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Creating Chemistry on Set

Posted by Andrea Keating on March 24, 2011


You’ve got all the logistics for your shoot in order, you’re on location with your crew and ready to rock. There are still a few details left off the call sheet worth keeping in the back of your mind.



Talk the talk.



Have you ever been amongst strangers speaking in a different language to each other and had an uncomfortable feeling they’re talking about you? That’s pretty much the same as being the odd man out on a set where the jargon used is– well, jargon, and not a common language all may understand. Not everyone on set will know that an ECU isn’t a special gear model or that B roll isn’t crab, salmon and scallion wrapped in seaweed. Making everyone on the set feel at ease is a global language. Producing video is a people business. Clear communication is not only key to being understood; how you communicate says that you’re an understanding professional person also.



Fashion Cents.



Before the shoot, a subject should be informed of what to wear to be prepared to appear on tape. Solid warm and cool earth tones look great on tape as long as the clothing’s color isn’t too close to the person’s complexion. Really light or dark clothing can decrease detail or create too much contrast in the scene. You’ll jade your editor; maybe even spook your viewers for wearing green on a green screen, white on a white screen, or black on a black screen. For men, brown or gray suits are a better choice over black and navy suits. While pinstripes may look smart and dapper in person or in photos, on tape the lines vibrate causing a visual distraction. Females who will be taped should keep the jewelry light weight and wear a top that covers most of the collar bone. Wide-neck tops can appear, in a close up, to look as if the subject is undressed and distract the focus on the face. Lav mic’s will pick up all the noise that cute ruffled tops and glamorous clunky jewelry can make so they should not be worn.



On set subjects should smooth loose clothing and tuck suit jackets under them when seated to avoid looking disheveled. You really don’t have to be a fashionista to look great on tape but knowing what presents well on tape is an element to producing great video. Making sure everyone is prepared on shoot day saves everybody time and money.



The Good Bad and the Ugly.



By the time you’ve finished taping you’ve built a rapport with the production team and are ready to wrap up. The relationships between client, crew and shoot coordination shares a common touch point—the production manager who can’t wait to hear how it went for all. Whether your preferred method is a tweet, facebook, email, text, or phone call for a play by play if you have the time– just be sure to give feedback about your shoot. Following up is a great way to know the who’s and how’s for repeat business ahead.






What would Woodsy do? He’d say in so many words to be sure and clean up after your self. Leaving the location exactly as it was entered makes a great impression. To do this, take a picture of how things look before your set up so you’ll know how to restore the area to its original state after wrap up. Put furniture back, remove tape, don’t leave trash behind… you know—“give a hoot. Don’t pollute.”



These are just a few simple reminders of how to spearhead a well-planned production for your clients and crew. For more cool tips check out this Information Overdrive episode on How to Record the Best On-Camera Interview for your video shoot.



What other tips help you break the ice for a smooth shoot on location? Reply to comments.


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