Best PracticesVideo Production

Starting your eLearning Video Shoot Off Right in a Manufacturing Facility

Maximizing your video shoot: These best practices will help start your eLearning shoot off right

You and your video production crew have just arrived at a facility where you will be spending the day taping a manufacturing process for an e-Learning program. You have the script, the shot list, and the name of your contact. In a perfect video production world you would have conducted a site survey prior to the shoot date. Many times though, this isn’t an option.  More often, the first time you find yourself on the production floor is on the day of the shoot.

Following these 6 best practices will get your video shoot off to a good start.

  1. Check in first.
    When you arrive at the facility, check in and meet your contact. Find out where the best place is to unload. Don’t assume that you will be bringing your gear through the main entrance. You may be directed to a loading dock or to a door close to a service elevator.
  1. Set up a staging area.
    A staging area is a place where you can unpack your video equipment. Here, you can leave behind camera, lighting, and tripod cases and extra equipment that you may need during the video shoot such as batteries or lights. The gear should be out of the way but easily accessible and secure. If your staging area is in someone’s office or a conference room, make sure you have access to the area throughout the video shoot.
  1. Use a cart to carry your equipment.
    A cart keeps your equipment organized and can help save time when you are moving between shooting locations. Often times manufacturing facilities will have a cart available for you to use, but it’s a good practice to bring one along.
  1. Wear the designated personal protective equipment (PPE).
    If you are shooting on a manufacturing floor or in a production area, there is a good chance that you will need to wear some type of personal protective equipment. When you schedule the video shoot, find out if there are any mandatory clothing or footwear requirements that you and your crew will need to follow and then dress accordingly. For example, some facilities may require you to wear steel-toed boots, closed-toed shoes, or long pants. Other types of PPE like goggles, hard hats, ear protection, or protective clothing if required are usually provided when you check into the facility.
  1. Conduct a walk-through.
    Ask your contact person to take you and your crew on a walk-through of the facility. Visit each of the locations where you will be videotaping. Review the shot list with your contact and verify that the list of shots for each location is correct.For each area where you will be videotaping, note the following:
  • Availability of electrical outlets for plugging in lights or a video monitor
  • Loud noises that would prevent video interviews or audio recording
  • Lighting conditions
  • Special video equipment that will be needed, i.e. wide angle lens, reflector, dolly, C-stands, etc.
  • Required personal protective equipment for the area (PPE is something that you need to keep checking throughout the video shoot. Before hitting the record button, always verify that everyone featured in the scene is wearing the correct PPE.)
  • Props, tools or any specialized personnel that may be needed for each shot in the area
  1. Create a shooting schedule.
    Determine the order that you will go to each videotape location. Your contact person will be able to help you plan the itinerary for the most efficient use of everyone’s time.Here are some of the most common considerations when making up a schedule:
  • Manufacturing processes that only happen at certain times of the day or during certain shifts
  • Lunch breaks
  • Shift changes
  • Availability for personnel that you need to interview or for technical assistance
  • The position of the sun if you need an exterior shot of the facility
  • Changing weather conditions for exterior shots

Videotaping at a manufacturing facility that you have never been to before can be a challenge. Use these best practices to maximize your day.

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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