It’s shoot day and you’ve convinced the powers that be that you can create a premium commercial without the need of a creative agency, that will compete with most TV adverts and sit proudly on the home page of the brand’s website. And you can do it all for a reasonable £30,000. The studio is real, the talent turned up and your product didn’t get damaged in transit… you are just weeks away from realising your dream.
I know how it feels, because I’ve been there…literally.
It was 2014 and I had taken it upon myself to manage all the creative development, pre-production, selecting a director, casting etc. These were the days before internal creative teams had produced infamously ill-considered campaigns, so the expectation from everyone in the business was one of optimism, rather than fear.
The majority of the shoot day went without a hitch, I watched from a director style chair sipping my soya cappuccino (almond milk wasn’t really a thing yet) while the talent and crew did their magic. My attention primarily focused on the monitors - much like at a sport event, they gave the best view of the action. So naturally this became my reference.
If you hadn’t guessed (because probably this is the first of my articles you are reading) this solely visual focused-approach was a mistake. When you strip budget down to the essentials you become accountable for so many more roles than you possibly even knew existed… I mean what is a dolly grip for goodness sake!?.
In this case sound recording or lack of it would be my lesson. Although a sound technician was hired his kit wasn’t sufficient for the project, but I didn’t check (or even think to or even know what to check) and ultimately we had numerous issues with what was recorded and had to resolve them all in post, which was slow and time-consuming.
To avoid this, simply watch our latest Insight film, with myself and sound technician, Chris Round, who explains some of the fundamental elements of sound recording.