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BTS Location Filming

Video Production on Location

Location filming  has many challenges including;

  • Sound on location
  • Lighting
  • Moving kit
  • No power supply
  • … and many more!

Sound on location

The most obvious problem when filming outside is that you have no control over the sound. The biggest offenders are roads and planes. The images below are from our Pilates DVD shoot. We were filming location sound at a location between Heathrow and Gatwick. The main thing you can do with planes is … wait! Or get the sound to mic ratio right down, i.e. get the mic really close to the contributor! Luckily in this shoot each take was only a minute long, so we were able to dodge the audio interruptions.

Broadcast TV Sound
One example of location sound in the broadcast world is wildlife programmes. Commonly the camera will record a camera mic only, and everything the viewer hears has been added in a studio afterwards.

Lighting on location

Lighting is one of the hardest things to do on location. Often the crew will have to rely on the biggest light of them all… the Sun! Using the 3 point lighting technique you need the main light on a contributor face and the ‘fill’ light. If you don’t have any power and battery powered lights are out of the question then the best way to do this is with reflectors. This way you can bounce the light into the face of the contributor. With a good reflector to hand, you can even use the sun to backlight your subject and use the reflector to provide the ‘key light’.

The other option is to light the scene. This can be complex to achieve if up a mountain and will need generators to power the lighting, or battery powered LED lights. Here is a simple setup using a blond.

Getting kit around

There is no way of getting around it; shooting outside slows down a shoot. It is important to have enough ‘hands on deck’ to be able to move around quickly. This is why for our video productions we often require ‘runners’ when filming on location. You also have a common enemy when filming on location in the UK – the rain! There isn’t a lot you can do about this, other than to be prepared!

Here are some shots from the BTS filming above