NAB Recap: Working With Production Challenges

Although this was the third day of classes, it was the first day of the NAB trade show. The exhibit halls opened at 9am, which was also the time of my first class - Working With Production Challenges.

This class focused not on the technical, how-to's of production, but rather on how producers and directors can improve their skills on managing a set, working with their crew, and responding well to what their clients need. 

Amy DeLouise brought her expertise as a digital content creator and brand strategist to give the class some extremely helpful tips on how to successfully navigate a video production from start to finish. Here are some of the highlights:

Productions face the following challenges: a lack of time, lack of budget, too few crew, tricky locations, and too few assets.

Producers need to fight for more time on the front end of the project. Ninety percent of time and money should be spent in pre-production.

Concept boards will save Producers from a lot of agony during the shoot and edit. They help both the crew and the client stay focused on the mission of the video and the objectives it is trying to meet.

Use a shooting script whenever possible.

When you are on set, shoot stills while you are shooting video. This will give the client the option of using those stills for other marketing materials they may haven't thought of. This includes social media posts.

As your subjects to bring related materials to the shoot (photos, awards, memorabilia, etc.) You will need these elements as b-roll later.

Always choose people over gear. When you budget the shoot, your priority should be on hiring extra hands, not on extra equipment. Those extra grips will be a life-saver when you are on set and are forced to move quickly to make your shot list by day's end. You can have your crew pre-light the next scene while you and your director are wrapping up the current scene.

When you are location scouting, take advantage of online resources like and LinkedIn. Leverage LinkedIn by connecting with production professionals in the area. They can recommend locations, help you with logistics, warn you of potential problems, etc.

Also consider greenscreen as a potential solution for a tricky location situation or tight production schedule. Shooting against a greenscreen will allow you to schedule several interviews with your client back to back. If you decide on utilizing greenscreen, don't forget to shoot backplates, and remember to shoot the plates at the same focal length you use for your talent.

This was only one of several classes I attended during my third day at NAB. I will sum up the other classes (as well as my trade show floor experiences) in upcoming posts.