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Horror Stories to Avoid When Making a Video

Even filming a short video can get a little crazy. Anyone who's tried filming a TikTok challenge can tell you - a 15 second video takes WAY longer than 15 seconds to record. In honor of Halloween, we've come up with our top 3 tips to avoid a horribly scary time on set.

scary stories

1) Write a Script

I always ask clients if they need help writing a script for their digital marketing video. Often, the client tells me, "Oh we don't need a script," usually followed by, "we'll just wing it," or "I want it to feel natural." But what happens - every time - is that pressure of performing in front of a camera makes people freeze up. Every good idea you ever had just falls right out of your head, and you stand there like a deer in the headlights. Now you have to come up with something good to say, and you're under a time crunch. Even if your brand video is only 30 seconds long, a script is a must have before filming.

2) Provide Food

The way to a person's heart is through their stomach - and I don't just say that because I'm Italian. Film sets have an entire department dedicated to feeding everyone. Avoid a hangry, fatigued team by having snacks out and ready to go. There should be plenty of water to prevent dehydration (and fainting from standing under hot lights for hours). And of course, make sure to provide meals. Lunch is an absolute must: giving your crew both a hot meal and a chance to take a break helps rejuvenate them. If you ask people to be on location early in the morning, provide a full breakfast as well. If you have people stay late, include dinner. The rule for SAG actors is a 30-minute meal break every 6 hours on set, so that can be a good barometer.

3) Cushion the Schedule

Except delays. Expect something to go wrong, and suddenly you're behind schedule. Maybe talent shows up 30 minutes late. Maybe someone drops a piece of gear, and now you have to run out and buy a new one. Maybe there's that surprise mid-day thunderstorm and you can't film outside. If it typically takes you 30 minutes to set up, plan for an hour. Expect there to be multiple takes for each shot. By padding the schedule, the production won't feel rushed. If - by some miracle - everything goes exactly according to plan, now the team gets to leave early for the day. If something goes wrong, you're prepared.


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