Remember those field trips when you were in grade school? A day out of the building to hang with your friends and meet some new people and be exposed up close to something you really need to see or touch to truly understand. Sure you’d have to write a paper to validate the trip but it was usually a small price to pay for the adventure.
Some of us still get to take field trips and whether we have our pals with us or not, what can be learned is invaluable. For Studio 11 Pittsburgh, location scouts are our field trips. Prior to our shoots we’ve spoken with our clients, talked about what everyone is looking for, formulated concepts and scripts, auditioned talent and voice artists and gotten most of our ducks in a row. However, until we visit the site, we don’t really know exactly what will be needed to start the shoot.
A recent location scout to Beaver County Auto in Chippewa seemed to be a very straightforward affair. We were to shoot in two dealerships next door to each other and we would be shooting interiors and exteriors of both. We had a very tight shoot schedule because of a narrow window of time we had with a celebrity spokesperson.
Staying On Time
As a video production company, we had a plan in place detailing our schedule of shots, locations and times. And our scout pretty much threw it out the window. We realized we needed to move the shoot times earlier so we could capture the morning Golden Hour sun hitting the front of one of the dealerships. And the same morning sun that would make that shot beautiful was so harsh on the other building, we realized an afternoon shoot would be preferable next door.
But we still only had our spokesperson for a short window. Studio 11 Pittsburgh came up with a new plan, the logistics of which were a little daunting. I think we’ll talk about that in a later blog about the shoot. We were also able to talk with the managers about where to place vehicles in the showroom and on the lots to best showcase their inventory. Walking into the situation on the day of the production would not have lent itself to the success we had that day. Scout day was as integral as shoot day.
Another “field trip” took Producer, Melissa Nopwaskey and Videographer, Jared McLaughlin to Ann’s Chop House in Bethel Park. This family restaurant has a warm and cozy ambiance that lends itself to a wonderful dining experience but a complex lighting issue. The light that cameras need to “see” can, by their mere presence, ruin the feel you’re trying to capture.
The Finishing Details
After the scout, the Studio 11 Pittsburgh team met to talk about possible approaches and options. On the day of the shoot, we brought additional lighting but also an additional camera. And it paid off. Our Panasonic V35 has an awesome feature. It has dual native ISO settings of 800 and 5000 with none of the grainy artifacts that normally come with high ISO shooting. We decided to shoot the spot at 5000 ISO which allowed us to shoot in the natural, warm, low light atmosphere and use additional lighting only to tweak the really dark spots. We couldn’t be happier with what we were able to capture. And it was the location scout that guided us.
Field trips can be more work as an adult than as a kid in school, but it’s all worth it when you can learn something new. Contact us today and we’ll be able to help with all of your video production needs.