Video Production is Going “Viral”

Businesses and non-profit organizations know that video remains the most powerful means of conveying information and maintaining awareness in the minds of their customers and prospects.

But in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, organizations who want to leverage the power of video are understandably concerned about the production process – in short, can production continue in a safe and effective manner?

In short, yes. In fact, for most productions, the process will not really be all that different. Very few of the projects we have created over the past 28 years have involved a crew of more than four or five people, and the vast majority have required just two or three. In some cases a very basic shoot can be handled safely and efficiently by a single videographer.  With the proper advance planning and coordination, we will be able to ensure a “safe shoot”.

We want to make sure that we are providing a safe working environment, not only for our employees, but for our customers as well, so we have developed a set of safety guidelines for our in-studio and client location video sessions.

Below you can see the basic steps we’ll be taking going forward, as well as read the full list of procedures we’ll be following in order to meet both local requirements and CDC guidelines. These policies will allow us to safely continue producing videos, with little to no compromise on the quality you’ve come to expect from us.

WE NOW HAVE SPECIAL ACCESS TO A LARGE “STUDIO” SETTING!

We have made arrangements with our friends at The VERVE Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Natick, to use their available ballroom space for interviews, webinars and other small shooting sessions. For example, their Apollo Ballroom is 70 by 60 feet by 14 feet high. Having access to such large spaces allows us to spread out the equipment and chairs and keep plenty of distance between the people involved. And these sessions will also take place in a well-ventilated setting with immediate access to restrooms and other adjacent spaces that are regularly and professionally cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Our “Safe Shooting” Guidelines: the Executive Summary

SMALL CREW: Personnel will be minimal. The number of crew members needed on set will vary depending on the type of shoot, with only one crew member needed for basic interview/testimonial shoots and up to three for more elaborate live stream shoots. We’ll work with you to figure out the smallest crew possible for your video shoot.  Crew members showing signs of illness will not be allowed to enter the shooting location or handle any equipment.

CLEANING: All equipment will be disinfected after setup, during and after all shoots.

PROTECTIVE MASKS AND INDUSTRIAL GLOVES: We will wear clean masks and gloves at all times and multiple bottles of hand sanitizer will be available for all. Gloves and masks will be discarded after each shoot. Masks will be provided to all clients who show up on location without one.

RECORDING FROM A DISTANCE: Our crew members will remain at least six feet away from each other and from clients. The zoom lenses on our cameras will allow us to obtain closeup images of our subjects without having to be literally “in their face”.  In fact, virtually every interview we have ever recorded has been shot with the camera MORE than six feet from the subject.

We also plan to record audio from a safe distance, using overhead “boom” or “shotgun” microphones when possible. If the use of a boom mike is not possible due to ambient noise levels or other reasons, we will have separate, sanitized lavalier microphones available for each presenter. We will keep our distance and verbally guide them through the process of attaching the microphone to their lapel or collar and positioning the mike cable so that it is not visible on camera.

Our Expanded Guidelines:

– All crew members will be monitored for any Covid-19 symptoms and will have their temperature taken upon arriving at the location. If any symptoms appear, they will not be allowed to remain on site, and a replacement will be brought in if possible.

– All on location shooting will be done either outdoors or in a room that is large enough to maintain social distancing. The minimum size required will vary depending on the size of the crew and what equipment is needed.

– All crew members will put on a brand new sterile mask and gloves before entering the shoot location and will sanitize their hands at least once per hour while on site. The crew will also carry spare masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer for use during the shoot.

– Before the shoot, a crew member will carefully wipe down all equipment with disinfectant wipes. Equipment will also be disinfected after each shoot ends (and during the shoot as appropriate).

– Any surface that is commonly touched on location will be thoroughly disinfected multiple times daily. This includes doorknobs, light switches, tables, chairs, phones, and any other area on which contact contamination is possible.

– During setup, only crew members will be allowed in the room being used for the shoot. A separate safe space will be provided as a waiting room for incoming clients and their guests.

– All crew members will maintain approved social distancing (at least 6 feet) at all times. Clients and other “talent” scheduled to appear on camera will do their own hair and makeup as needed.

– When possible, we will use an overhead shotgun microphone on a stand to capture audio. When this is not possible, the interviewee will be instructed from a distance on how to clip a sterilized lavalier microphone to their clothing and how to “hide” the cable under their clothing.

– Once setup is complete, only the necessary crew members and talent will be allowed in the room for the duration of the shoot. If a remotely located client representative requests the opportunity to monitor the recording session, we can set up a direct audio and video feed from the location (via Zoom or an equivalent). This will require advance coordination, additional equipment and extra setup time.

What if clients are still apprehensive about bringing  a video crew into their space?

If you still feel uncomfortable with the idea of on location shooting, we can help you create the video content you need in other ways.  Here are some options that don’t require your people to interact with our video team in a face-to-face setting:

  1. We can record an interview or testimonial remotely over Zoom or other similar platforms. Our director will log on with the talent to make sure their audio is clean, and to instruct them how to light and frame themselves. The Client can also log in to watch and give suggestions. We’ll then record footage of the interview, which is captured by the talent’s webcam, to an HD recording device via HDMI.
  2. We can edit footage that you record yourself. We’ll send you a list of tips for getting the best quality footage from your smartphone, including how to hold the phone, how to frame the image, and inexpensive microphones and lights that you can use.
  3. We can create new videos from a combination of stock footage and images, any existing footage we have access to, voiceover, and motion graphics.

If your company needs video content, you DON’T have to settle for do-it-yourself smartphone video!  We can get it done for you safely and without compromising on the quality you have come to expect from us!  Call us at 508-877-0065 or visit our contact page to request more information.

Stay safe, and thank you for your trust and continued support.