On set at a Skeleton Video Production shoot for Europa. The backdrop is green and red. In the foreground we see camera equipment, in the background we see a producer talking to the actor.
13 September 2022 The basics of video production

Managing On-Set Challenges and Contingencies in Video Production

Leading video firms turn setbacks into seamless opportunities, with flexibility and anticipation

Behind every breathtaking video lies a saga of unforeseen challenges and last-minute adjustments. Whether it's the whims of weather or an unexpected technical hitch, on-set complications are par for the course. So how does a video production company stay ahead, ensuring a smooth shoot irrespective of hurdles? Let’s delve into the strategies for managing on-set challenges and contingencies.

1. Anticipation is Half the Battle

Foreseeing potential issues is the cornerstone of effective problem management. A seasoned video production company always conducts a pre-shoot risk assessment. This involves scrutinising the shoot plan, identifying areas of vulnerability, and drafting preventive measures. Is there a complex stunt involved? Ensure there's a safety officer on set. Filming in a crowded location? Get all necessary permits well in advance.

2. Equipment Double-Check

Technical glitches can throw a spanner in the works. That's why it's crucial to have all gear checked and tested a day prior to the shoot. Backup equipment, from cameras to microphones, should always be on standby. Remember, while you can't predict every equipment failure, you can certainly be prepared for it.

3. Weather Woes? Have a Plan B

The unpredictability of weather has been many a video production company’s nemesis. If your shoot is outdoors, always have an alternate indoor location in mind. Keeping an eye on weather forecasts and having equipment covers on hand can also help mitigate potential rain-related delays.

4. Time Management is Key

Delays on set can cascade, jeopardising the entire shoot schedule. This is where efficient time management steps in. Allocate buffer time between sequences and ensure everyone is clear about the day's timeline. A well-structured call sheet, detailing each scene's requirements, can keep things ticking along nicely.

5. Navigating Personnel Issues

People are the heart of any production. But what happens if your lead actor falls ill or a crew member doesn't show up? Having stand-ins or backup crew members who are familiar with the project can be a lifesaver. Regular communication, breaks, and ensuring a positive on-set environment can also reduce the risk of personnel-related disruptions.

6. Always Have a Financial Buffer

Any video production company worth its salt knows the importance of a financial safety net. Unforeseen expenses can and do crop up. Whether it's hiring replacement equipment or compensating for extended shoot hours, it's prudent to set aside a contingency budget.

7. Embrace Flexibility

Sometimes, despite the best-laid plans, things go awry. Here, adaptability becomes a video producer's greatest asset. Can't film a scene due to sudden rain? Maybe there's an indoor shot that can be tackled instead. Is there a power cut? This could be an opportunity to rehearse a scene or discuss the next day's plan.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities

In the dynamic world of video production, challenges are inevitable. But for every problem, there's a solution waiting to be found. A video production company that embraces contingencies, prepares diligently, and approaches hurdles with a can-do attitude can not only navigate challenges but also turn them into unexpected opportunities. After all, sometimes, it's the unplanned moments that create the most memorable shots.

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Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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