Recently we spent a day shooting a travel video documentary for LiteraryTraveler.tv at Walden Pond in Concord, MA. We shot on video format called HDV in beautiful 1080i resolution. It was a beautiful (and HOT) summer day and we walked through/shot many scenic areas around Waltham, Lincoln and Concord MA. I was directing the shoot and had my camera man, Andrew Nelson (as pictured left) with me. We were working with the editor of Literary Traveler, Francis McGovern, and documenting his walk from his hometown of Waltham, MA to Walden Pond.
Part of the fun of taking on any new project is thinking of new and creative ways of getting the shot and telling the story. When dealing with on-screen talent, whether they are professional or non-professional, you have to allow for extra time to coach/direct. As Director it is my job to get the best out of my talent and bring their own unique talent/personality to life on screen. When we are shooting a corporate video, often we are working with non-professional talent and so have to allow them time to warm up and get comfortable with the process. Trust me when I say – it’s not as easy as it looks! Fortunately for most corporate video, we shoot indoors and so have complete control over our environment (as far as sound, lighting etc). But when shooting outdoors – such as for this travel video – you have to account for not just the weather but roadway traffic, wind….people…the list goes on and on.
When you are working on a project that has multiple locations it is always wise to scout out those shoot locations in advance. This is helpful in planning the day’s schedule as well as to figure out logistics (how the talent and crew are going to get from point “A” to point “B” ). For example, a road might be closed because of construction, or there might be a festival on a street in Boston, or a you might need a permit to shoot out in front of your office etc – this all needs to be figured out in advance! Doing so will save yourself a lot of time and money down the road.
No matter what kind of video you are shooting, there needs to be a commitment from us (as the producers) and the client, to get it right. Each shot requires time and possibly multiple takes to get “the” shot. In video production, patience truly is a virtue! For this Walden video, there were a few shots that required a number of takes. For one shot (pictured right), we were near the center of Lincoln and had stopped at the Pierce House to do a quick interview with Francis. It was a very short soundbite, but required a number of takes because there was significant wind noise and traffic (not to mention curious passer-bys who wanted to know what the heck were were doing shooting an interview on a random stone wall in Lincoln,MA). Plus there is always a certain amount of coaching and directing needed with on-screen talent to get them to deliver their lines with confidence, clarity and personality. During the course of the day, we captured many great moments and some terrific scenery from the area. I had no idea that the landscape was so beautiful near Walden. Stay tuned for the video to appear live on our site!