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How to Plan for An Outdoor Shoot

July 15, 2021

Summertime is a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather by doing fun activities outdoors, including filming! Recently, our team completed an amazing two-day outdoor shoot in the beautiful city of St. Francisville. There were kayaks, a gorgeous campfire, and plenty of outdoor activities with West Feliciana as the backdrop. With a modest budget and crew, production was all about efficiency and strategy. We’ll be sharing all the details about that project on our blog soon, but for now, here are three great tips for making your next outdoor video production go smoothly. 

Create a Checklist

One of the three aspects of video production is pre-production. This entire phase includes everything from hiring crew members to creating a shot list. Luck favors the prepared, and pre-production is all about being prepared. In order to have a successful outdoor shoot, create a checklist. Consider everything from extra gear to snacks for crew members, and write it down. On our shoot in West Feliciana, we filmed scenes with talent kayaking and biking on a highway bridge. This meant bringing what was absolutely necessary to each stop. To avoid leaving a battery pack or a camera lens behind, create a detailed checklist including everything you’ll need, and check it twice. 

Consider the Noise Level 

Sure, the sounds of nature can be soothing, but not when the production crew is recording. As you prepare for an outdoor video shoot, consider how much of the crickets or beach waves your audience needs to hear. It will be difficult to record clean dialogue with extra noise.  When our crew planned for the shoot in St. Francisville, we discovered that a voiceover would be much better, and would allow us to avoid the hum of cicadas or cars whizzing by. We also used a boom pole and audio recorder to intentionally record ambient nature sounds for an added effect. Our editor was able to use this foley audio to bring more drama to this project.  

Scout the Location

Before you lock in that location, be sure to do several location scouts at different times and on different days. While the area may be well lit at 9:00 AM on a Sunday, it could be a totally different experience at 9:00 AM on Monday. As we planned for West Feliciana, our producer and director scouted the area six to eight times before production began. This allowed for strategic planning for a shoot that was completely outdoors. Remember to follow the weather! Plan accordingly because being outdoors means exposure to all the elements. 

If your company is thinking about a project being shot outdoors, we can help! We’re fully prepared, from creative to post-production, to create something that represents your brand. Fill out the form below and let us do all the hard work!

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