Sure, there are as many iPhones as there are stars in the (Samsung) Galaxy. Sure, people are more forgiving about production value right now. And yes, you can send a mountain of footage to an able editor over the wonderful, wacky web. But should you? Are you going to feel good about using what they produce once COVID is in our rearview mirror?
We’ve all found some workarounds for our normal processes, right? In our experience:
- People are less interested in getting on a plane during a pandemic
- We are shifting to virtual events and need more content than ever
- Fully-staffed shoots are not feasible in many cases
There’s so much more to this thing than pointing a high-quality camera (which you carry in your pocket at all times) at your subject. But there are ways to get the production value you need (and will be proud of post-COVID) with support from the pros. Need to find those pros? We have the crews you need. Promise. Check their bios or ask your crew coordinator for someone who offers camera kits for self-recording.
HOW THE PROS ARE PROCURING USABLE SELF-RECORDED FOOTAGE
Producing from a distance has become more common. Even shows like Frontline are using this method to get what they need. Ask for a crew that has a process in place for sending you a self-recording kit. Don’t try to wing this one. Without proper planning, it will be frustrating for everyone and you won’t get the results you want.
Who doesn’t love a good kit, amiright?
A crew with the chops to do it right will create and send you a kit and follow a procedure something like the following. You’ve got meal kits, craft kids, Christmas decoration kits. Why not a camera kit? Your crew will send you a package, likely including an HDSLR camera (equipped with a microphone), a lav mic, and detailed instructions on setup. They’ll also include a prepaid UPS or FedEx envelope for the return.
How will I know what to do with it?
Well, cameras can be kind of technical, but the crew will configure the camera in advance to make your job as easy as possible.Once you’ve received it, they’ll do a video chat to work out the bugs and set up the shot. From there, you’ll film a short test shot for the crew to review. They may set up another call to refine the shot as needed.
Then you’ll mail the supplies back to the crew in the packing materials they provide. That’s it! Then you just wait for the post-production magic!
WHAT ABOUT COST?
You might be thinking you’ll save mountains of cash by filming yourself, but kit prep/shipping, collaboration between producers/DPs/and interviewees, plus the time it takes to pull this off will still be a big job for the crew. Even so, it’s almost always less than the cost of travel to produce something comparable. Be assured that they’ll make it as easy as possible for you and you’ll be happy with the result–something you’ll be proud to use post-COVID!