Useful Workflow Tips for Your Next Production These tips will save you trouble and time on your next video shoot

Our friend Udi from DIYPhotography recently posted a useful video in collaboration with Manfrotto suggesting video workflow tips that will help you in your next production and make your life that much easier.

Since we have quite a bit of experience when it comes to on-location small crew productions we have a few tips of our own that we are going to add here based on our experience.

Pre Shoot

Our first tip for any pre-shoot preparations which Udi also mentions in the video is to do what you can in advance and make lists. We actually make at least 3 different lists before each production outside the studio (inside the studio we usually have all of our gear and everything pretty much ready so it’s easier). The lists are:

  • Gear list – Make the most extensive and detailed gear list that you can and divide it into sections (ours has a section for cameras, lenses, sliders/jibs/stabilizers, lights, audio, batteries, and chargers, and a few other subsections).
    If you can make a general template for each type of scenario (so wedding shoot, concert shoot, interview, etc.) and change it according to the specifics of the job. This takes some work but can save you so much time getting ready when your next production comes.
  • To-do list – making sure that you got the gear is not enough. There are many other tasks that need to be performed like making sure that all the batteries are charged, getting permits if needed, and even small things like checking that you have the phones of everybody that is going to take part and making sure they know when and where to arrive.
  • Shot list – even for productions when there is no script or full storyboard you got to make a shot list. You can always add more things later according to what you find but you need to make sure that you at least grab the minimal number of shots so that you will have what you need for your edit.

We always ask to see the place that we are shooting in if we have never been there before. If you can go and scout it in advance, if you can’t or don’t have the time see if you can ask the owner to send you a short video showing you things like the size, lights, windows, etc. This will help you decide what gear to bring, where you are going to put it, are you going to have AC to connect your gear or will you need to bring more batteries and more.

One good tip that Udi has in the video is getting a cart. these can start from around $100 all the way up to a full pro production cart that costs thousands of dollars.

While Shooting

As mentioned above, when you actually get to the shooting start with your shot list and try to finish all the shots that you planned, and only then try and go for shots that are outside the list.

Here is another tip from us – for b-roll shots consider shooting wide, normal, and close-up shots of the same subject (if this makes sense to what you are shooting of course).

Another bonus tip from us – record on-site sounds if necessary (foley, as it is called, can really add to your production value depending on what you are shooting of course).

Finally, especially on smaller productions where the photographer also does most of the other tasks dedicated crew members do on larger productions, having some sort of an assistant or a helping hand is really important. It is not always possible but whenever you can get somebody to help you with caring the gear to the location, holding things, keeping the gear in one place, and making sure people don’t take things while you are busy shooting if this is a public place.

Post shoot

After you are done shooting you typically need to pack everything and leave as quickly as possible. Here is where you start losing things. Try and go over your list and make sure you packed everything you took with you. If you also have a dedicated place in your bags for each piece of gear chances are that you will see it missing immediately.

Udi also suggests not skipping on the correct way to tie cables (over-under – see here with velcro in the end).

Final tip from us – at the first opportunity you got – make a copy of the footage and back it up (either on location or if impossible – the minute you get back).

You can check out many more helpful photography tips in our Photography tips section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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