Changing locations because of the weather, or because something changed since you went scouting is a pain in the ass, but this is what is happening in the real life. I know, nobody tells you to get prepared somehow, but pay attention to this: Prepare to fail!
Prepare yourself for what might happen in your production. Don’t be paranoid, but try to get backups for locations, gear, extras (in term of actors), transportation and anything you think there is a possibility something might not work.
Everything in this industry is based on failing. You fail and you fail again, only better. This is how you get experience. I know, it seems strange, I failed so many times I cannot count, but every time I learned something from it. Oh, don’t forget about the team. Your team needs to be solid. You cannot make your shoot look like a big production with a team that you don’t trust and doesn’t have your back. This has to work both ways. In terms of trust, it’s about trusting your colleague that he’s going to be 100% invested in the project and he’s going to show up. I think is translated into working with passionate people like yourself.
Going back to our production, we wanted a lake with a small dock and a forest. The forest was easy cheesy because there are several types of forests around or home city. With the lake there was a different story. We initially found a lake 30 km away, with a really nice dock, but someone broke it between the scouting and the day before the shoot. (they broke some wood parts and everything looked bad).
We had a backup, at Martinești (a little bit closer, but less accessible because of the terrain.) and we had to go with that even if we had a little foot work :). (We managed to get one of the cars with all the gear close to the location.)
Actually, we enjoyed it more, because we had a lot of room and being more remote actually means wilder and with less (bad) influence from humans.
This time, we didn’t use a track and dolly, we used our DJI Ronin gimbal for moving the camera, and of course the shoulder mount all paired with a Blackmagic 4K assist monitor (which is awesome!). All the shots were made with the Zeiss 28 mm T2.1 CP2 lenses. I don’t know about you, but I personally enjoy the 28mm a lot.
As for advice, plan ahead all the time. Do your scouting, prepare the actors, anything that’s needed for the production to go as planned or as close as possible. Pre-production is key. During the production of this music video we could have given up, basically, in every single day, but we didn’t. We cleared our heads and found solutions for every possible problem or issue. This field is hard, it has ups and downs, sometimes you get to work on projects that are not representing you 100% but this is the industry. We are here because we love what we do and, if this means we get this kind of project from time to time, well we love them too.
Thanks for following us, it means a lot. You are the reason we are doing this, and we strongly believe that by sharing our experiences in the field we will help us all be better in what we do. If you guys have additional questions, put them in an email and we will try and answer them.
Here you can find the official music video.