Making (Video) Lemonade

 In Video Production

Coordinating a video shoot is an unpredictable endeavor.  There’s so many variables to think about every time you set up a session;  securing a visually appealing setting, coordinating schedules of your guests, setting up lighting, accounting for ambient noise, configuring camera angles, making sure you have appropriate storage – the list goes on.

Perhaps the most unpredictable variable when coordinating an outdoor video shoot is the weather.  This past week, we ran into the perfect storm (literally) during an early morning shoot in the Boston Harbor.

We set up all of the aforementioned details for a shoot on the deck of the Liberty Clipper Tall Ship,A beautiful 125 foot sailboat that has sailed just about everywhere in the world.  Then we were reminded of

Tyler saving a camera from the rain

Tyler saving a camera from the rain

the most accurate quote in the world:  “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.”

After a summer of drought, and a beautiful morning, the skies opened up and dumped rain on the Liberty Clipper – and our crew – mercilessly for the duration of our shoot.

The number one rule of planning an outdoor shoot is to have a Plan B.  In this particular case, we had several backup locations fall through at the last minute.  Beyond that, the lower deck of the ship turned out to not be quite what we were hoping for from a visual standpoint, and it happened to be filled with guests and crew sheltering from the rain.  To top things off, the rain came so suddenly that the awning on the top deck – our last resort – had to be pulled up around us as we set up.

In short – the weather gave us some really sour lemons.  We had no choice but to make a little bit of lemonade.

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Cameras covered by umbrellas, Phil and GJ covered in rain

The fantastic crew on the boat scrambled to get the awning up.  Our own production crew scrambled to cover our gear in makeshift waterproofing.  We stashed anything we could in the corners of the boat that were dry.  We got our panel of hosts set in the driest possible area of the deck under the awning, and we rolled.

At the end of the day, the shoot turned out great.  Despite the entire crew gaining about 20 pounds in instant water weight, we kept the gear safe, the footage crisp, and our guests (relatively dry).

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Lemonade!

The lessons learned?  Never trust a forecast, and always be ready to make lemonade.  And while a disaster like this only happens 1 in 1,000 times, it’s good to be reminded that when you need to, you can react accordingly and get the job done.

You can view the end result of the rainiest shoot I’ve ever been a part of over at CMS-Connected’s website, where it’s going to be the September 2016 episode of the show.  If you like that show, give us a ring – we’ll talk about the best ways to leverage video that will set your company apart from the field.

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