Logistics are vital to a succesfull Video Production
A few years ago, I was on a low budget music video shoot, which involved ten models and several production crew members. The organizers told everyone to meet at one specific point on Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami. Simple enough, right? Wrong. No one was told where they could park, which lead to a scramble for parking spaces in an area of Miami that is notorious for the lack of places to park a car.
After some considerable delay, we’d all found parking. The makeup artist, trunk in hand, asked where she could get the ten models made-up. The producers had no answer for her. Some of the crew and models asked where there was a bathroom they could use. The answer; a public bathroom two blocks away from where we were shooting the video.
The makeup artist had to set up her kit right out in the open with barely any cover from the sun and in the humid summer heat, Miami is infamous for. The public bathrooms in South Beach do not have air conditioning. Asking the models to change in those bathrooms meant they’d be coming back to the shoot location glistening with sweat.
The producer had failed to take into account the logistics of the shoot.
From my experience, some of the biggest problem areas when it comes to logistics are parking, permitting, and bathrooms or spaces for makeup and wardrobe. These things are usually well-taken care of when shooting in a studio, but when shooting on a beach, a park, public space, or even someone’s residence, they can become a real problem.
Inexperienced (or sometimes careless) producers, will often figure “Hey, we’ll just get everybody together here on this date at this time, and then we’ll shoot.” But take my earlier example with the bathrooms. If you’ve got a shoot like that, with ten talent and some crew; odds are they’re going to have to use the bathroom at some point during the day. So, is there a bathroom for them to use at your location? Is there a private space available for talent to change and be made-up? Or are you going to have them walk to find one? Most public bathrooms aren’t air conditioned, and private establishments don’t just let you walk in and use their bathroom, especially not a group that is obviously a production crew. Sweaty makeup, frizzy hair and irritated talent doesn’t make for a successful shoot.
An experienced video production company will have the sense to arrange for, say, a motor home, where talent can change and get made up, and folks can use the bathroom. Sure, these things aren’t cheap, but they’re also not going to break the bank, and they’re invaluable in the time they save on a video or photo shoot.
Say you go location scouting and you find the perfect home. It’s got everything on your wishlist for your shoot, and you figure it’s a done deal. You’ve gotta ask yourself a few questions though. How many people can park at or around that home? Are you going to have to rent parking spaces (at a premium most likely) from the neighbors? Are you in a neighborhood where lots of cars parked along the street will rouse the suspicion of cops? If you don’t take these things into account, you could end up having your entire production shut down by the city, all due to poor planning.
It’s no rare situation either. I’ve run into locations where I’ve found the ideal location at the right price, but by the time we figured in the cost to rent parking (if it’s a home) and pulling a permit, it was no longer feasible to shoot there. An experienced production company is all it takes to avoid a disaster and keep a shoot running smoothly. It’s easy to get hung up on lights and cameras, but without figuring out these “trivial” matters, there’s just no chance for action.