Video Production 101: Coverage

Coverage is so important when creating a promotional video. The word “coverage,” when used in the context of video production, refers to the amount of footage needed to adequately “cover” the scene and tell your story. 

Neglecting to get adequate coverage during the video shoot means that you cannot properly tell the story when you get everything back to the edit suite. “Well then,” you might ask, “why would anyone neglect to get the coverage they need?”

Most often, in my experience, lack of coverage comes from a lack of time. And a lack of time can be caused by:

  • a failure to properly schedule the shoot.
  • a failure to stay on schedule due to various circumstances (talent and/or crew arriving late, problems with the location, problems with the gear, multiple takes of a scene that weren’t accounted for, last-second script changes, etc.).
  • failure to budget for an adequate amount of crew members.
  • failure to invest an amount of money proportional to the size and scope of the project.

For some video production projects, you will be able to coordinate all of the action for the camera. You will be able to set up lights, block out the scene, and shoot multiple takes. For other videos, you might only get one chance to shoot the action as it happens.

For the latter situation, you need to make sure that you budget enough to ensure that you have the right amount of crew on location and the right amount of time to shoot everything. Otherwise, you might not get a second chance, and you might find yourself without enough coverage for your video. This is especially true of live events, like trade shows, conferences, seminars, etc. Don’t budget for one camera, when you might need two or three to cover the event. One camera can capture interviews, one camera can capture keynote speakers and breakout sessions, and a third camera can cover the trade show floor. Don’t budget for one-half day, when the conference lasts one or two full days.

The last thing anyone wants (you, your video production crew, your marketing director) is to get into the editing suite only to realize that you have a video full of interviews, but not enough b-roll to flesh out the story. Carefully budget your time and your money and you won’t regret it.