturation - by adjusting these in camera I can help set the mood of the interview for the viewer. Shooting indoors means that I go through a different set of options, vs shooting outdoors.

6. What's my audio preference? Do I go with a lavalier microphone or do I go with a boom? And if it's a lavalier microphone, should I hardwire or go wireless? The answer for me usually is dictated by how wide my shot will be and if I have an audio assist in the room or not. Booming means I almost have to go with another checklist in my head during the shoot - watching and listening differently than if I go with a lavalier microphone.

So, what do you think?
This hopefully gives you an idea what the pros are thinking before they begin recording and after the initial client meeting. A great video shot doesn't happen by accident. It's usually when preparation meets creativity.

Make sure you work with a video professional that's willing to do both - to prepare and to create. I can't imagine NOT preparing before a job. First of all, it's disrespectful of the client's time, as well as a disservice to them.

The goal is to walk out of every scheduled shoot not being able to wait to review the footage - because you know you just did something fantastic.

Article originally appeared on High Definition Video Production (http://legendmediapros.com/).
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