Since joining the team at Reliant Studios, I have learned what it means to serve our clients well. As we approach each new video project, we take enormous pride in our customer service — and if you’ve worked with us before, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
This service applies to everything we teach at Nonprofit Film School! Whether you’re at a nonprofit, a university, work in healthcare or at a church, there are many ways to serve your on-screen talent or interviewees. During the video production process, you’ll likely be spending the most time with people during production — that is, the day (or days!) of filming.
When it comes to production days on set, there is a lot going on. I’m the Coordinating Producer at Reliant, and production days are what I’m organizing, planning and anticipating for weeks (or even months!) in advance. Every single detail matters, and it’s my responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. With many production companies, a Coordinating Producer worries about location, capturing a list of shots and whether they’re on schedule. At Reliant, we focus on all of this, of course. But more importantly, we seek to create a great experience during production.
Production is not your typical day at work, so it shouldn’t be treated like one. It’s an exciting day that you’ve been anticipating for quite some time. Have you ever thought about what it takes to make production days special?
5 Tips for Enhancing your Video Production Experience on Set
Make Production Books
Providing a one-inch-wide, three-ring binder with a customized binder cover will make the production day feel that much more high-end. The binder cover should include your organization’s name, the title of the project and each individual’s name. If you don’t want to use binders, a simple folder can work!
Here's an example of a binder cover you could easily implement too:
Many people will show up with a copy of the production schedule or script, either pulled up on their phones or printed hard copies, but what happens if they accidentally leave their copies at home or the office? You can come to the rescue! Since you’re prepared, you’ll have everything nicely compiled in one place, in a very professional way, with their name on it to boot.
Put to Practice
One of our clients at Reliant left for our shoot that was over an hour away but accidentally left their production day materials at the office. However, they knew from working with us previously that we’d have a production book ready for them — and they were right! This simple courtesy relieved what could have been a stressful morning!
Throughout the day, ask your talent and crew how they’re doing and if you can do anything for them. Offer to bring them a drink or grab a chair for them to sit on. It can be something simple. This gives you an opportunity to help change or adjust any part of the process to their satisfaction. It shows you’re paying attention and care that they’re involved in the production day. What they share with you can also serve as helpful feedback, giving you a head’s up on what you can do to improve the process during your next shoot.
Put to Practice
Put a reminder in your phone! In my early days at Reliant, I used to set a reminder in my phone to go off every hour. During production, there are numerous tasks for me to be handling, therefore it’s easy to forget about what matters most: serving those who are attending your shoot. Setting that reminder was a simple way for me to practice serving everyone well throughout the day, and it has now become second nature.
Take Behind-the-Scenes Photos and Videos
Everyone loves seeing the action that goes on behind-the-scenes of a video shoot. You can share the experience with photos or videos captured on your phone or a camcorder.
Take photos of candid moments during an interview (though be very careful not to distract the interviewee or anyone else involved), while people are getting their makeup done or when a group is gathered for lunch. There are numerous opportunities to capture behind-the-scenes moments!
You can post these photos or videos on social media to promote the finished video, building anticipation while the final video is in post-production or share them alongside your final video when you premiere it online.
Put to Practice
I use iMovie and the app SPLICE on my iPhone to edit the behind-the-scenes videos together. Both apps are user-friendly and get the job done with ease. Here’s an example of a behind-the-scenes video I produced for Christian Heritage while on set for two days using the iMovie app:
You can watch the final video here!
You’ll be surprised with how happy your crew, on-screen talent and interviewees will be when they see a table stacked with snacks and a cooler full of cold drinks. These little treats can go a long way, especially during a long production day.
Before production, ask around to find what snacks or drinks people enjoy. Find opportunities to listen. When you’re on set, listen for if anyone mentions certain delectables, so you can provide those options the next time you’re filming. This is a practical way to show you’re fully invested in everyone’s well-being and striving toward hospitality (for a very low cost!).
Put to Practice
For one particular shoot at Reliant, we knew our talent loved Diet Coke and Peanut M&M’s. Therefore, before he arrived, we put a cold Diet Coke & bag of Peanut M&M’s in the waiting area for him. When he arrived, he was so happy that he immediately took a picture!
Send a Handwritten Thank-You Card
Technically this is after production, but it’s closely related.
Have you thought of sending a thank-you card, once production is complete? Not an email, not a text, but an old-school greeting card?
Even after a shoot, you can continue to go above and beyond for your talent or interviewees by spending the time to write a thank you and express how grateful you are for their time, willingness to share their story and the impact their story will have on others.
Put to Practice
If you have the means, consider ordering custom thank-you cards with your organization’s name on them. While this indicates that you’re professional, the inside of the card is still personal and intentional. Everyone loves receiving a card in the mail!
These five, simple tips are quick, convenient and cost-effective ways to help enhance your experience and encourage positive relationships during production. With time and creativity, I’m sure you’ll come up with more unique ways that’ll make your production days enjoyable.
How do you strive to make production days special? Please share in the comments below!