So a film crew are turning up, what do I do?

Blog post  •  Jan 26, 2012 20:03 GMT

The What Where When and How to manage a camera crew.

I’ve been filming for over 20 years now and I’m still amazed how long it takes from arriving on site, setting up and finally the camera rolling. But by asking the right questions before the shoot you can save valuable time – and money. It will also ensure your filming day runs smoothly, on time and that everyone involved has a productive and enjoyable day.

So, in order to manage both the crews and clients expectations here are some top tips on what to think about if a camera crew are turning up, ‘The What Where When and How to manage a film crew’.

1. Parking. The crew will need to park somewhere so they can unload the kit. Can they park in the building? if so how do they get in? What’s security like? Is there someone who can meet them and show them to the right location on arrival? Do you need the vehicle registration?

2. Access to the building? Who do they report to on arrival? Provide names and numbers.

3. What time do you want to start filming? Crucial so that the crew allow enough time to travel to location, unload and set up.

4. Timings? What are you hoping to film and how many people? Be realistic and get advice from your production company on how long you need. As a rough guide: for a simple talking head interview allow 45 minutes for the crew to set up and light it and 30 minutes to reset in a different position.

5. Where are you filming? The size of the space? In a boardroom, in a cupboard? Interviews look much more stylish if you can have some depth in them, so the larger the room you can film in the better – and it won’t get so hot from the lights.

6. Is it noisy? Try and find somewhere that’s quiet. Is it possible to turn off the air conditioning if it’s very noisy? Is there a meeting going on next door the day you’re filming?

7. Power supply? Can the crew plug lights in? Does the equipment need to be PAT tested? Any other technical requirements?

8. Keep everyone fed and watered!  Filming can be intense and hard work, so schedule a lunch break for crew and all those participating. The crew are human after all!

9. Make sure your interviewees can have a glass of water on arrival. As it can be pretty hot under those lights!

10. Keep the Producer and crew informed if anyone is on a strict time deadline, so that they can ensure they are filmed within the time allocated or can be reschedule another interviewee.

11. Smile and try to relax. I know having a crew in your office can be disruptive and possibly stressful. But a professional crew will keep the disruptions to a minim and will make those involved in the filming as relaxed as possible. After all we are just making a video or performing brain surgery.

And finally. A good production company should go through all this with you before they arrive to film, but as we all know, preparation is key.

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