How to make event videos 5: keep the line open!

We are launching a series of behind the scenes information articles and this first series is based on  “How to make great event videos.” Whether you are shooting a convention, seminar, workshop, or launch party, event videos are some of the most challenging – exciting – videos you can make.  Of course, a great video is built upon great foundations.
Finally, the day of the event has arrived and it´s time to start shooting the video. What can throw a wrench into all of our pre-production planning are last minute surprises. Here´s a few surprises that we´ve come across more than once:

  1. Parking problems
  2. Access problems
  3. Electrical problems
  4. Sound problems
  5. Interviewee problems
  • PARKING PROBLEMS. Example: Our name has been theoretically put on a parking list, but when we drive into the security checkpoint, it turns we are not on the list.
  • ACCESS PROBLEMS. Example: We are told  that we cannot shoot in areas that were previously agreed to during our scouting day.
  • ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS. Example: Electrical outlets do not work or are not turned on, although they had worked previously during testing on the scouting day.
  • SOUND PROBLEMS. We are unable to locate person in charge of sound at the venue in order to be plugged in to their sound system for recording panelists or speakers.
  • INTERVIEWEE PROBLEMS. The interviewee has not showed up and we need to find him or her.

All of the problems above can be solved with easy and open communication first and foremost with the venue contact, who is the designated person from the event venue we have been communicating with up until the shoot day. Our crew should have this person´s mobile phone number, and the person should answer it when called or messages as soon as possible. Otherwise, it should be established where this person will be located during the day, so that we can physically find him or her in case of emergency.
In addition to having easy and open access to the venue contact, Stark Crew should also be provided with the mobile phone numbers and, if possible, physical location during the day, of the venue´s parking managers, access managers, electrical manager in-house sound system manager, and phone numbers for all interviewees.
When shooting an event video, it is best to be wary of Murphy´s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” We can plan and prepare as much as possible, but in the event of a surprise obstacle, the worst thing that can happen is that you´re calling for help but no one is picking up the phone.
Lesson learned? Whether it´s via mobile phones or walkie-talkies,  KEEP THE LINE OPEN!