Las Vegas, you either love it or you hate it. Personal feelings aside, many of us travel to Las Vegas on a regular basis for work related video projects. Crews Control has been shooting the bulk of our video podcasts in Las Vegas since 2008. According to the Las Vegas Convention Center in 2013 there were 22,027 conventions with 5,107,416 attendees. That is a mess of business travelers and a lot of them shoot video when they are in town. Our represented video production crews have shot all over the location and Nevada every week for over 25 years. Las Vegas is a town that can throw you some curve balls and even seasoned producers may need a few hints.
Ten: Capturing video b-roll of the strip? “When it comes to shooting in Las Vegas, it’s important to plan in advance. Getting a generic film permit from the State of Nevada is fairly easy and usually free, but that does not grant you the right to shoot in any private areas. Unfortunately, most of the sidewalks along the Las Vegas Strip are private property of the hotels they border, so you will need to also get permission from the hotel properties themselves. Sometimes it can be easiest to get the b-roll shots you are looking for by shooting out of a car window while driving down the Vegas strip. You can also get some great Las Vegas aerial footage from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority” says Mike Levy.
Nine: Valerie Nolan, VP of Production at Crews Control suggests mapping out the locations that you want to record. “Lake Las Vegas is not in Las Vegas. It is actually about 45 minutes from downtown Las Vegas” says Nolan.
Eight: Union rules apply at union venues in Las Vegas. “Please be aware of your venue, some are union” says eight year Production Manager Cricket Capucci.
Seven: Weather in the desert can be hot or cold. “In the summer it’s hot, really hot…. and you need to plan accordingly. What most people don’t realize is how cold it is in the winter here. It’s not east coast cold, but it’s cold outside” says Rob Jax.
Six: Crews Control represents lots of camera operators in Las Vegas but if you know that you are going to need a crew during a big show it is best to put in your crew requests early. “For major conferences like CES or NAB that take place in Las Vegas, crews should be booked months in advance. The early bird gets the local crew” says Crews Control Production Manager Becky Holzman.
Five: Everybody always says “I thought it would be bigger”. “One place you can shoot without getting any special permission is the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Just be aware that it’s always quite busy with tourists and wedding parties snapping their own photos. So getting a clean, empty shot at the sign is hard to come by” says Levy.
Four: Getting that quick shot outside the hotel doors isn’t as easy as one wishes. “Many clients want to shoot some b-roll or skyline shots of downtown Vegas. The crews can do this but must be inconspicuous and not attract attention or block any sidewalks or walkways. Any blocked sidewalks require permits” says production Manager Brad Spinsby.
Three: Padding your video production schedule is necessary. “Add extra time to your schedule to load in crew and gear due to the size of the venues. Vegas hotels are HUGE, not always a quick and easy load in and out” explains Cricket.
Two: Our video crews are always ready and whiling to discuss the shoot before the shoot day. “As in any other city, having a well-informed local crew can help alleviate the stress of planning your Las Vegas shoot” says Mike Levy.
One: Every good video producer knows to wear flats in Las Vegas. “The Casinos are massive. Bring comfortable shoes because it will be a hike from your room to where your event” mentions Rob Jax.
Do you have any notable stories about recording business video in Las Vegas? Do you have any additional tips for shooting video in Vegas? We would love to hear from you. Have fun, stay safe, and win big if that’s your thing.