19/02/2021 Nicola Harris

5 Lessons from Shooting Remotely.

Who would have thought we’d be shooting all over the world without even having to leave the house? In a year where all normality went out the window, our creative and production teams have had to get real creative and find new ways to shoot content through ever-changing restrictions. And when it comes to pulling off a remote shoot, we have learnt a lot.

Embrace collaboration in all aspects.

When you’re producing full-scale shoots from home, collaboration becomes even more central to getting things done. You’ve got to trust your crew to bring your vision to life if you can’t be there. Local suppliers and fixers become your eyes and ears on the ground. It’s all about embracing the collaboration and utilising a wide range of insight and expertise to get the job done.

Set up clear lines of communication.

Developing strong working relationships with your suppliers and crew is essential as well as making sure everyone is always in the loop. That requires dedicated checkpoints throughout the week to keep aligned, and making sure everyone’s always got the most up-to-date information as restrictions and logistics change. You all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet and ready to adapt to last-minute changes.

Take advantage of what technology can offer.

We’ve really learnt to push the limits of technology shooting through the pandemic. We’ve learnt how to use tech advancements to our advantage to encourage smarter working. We’ve had directors dialling into international shoots, learnt to interview on Zoom, done virtual recces. Technology has been the central work-around that has kept us producing and shooting throughout the last year, meaning that although we haven’t been able to physically travel, we’ve been able to travel the world virtually and produce international shoots with a high production value from afar.

Be agile and willing to change your expectations.

Plans change and then change again. We’re working in a restrictive framework that’s constantly changing so being able to adapt and respond to problems as they arise is so important. You’ve got to be willing to alter your expectations as circumstances change and always be ready to respond with agility and a readiness to embrace the challenge, especially for the things that are out of your control. One of the key learnings amongst the production team over the last year has definitely been becoming comfortable when things aren’t possible to control and adapting to find solutions that are within our control instead.

Think outside the box.

There’s a lot of hurdles to overcome, but that doesn’t mean being any less ambitious in your creative. You have got to find new ways to tell your story and rethink your approach for bringing it to life and to do it in a way that is feasible to deliver on time, on budget and within client expectations. Don’t be afraid to push back on clients if a creative is now unfeasible due to problems outside of your control, but do so in a way that is constructive. Bring another idea that is feasible to the table to get clients on board with solutions. Producing in times like these is a challenge, but it’s also a chance to get creative and play with a whole new set of tools.