What does setting up on location involve?
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What does setting up on location involve?

Author: James Cresswell | Posted on: 22 July 2021


After working through the lockdowns on a lot of remotely filmed and animation-based content, it’s been great to have more of a chance to safely shoot out on location again. As well as getting to work in a variety of interesting places, travelling out to film also presents an array of creative opportunities and challenges.

Filming on location involves a lot more than just rocking up and pressing record – when we’re out filming with clients, here’s what we do to ensure that we get the best content that we can.

on location

Figuring out the space

Being able to study and analyse a location where we’re shooting is important for a number of reasons. Going on a recce before filming helps to ensure that the shoot can be conducted as safely as possible, while also allowing us to plan the shots, and work out how best to execute them.

Prior preparation was vital, for example, when working on the below case study video with Foehn and Trident Honda. It’s particularly important, when filming in a live work environment rather than a closed set, to find a spot reliably free of too much noise. To get the framing of the interviewee right, a member of the crew may have to “sit in” for the interviewee while testing potential camera set-ups around the space.

When making preparations on the day of the shoot itself, one of the most important things to remember is your contributors. Setting up and preparing can take time, and so ensuring that participants have access to refreshments and somewhere comfortable to wait is paramount.

Preparing equipment and setting up

Another step is to prepare the equipment that will be required. Generally, as well as the cameras and tripods, setting up lights is important for helping to draw focus to what’s important in the shot – whether that’s an interviewee’s face, or a product that’s on display.

More complex shoots that require us to capture particularly dynamic shots may require other bits of kit too; which can include sliders, to create smooth sidewards motions, and gimbals, which stabilise the camera while allowing for more free movement. Drones, for example, played an essential role in our cinematic promo for the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – enabling us to get shots that move freely through the dazzling architecture of the building.

Making the final checks

Before hitting record, there are a number of final details to pay attention to. These include various camera settings: white balance, for example, to ensure that colours are consistent between different shots and lighting set-ups; as well as exposure settings that ensure the shot isn’t overwhelmingly bright or dark, and focus so that the object of the shot is sharply framed.

When recording sound, there are additional requirements to check sound levels, listen out for potentially intrusive noises, and – in some cases – to record a sample of silent ambience from the room that can be used when editing.

From the work we’ve done with various clients, we’re familiar with shooting in a variety of spaces: from outdoor events, to university campuses and office spaces. If you’re interested in learning more about our work and what we can do for your business, feel free to get in touch via our contact page.

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Author: James Cresswell

James Cresswell gravatar avitar
James is our copywriter and social media manager here at Ember Television. He joined us after studying an MA programme in Film and Television: Research and Production at the University of Birmingham.
What does setting up on location involve?



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