Lights, camera, action

Lights, camera, action

Mar 21, 2011

All the hard work and creative effort. The planning, organising, scouting, casting, performances, equipment, crew and so on. It all comes down to this. The shoot. It's only a moment in time but everything depends on getting it right.

Does this sound dramatic? Well it is. There is usually a significant amount of money riding on everything falling into place when you make a television commercial. It's like compressing the making of a Hollywood movie into 4 to 8 hours.

When a shoot day is produced correctly however, the fear disappears and it is both fun and rewarding for the client, the creative team and the crew.

For instance approximately 3 to 6 months preparation went into our shoot day for KPM. The shoot itself however only lasted 5 hours. Think about that.

Most television commercials that require a shoot usually take no more than one or two months from concept to completion. This was however new territory for the boys from KPM and a serious investment so we slowed down the process to ensure everybody was comfortable with each step of the journey.

It is important to point out that the success of any television commercial is largely due to both the creative team and the client working together, having a clear understanding of the process and trusting that each party will do their job correctly.

The KPM shoot had all sorts of logistic and creative challenges but the biggest ended up being rain! Frustrating to all was the fact that the long range weather forecast changed on us which caused a great deal of grief because we had to change the shoot day at very short notice. This meant rescheduling 15 people to get them on location 2 days later. We had to rearrange approvals for property usage and council clearances, and almost lost access to the vehicles. KPM however trusted us enough to push to keep them. The result I'm glad to say speaks for itself, everything fell into place. Two days earlier it poured with rain.

The client said to us on the day, "once we arrived at the location and watched the shoot unfold, we knew everything was right."

They also said they found the perception of most trades people, including themselves, was generally that everybody else's trade was easy. After seeing the shoot they reported an appreciation for how much work and skill was involved in getting a television commercial right. Being involved on the day helped them to understand the craft.

I believe those words ring true. Every trade requires individuals skilled in their craft to ensure projects run smoothly and seem effortless.

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