Pre-Production Blues

Pre-production on any video shoot is essential. That is if you want to save time and money, not to mention avoid having a major melt down in the editing room because you didn’t get the necessary goods.  Although I recognize the need for good solid pre-production and am usually more than “just” prepared for a video shoot – there’s a big part of me that despises this part of the process.

With tight budgets comes tight shoot schedules because time is money and you want to be sure that once you get to a location, everything is set to go.  People that need to be notified – have been notified.  Gear that needs to be rented has been and some kind of storyboard or shoot list has been signed off on.  Lots of details have to be taken care of and that’s what I’m good at – leaving no detail to chance.

But once I get to a shoot with the confidence that everything has been previously arranged – I like to allocate some time for serendipity to happen.  And that’s the part of the process I love – when little things happen that I didn’t expect.  But I need to go into a shoot allowing the time for this to happen – leaving  time for the unexpected as well as being mentally “open” to it.  In other words being prepared yet flexible at the same time.

I had a client once say to me “the more I see you worry about the details – the more I know that I don’t have to think about them”.  A compliment for sure but at the same time I realize that it’s all a balancing act.  Always a balancing act between being the prepared professional and the passionate storyteller who is willing to “depart” from the plan if necessary.  When I get that balance just right I feel it.  Words can’t describe it but I literally feel it.  And when a video really comes together in the end, that feeling resurfaces every time I view it.  And that’s the part I love the most.

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3 thoughts on “Pre-Production Blues

  1. Cliff Etzel August 10, 2009 / 2:19 pm

    Great posting Gail 🙂

    Would you mind sharing your insights around what you do for the pre-production process when planning a shoot?

    Cliff Etzel
    bluprojekt

  2. Gail Mooney August 10, 2009 / 3:51 pm

    I try to take care of every detail – putting together a crew, arranging for equipment needs and/or specialized job needs. Securing a location. Finalizing a shot list from an approved storyboard. Making sure everyone involved is onboard for dates, times and places. Arranging transportation – air and on site. Arranging for accommodations and catering. And if there’s talent – then casting talent and communicating to them the aspects of the job.

  3. Bill Brooks August 30, 2009 / 10:49 am

    Right on Gail. The best things happen when, after dealing with your preconceived ideas, you have some time to get a little lost.

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