Tips for Shooting Your Next Video in Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska, is known for its pioneer history and cultural centers. Resting on the Missouri River and along the Iowa border, Omaha offers many historical and contemporary opportunities for any traveling producer visiting the city. But what makes a video shoot successful in Omaha? We talked to DP Mele Mason about 10 simple tips you should know before shooting video in “The Gateway to the West.”
- 1. Permits: For permits, a big crew that requires roads blocked can call the Mayor’s hotline (402-444-5555) to be directed to the proper person. “Small crews (2-5 person crews) without a bunch of extra lighting or equipment do not need permits for public areas,” Mason said. For more information on permits, click here.
- 2. Old Market District: In the heart of downtown Omaha, the Old Market District has a large variety of historical buildings and lined cobblestone streets. Some of Omaha’s best cafes and restaurants are located in this area, as well as many shops and galleries. Visitors and locals love to wander around this part of town, so capturing some b-roll here is ideal.
- 3. Weather: Omaha is far from any moderating bodies of water, but tends to be very humid in the summer. Thunderstorms are frequent, so make sure to plan for a rain location when shooting outside. Nebraska gets over the U.S. average amount of snowfall, so be wary when filming in the winter – and bring snow boots!
- 4. Saint Cecilia Cathedral: Opened in 1905, this structure contains more than three million bricks. The Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style building is iconic to Omaha and contains beautiful stained-glass windows that are over 500 years old. All are welcome in this cathedral, but it is important to be mindful of the services that take place every day.
- 5. Transportation: For traveling crews, it is advised that you rent a car for the day to transport all of your equipment. “Public transportation is not very reliable,” Mason said. Parking downtown usually consists of meters whose prices vary from hour to hour. For more information on parking, click here.
- 6. Skyline: The Omaha skyline dazzles onlookers every night as the tall buildings illuminate the Missouri River. Some of the structures that stand out in this skyline are the One First National Center, Woodmen Tower, and the Central Park Plaza. Be sure to get a few shots of the skyline at either sunrise or sunset for a truly outstanding shot.
- 7. Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge: This 3,000-foot long bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge that links two states: Iowa to Nebraska. Rising high above the Missouri River, this bridge is known for its incredible views. You can’t miss it while in the city, so be sure to grab some b-roll at this scenic location.
- 8. Traffic: As you might expect in most metropolitan places, rush hour traffic can increase any travel time significantly. When moving from one location to the next in the morning or afternoon, add an extra 20 minutes to your time to accommodate the traffic, especially while on I-80.
- 9. Memorial Park: Memorial Park has large open fields, a baseball diamond, a playground, and bike trails. There are usually several free concerts and events that take place here. Not only is this a wonderful place for some downtime and to really enjoy the city, but Memorial Park also offers ideal b-roll to truly capture the people of Omaha.
- 10. Food: Omaha has numerous excellent restaurants. In the Old Market, Mason recommends M’s Pub for a great atmosphere and wide variety of continental choices, La Buvette for a great European wine bar with limited but excellent meal choices, and The Plank for some awesome seafood. South Omaha has lots of outstanding Mexican and Central American restaurants as well. “I think the Drover has the best steaks in Omaha,” Mason said. “Warren Buffett frequents Gorat’s, and Johnny’s has been around forever and is very popular.” For more food options, click here.
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