Like all other members of the production crew, the cameraman or videographer must be prepared for a shoot in the field. As a significant member of the team, the cameraman has to be briefed about the project at hand. This way, you will have an idea of what is expected of you.
Learn all you can about the project. Here are a several helpful questions to ask the producer:
- What is the video about?
- Who is the video for?
- Why are you doing a video for them?
- What is the overall concept of the video?
- What is the format of the end video? Is it a commercial, a straight-up event coverage, a documentary, or a narrative film?
- Where will the video be shot?
- What kind of weather, lighting and audio conditions will you be working under?
- What type of camera and lighting equipment will be used?
See, the reason you have to ask is that you can’t simply depend on your director to take the best shots. For you to understand the director’s vision and execute it properly, you have to be prepared. And frankly, you don’t want to be the reason for the director to order a retake. Also sometimes, (though this is not recommended) there will be no director to guide you. So it will depend on you to make the video work. Thinking ahead about what type of shots you’ll probably be making would surely make your job and all the others in the team a lot easier.
When you’ve learned all you can about the project, you have to turn your attention to the equipment you’ll be using. It is highly recommended to test your equipment well before the day of the shoot. Do a test shoot if you must. Make sure everything is working properly. The day before the shooting day, charge all the batteries, and make sure all the data cards are empty of previously taken videos and working, of course. If you’re using tape, make sure they’re stretched (fast-forwarded and rewound to make sure they don’t stick and cause problems in your raw footage) and labeled properly.
It will help if you are the one who will pack the equipment for the shoot. That way, you know where things are when you need them. As the videographer, you are responsible for the camera equipment. If something gets lost or broken, you will take the heat. So, better be prepared and make sure nothing like that happens.
Please post your comments below.