Preparation IS KEY!
Video production has always been a fast paced environment with multiple departments working together as one unit; Camera teams, Production Runners, On Site Editors, Wardrobe, Hair and Make Up, etc. It isn't uncommon for small shoots to be comprised of five to ten crew members and as many cast members or clients present as required, with many decisions being made flexibly on site.
Under COVID, this is no longer a viable way of working.
It is likely that Pre-Production time will increase to make sure every decision possible is signed off before the Shoot Dates to keep everyone on the same page on the day. Before COVID, a Pre-Production period for an simple Video may last a minimum of 10 Business Days, but now we'd heavily encourage at least of 15-20 Business Days of Pre-Production before equipment and crew arrive.
It's important to think of this extra preparation as a way of saving time and money, as any additional time spent making decisions on a Shoot Date will be costly.
It's always better to be as prepared as possible, so that you know exactly what you're getting before you ever step behind a monitor!
Social distancing, hand sanitation and the desire to minimise crew numbers have lead to the creation of best practices which have an understandable effect on productivity and speed during Shoot Dates. As an example, a member of talent will now require a clear, one directional path to the distanced Hair and Make-Up area and once they leave to have a costume fitting in another distanced bubble, the Hair and Make-Up area must be rigorously sanitised before another member of Talent may enter. This can obviously affect the speed of a Production day and can impact the amount of filming it is possible to achieve in any given day.
Additionally, there is understandably a lot of caution on behalf of potential contributors whom you may want involved in your film, so large scenes with multiple extras, or even small shoots with a high number of individuals on camera may not be possible for the foreseeable future.
It's important to consider these guidelines throughout the concept and Pre-Production processes so that we can make sure you are still connecting your message and values to your audience in the most viable way possible.
There are many Live Action videos which are achievable; Product and Brand films are still possible as they typically use fewer contributors, more Narrative films are meticulously planned by their nature and Animated Videos bypass many of the guidelines entirely by virtue of the ability to work on them from home. There are many options still available, and many creative solutions to the struggle that something like a crowd scene in Leicester Square would present.
To be completely honest, we see this as a huge benefit and leads to much more creative videos which can stand out and connect more deeply with your audience. Necessity is the mother of invention.
WHat can we do to stay safe and speed things up?
As anyone with an internet connection will know, COVID has given rise to a new selection of online video conferencing tools with faster speeds and lower costs.
These remote video facilities have become the number one method for limiting the number of people at risk on set or location, and allow real time remote viewing and commentary to guarantee you an input into the high-level decisions being made on the Shoot Date.
Gone are the days of packing your entire marketing team into a cab to crowd around a monitor, when instead you can communicate just as effectively from the comfort of your own home!
For further information regarding the government and industry guidelines on COVID-19 and its impact on video production see below: