Silver Spring, MD – Some of the world’s producers of corporate videos are companies that often demand multi-city shoots on a quick turn-around. Keeping the “look” of the video project can be tricky cameraman to cameraman, coast-to-coast or continent-to-continent say Crews Control’s seasoned production managers.
“Continuity and consistency of our shoots, among various cameramen, in multiple cities, has become a real benchmark of our service to clients,” says Vice President of Production, Valerie Nolan.
“The biggest challenge is when the client wants a video format that is not available in all markets,” she says. “Trying to figure out what format will meet the client’s needs and be available in all the markets they want to shoot in – and doing this fast for a big series of shoots is a real challenge.” Valerie begins first with the most difficult city on the shoot list and works her way back to the easiest.
Valerie notes that these multi-city shoots often come with unusual requests – such as a recent client requesting that a camera be turned on its side for shooting.
“With only 24-48 hours notice, and a variety of different equipment available at each location, our cameraman had to think on their feet on how they were going to accomplish this unusual request,” she said. “From working with what each videographer had available – from an animation stand, to a projector stand to a special tripod – the solution was different at every location.” But the end results were seamless.
Crews Control Production Manager Rebekah Toth tells clients that for a consistent background look, it is often better to use a green screen or black backdrop.
“Clients often ask for a natural backdrop, but do not have first-hand knowledge about how a room or on-location spot will look – until they get there or see it on tape after the shoot,” she said. “And if the client has a particular shade of color in mind for a background, it is better to have the backdrop travel with the producer to the location. Specific colors can be very difficult to reproduce in all countries and locales.” -more- “Consistency in shoots across the board,” she continued, “are all about good communication between the client-producer and the cameraman at each shoot.” Kate Waterfall, fellow Production Manager at Crews Control echoes Rebekah’s emphasis on communication.
“Once the shoot is confirmed, we make sure the client and crew connect with each other to start a direct dialogue regarding the details and logistics of the shoot as soon as possible – making the process for them as seamless as possible,” says Kate. “This is especially helpful when there is a huge time difference such as the one that occurs when we are booking crews in the Pacific Rim.
Even when booking15 shoots in three days for a single client, Crews Control production managers always make room in the scheduling to check with the client and cameraman 48 hours in advance of the scheduled shoot to confirm all details and troubleshoot any potential difficulties.
What they all three agree on is that a major factor to keeping the shoot quality consistent from one location to another, or one cameraman to another, is simple: only work with talent of the highest level by putting them through a rigorous screening process prior to Crews Control agreeing to represent them to clients.
Andrea Keating, founder and CEO of Crews Control has been the force behind screening every candidate for nearly 20 years. It is the hallmark of her quality customer service and one that she applies to every corner of the world.
“When we screen tapes or DVD’s of potential camera crews from around the world, we look for good lighting, framing, steady hand-held shots and a host of other distinct qualities that put our thumbprint on every video we shoot – whether it’s shooting Alaska wildlife or a Zuni tribesman – we are very particular and it shows,” says Andrea. “After reviewing thousands of demo reels we know within the first 30 seconds if the cameraperson is of Crews Control caliber…it’s that perfect mixture of technical talent and creativity that catches our eye.”
Crews Control is the exclusive agency handling the booking and billing of pre-screened, highly experienced film and video professionals worldwide. For more information go to www.crews-control.com or call 1-800-545-CREW (2739).