Since I began working at Untold, I’ve had the opportunity to put my best foot forward in capturing and creating some very cool content for our clients. We love making our clients look like rock stars. The variety of ways in which people are experiencing rich media content on the web is shaping how creatives generate new and meaningful content. This means how we prepare for video specific projects has evolved as well. For all of our projects, our creative team has pre-production meetings well in advance of our shoot day to ensure things flow smoothly. How we plan for production is greatly influenced by our projects objectives, client needs, and creative scope. Often times, our clients require that we can produce relevant content for their social media fans during live events. Quick turnaround event coverage featuring rich engaging media, especially for social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, can be a monstrous task.
At Untold, we are excited to work in ways that push creating quality and engaging content forward, even if it means turning content out fast! There are some key differences when planning a shoot where the desired outcome is production, quality content fast, sometimes with a turn around of under an hour. Drawing from recent experiences, here are some quick tips to help keep your production pipeline flowing smoothly when you are out on the a job capturing media on the fly:
1. Clearly define roles within your team.
The production team (photographers, videographers, copywriters) get the content, but someone has to guide what content is gathered. Designate a team leader, one person who will be calling the shots when you are in the thick of things. It’s important to have someone in charge and calling the shots. Things like new product announcements, celebrity sightings, or time-sensitive windows for interviews can make real-time shifts in the production schedule. Another role that is great to have on sight is a production coordinator, someone with a checklist of what what we have, what we don’t have, and what needs to be tackled next. Sometimes, both of these roles can be played by the same person.
2. Have a designated space to serve as headquarters.
Having a secure place to store gear that isn’t being used, charge batteries and laptops, and back up media is a necessity. If you don’t have access to a room to designate as operations HQ, decide as a team where your primary meeting space will be and regroup often at designated time intervals to keep communication good between the various team members on the project. Also, this leads me into my next point…
3. Keep it skinny!
The benefits to doing your research and choosing the right gear for the job can save you a lot of headaches and back pain come the event. Stick to only the bare essentials. Make your life easier and your body back-ache free by bringing along light weight gear, like carbon-fiber tripods and reduce the number of lenses in your bag. Substitute the variety of prime lenses for a fewer number of higher-quality variable zoom lenses, and bags that can efficiently transport and keep your gear organized. If you don’t have a secure meeting space, be sure you can carry everything with you on your person. Keep it barebones, but remember that a reduction in gear doesn’t mean your final product has to suffer. You can create high-quality engaging content if you plan ahead!
4. Organize project files and assets in advance.
If you know that you will be producing content for fast turnaround situations, it pays to have all of your folder directories for your digital assets created and organized beforehand. Have your graphics package ready to go and all of the appropriate software installed on your mobile workstation in advance. It’s also helpful to have a document with spelling and titles for all of your VIPs at the event for quick lower thirds and quality assurance.
5. Enjoy the process.
Having to run quickly from one location to another on a dime can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Good communication between team members and a well-defined production plan can actually make live event coverage a lot of fun!
From process to production to pixels, producing content on the fly can be an extremely satisfying experience. It’s so rewarding to see people sharing, liking, and smiling about content that was produced from start to finish just moments ago. If you have experience shooting live event coverage for social media, I’d love to hear any tips and tricks you may have.