Imagine you’re a client who’s engaged a video production company. You’ve spent the past few weeks in pre-production (reviewing scripts, call sheets, talent castings), and now that the prep work is done, it’s time to get ready for shoot day.
Shooting a video is a unique and interesting experience - especially if you’ve never been on set before. Producing a video is a large-scale project that involves several moving parts, and everyone involved is there to fulfil a role that contributes to the success of the final video product.
In this interview, we took some time to chat with Ima Jumaon (Producer @ Big 3 Media), who gives us some useful tips and pointers for clients to better prepare for shoot day.
Ima: Unfortunately, we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so we need to take necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. Here are some key things to note about shooting during Phase 3 (IMDA guidelines):
In addition, we’ll need everyone’s full names, last 4 digits of NRIC and temperature on the day.
Ima: Normally for video shoots, we’ll tell our clients to keep the same person (from client’s side) as the main point of contact (POC) throughout the whole process for ease of communication.
However, we know sometimes this can’t be helped, and the POC may have to change due to ongoing work commitments. As such, we’ll try to encourage our clients to keep everyone involved in the loop and properly brief any new personnel coming onto the project.
Ima: That will depend on the location of the shoot! If we’re shooting a corporate video in an office setting, then your usual office outfit will do just fine. For more sensitive locations such as religious sites, we’ll recommend clients to dress more modestly.
If we’re shooting somewhere outdoors, however, we’ll recommend clients to dress comfortably, as it can get pretty hot and humid in Singapore (especially during the mid-year period). If we’re shooting in a jungle area, then we’ll also advise wearing covered shoes, and I’ll make sure to provide enough water, sunscreen and mosquito patches to shield everyone from the elements and keep everyone’s morale high.
Ima: We provide food and drinks for everyone involved in the shoot (including clients), but if they prefer to have their meals elsewhere that’s fine too! Before breaking for mealtime, we’ll usually inform our clients when the shoot will resume - so they know when to come back.
If we’re shooting at one location, clients will usually settle their own transport. However, if we’re shooting at multiple locations, we’ll handle the transport for the client (especially if the location is less accessible), which usually just means the clients will be getting on the same cab as me! (laughs)
Ima: Before shoot day, I’ll inform the client on how long the shoot will take, and how long we need them to be there. Ideally, one representative from the client’s side should be on set at all times, but if they have other matters to attend to, we’ll still carry on with the shoot in their absence. In such cases, I make sure to keep clients in the loop and send them updates and short videos of the takes that we’re shooting.
Ima: For every shoot, we set up a “video village” for our clients, where there is a video monitor setup for the client can see what’s being shot, as well as a seating area and light refreshments. During the shoot, I spend most of my time with the client and act as the main POC between the clients and the rest of the production crew.
When clients have any feedback or inputs, I’ll bring it to the director and discuss the best course of action for the shoot. Likewise, if the director requests additional changes, I’ll speak to the client and make sure that everyone is aligned on the overall direction of the scene.
Ima: On shoot day, be prepared for changes on the day itself. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes the director may go a little off-script and shoot alternative takes of a scene, but I make sure to tell clients it’s all for a good cause - more takes means that the post-production team has more options to use while making the edit. Conversely, clients may also request last-minute changes on the day itself, and it’s my job to explain what can and can’t be done while on shoot.
When timelines are tight and the hours are long, things can get pretty stressful. At the end of the day, however, it’s important to remember that everyone’s doing their best to make a great video that everyone is happy with!
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