Last time we talked about pre-production…the art of preparing if you will. The biggest takeaway I wanted to share with you was to make sure you spend the necessary time preparing…it can save you from headaches and missed opportunities.
Now we look at the part of the process that a lot of people really have fun with…production. This is where the rubber meets the road…where the project starts to come alive…where the fruits of your labor in pre-production start to take off! Production can be an exhilarating experience filled with long days, long nights, lots of coffee, yelling, arguing, frustration, crying, broken equipment, forgotten equipment, missed shots…oh and maybe some material you can use for your final cut. I know, I know, I am painting a morbid picture here.
Putting The Video Together
The fact is I want to prepare you for the simple fact that production is not the glamorous Hollywood backlot process that lots of us want to imagine it to be. It’s work. But it can really be a fun and exciting part of the process if you know what to expect. So quite simply, expect the unexpected.
Production is all about being prepared and being flexible at the same time. Think back to the last email we sent…it was all about preparing to paint that bare wall. Well what happens when you put on the first coat and you hate the color? Do you give up? No, you try again until you get what you’re looking for. The same holds true in production. There are going to be times when the shots you planned aren’t exactly what you were looking for.
Be Flexible During Production
So take a minute and plan out a new one. Again…be flexible. Equipment may malfunction, your help may not show up, maybe it rains…be flexible. Contingency plans will help and working with people with experience and a level-headed approach will save your sanity in most situations. And remember…have fun. Enjoy the process. Your creating something…that in and of itself is such a cool thing.
Have fun painting and make sure you are happy with the “color” before moving on to the next step.
Speaking of next steps…our next post will talk about the final phase, post-production. Looking forward to sharing our thoughts with you.
Over the next few posts I am going to quickly touch on the main “parts” of putting together a good video. Those parts are pre-production, production, and post-production. Each one is as important to the process as the next and each one brings its own challenges. For the sake of keeping things as organized as possible, we’ll take them in the (usual) order that they are tackled in the process.
We begin our journey with Pre-Production…
Are you a big fan of taking the time to tape up and cover everything you need to before you start painting a bare wall? No? Well, neither are we! We would much rather jump right into painting the wall and see the changes happening to the blank canvas. Did you splash onto the furniture? Who cares!?!? We’ll worry about that later. Paint on the windows and all over the bare floor? Not a problem…it’s nothing a little water, soap, and elbow grease can’t clean up. The problem is (as most of us have probably experienced), if prep work isn’t done correctly, the clean up becomes double or even triple the time it would have taken to simply set up the area correctly.
Pre-production is…setting up correctly.
A lot of people have great ideas. And so may of those ideas need to come to life. But if you’re just shooting from the hip when it comes to making a video, the results will show it most of the time. Did you realize the pre-production process on a feature film can take years? Luckily for most of the videos that you may be interested in creating, the time involved with pre-production is going to be much less. But, you are still going to want to plan on at least a few hours of scripting out your idea, possibly putting together some rough storyboards, scouting out locations you are interested in filming at, and putting together a comprehensive shot list that will allow your production day(s) to go as smoothly as possible. It’s tedious, it can be overwhelming… but it is really important in saving time throughout the entire process. And of course…time is money.
Pre-Production and Changes
Let me add one more important note to all of this. Don’t think because you have all these plans set out that you can’t change things up a bit when you get to production and post-production. Some of the best shots we have captured have been ones that were not planned out. Remember, life is a trip and you are free to go off-road sometimes…the same holds true for creating media. Don’t forget to have fun and be creative in the process.
That’s all I have for now. Next time we’ll talk “production”…where the rubber meets the road. Be well!
Every time I think of the Tri-Cites and the division among the communities, I am reminded of that quote. For those of you that don’t remember the context of that quote (those of you under the age of 30 may be in that boat) it was a crazy dark time for Los Angeles. The citizens did not agree with the “leadership” (I use that term lightly) and they revolted…literally. L.A. became a war zone. It wasn’t pretty.
Granted…we haven’t had, nor do I foresee, any violent uprising like that in our quiet corner of Washington. But for some reason, we just can’t seem to get along here in Tri-town…it’s concerning to me. I grew up in Virginia Beach, VA. Va. Beach was part of a 7 city area in Southeastern Virginia known as Hampton Roads. There were well over a million people there…and each person and city seemed to have a different opinion about what was best for the area. Norfolk was primarily the business center and had a thriving downtown. Va. Beach was the sprawling suburbia that attracted all of the tourists. Portsmouth was the other side of the tracks. Suffolk was the farming town. Chesapeake was were you moved to get away from Norfolk, Portsmouth and Va. Beach “problems.” Newport News and Hampton were on the other side of the water and were places you didn’t go to if you lived on the Southside. Stick with me…I’m setting up a story here.
In the early 2000’s, traffic had become a major issue…well much earlier than that truth be told. If you think 240 is busy here in the afternoon, you should have seen interstate 64 and 264 during rush hour. It was nothing for a commute to take 2 hours to go 10 miles. Norfolk and Virginia Beach had a plan to build a light rail that would take you from downtown Norfolk to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront with stops along the way. This was the busiest corridor in the area. It needed relief…bad. Problem was that Norfolk and Virginia Beach could never get on the same page. Norfolk went ahead with the plan and built it from one side of the city all the way up to the Virginia Beach city limit. It helped…but it didn’t cure the problem. That is what I am seeing a lot of here in the Tri-Cities. Ideas that help…but don’t fix the issues. Why? Because we can’t all just get along.
Each city has its own agenda, its own set of rules, and its own set of issues it is trying to solve. Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the public to come together on these issues? I’m not saying having all of the cities become one (although that would help a lot of the issues…but not cure all, I know). I am simply talking about being able to work together…you know…like they taught us to do in kindergarten? It starts from the top and trickles down to the public. A bunch of agendas, shrouded by a bunch of personalities, and wrapped up in bureaucratic bullshit. We’ve all smelled it and probably stepped in it at some point. It holds up back from being a grand place to call home.
And that is what I am looking for…a grand place to call home. Hampton Roads had a bunch of good places individually, but it missed the opportunity to be GRAND as a whole. The same holds true in my opinion for the Tri-Cities…we are good individually, but we are missing the opportunity to be something more. Community is about the individuals working hard for the whole. Let’s not be happy with good. Let’s become GRAND!
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