Video ProductionWorking with the SME

4 Best Practices to Ensure a Smooth eLearning Manufacturing Video Shoot

Getting it right on a video shoot will save re-work and editing time

It’s the day of the video shoot. You’re at the manufacturing facility, shot list and script in hand. A client representative has been assigned to work with you and your crew during the production shoot. You’re ready to go.

Follow these 4 best practices for a more successful shoot.

  1. Be prepared to make changes to the script
    It’s not unusual to make some script changes during a manufacturing shoot, so don’t record the narration for the e-Learning script until after the video shoot. E-learning scripts for manufacturing training programs can be very detailed and specific.The SME who worked with you on the script may have provided information from memory or from notes. It’s easy to miss something that should have been included or get something out of order. That’s why it’s important to reference the video script for every shot.

    Check that what’s being videotaped matches the script. If it doesn’t, talk with the client representative and see where the problem lies. You may need to tweak a procedure, add a manufacturing step, or clarify a production process in the script. In some cases, you may even find that the employee being videotaped does things in a way that differs from the preferred method and may need to be corrected.

  2. Make sure a technical expert is watching the video monitor
    The technical expert is responsible for approving what is being videotaped. The two of you will work together to get the required shots. For every shot ask:

    • Is what is shown being done right?
    • Is the correct PPE being worn?
    • Is there anything in the shot that shouldn’t be? For instance: a piece of proprietary equipment or process, a missing safety guard, or holiday decorations that distract from the training.

    It’s important that the client watch the monitor. If you’re framed for a wide shot but the client is concentrating on watching the employee directly, they might not notice the piece of equipment missing a safety guard that is visible in the shot. Or if you’re on a close up shot, the camera might pick up a defect on a product that isn’t visible from a distance.

  3. Be vigilant about personal protective equipment (PPE).
    Multiple shots or an entire video shoot can be ruined if an employee is not wearing the proper PPE. Before hitting the record button, make sure everyone in the scene is wearing the correct personal protective equipment. It’s good practice to check in periodically with the technical expert to confirm that employees are wearing the right PPE. If you have any doubts, ask.Also look out too for what employees should NOT be wearing. For instance, jewelry such as watches and conductive clothing like large belt buckles may be banned in areas with exposed energized conductors or circuit parts. Different areas of the manufacturing facility can also have different requirements. Every time you change a shooting location, be attentive to Personal Protective Equipment.
  4. Watch for continuity.
    Employee schedules, material availability, down productions lines, and production processes that can’t be stopped can play havoc on continuity. When you’re working in a manufacturing facility, you have to be comfortable shooting the script out of order and on the fly. Because of these extra challenges, you need to be especially aware of continuity.Here are some continuity tips that you can apply to different types of manufacturing situations:

    • If you’re videotaping a product assembly, use the same model, color and size product for each shot.
    • Be aware of who is featured in the video. If you need to shoot out of order or return to a location to pick up a shot, check that you’re videotaping the same employee.
    • Pay attention to which hands an employee uses to perform different tasks. Make sure there is consistency for the shots you are getting.
    • Get wide, medium, and close ups shots so that you have plenty of options to choose from during the edit.
    • Edit in your mind as you are watching each video shot.

Manufacturing facilities present their own unique challenges on a video shoot. Take control with these best practices and both your shoot and edit will go more smoothly.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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