Edit Before You Shoot, Part One

Rick Sammon and I recently finished a small video project for Square. Square enables people from all walks of life to accept credit and debit cards. What better way to illustrate this than a real world situation that Rick finds himself in multiple times a year, selling his books at his workshops and seminars and loosing sales because he doesn’t take credit cards. With the basic premise in place we started out the process for shooting.

First Setup (unable to accept credit card):

  1. Establish location and activity. Rick selling his books after a workshop. Which he does all over the U.S.
  2. Introduce a workshop attendee wanting to buy a book and being frustrated that he can’t use his credit card
  3. Show frustration for Rick and his assistant Susan that he doesn’t take credit cards and looses a sale.

Second Setup (happily accept credit card):

  1. Establish location and activity. Rick selling his books after a workshop. Which he does all over the U.S.
  2. Introduce a workshop attendee wanting to buy a book and happy that he can use his credit card.
  3. Demonstrate how Square works
  4. Show a successful sale and purchase because of Square.

Edit Before You Shoot:

Because I was the director, cameraman and editor and knowing what our basic set up was, I went about plotting how I wanted to shoot. One of the things I’ve learned as an editor, which helps make the videos message work, is the ability to visualize the completed video before I shoot! Sounds weird I know but boy does it make everything a lot simpler when shooting. Basically it’s a storyboard but not on paper, but in your head.  First thing we did is to do multiple run throughs of the action. While listening to the performances for pacing, timing and hitting the key story telling points I mentally blocked my shots.

First Setup (unable to accept credit card):

I knew I wanted to have a wide shot to establish where and what we were doing.

Wide of Book Signing

My next shot was going to be a close up of the attendee who at first is excited to buy one of Rick’s books and get it autographed. It was important to show his disappointment and frustration in not being able to do so.

CU of Leo

Finally I knew that we needed to show a two shot between Rick and his assistant Susan that showed their disappointment in the lose of a sale.

Loosing a Sale

Second Setup (happily accept credit card):

The front piece was similar to the First Setup but now I needed to also shoot the Square demo.

Happy Wide

I knew we needed to shoot the iPhone with the card dongle in it, the credit card sliding through and then the app doing its transaction.

App Shots

I also wanted the buyer’s curiosity in what Square was doing.

CU Happy Leo

Finally I needed to see Rick and Susan’s successful sale.

Two Shot End

The actual shoot was done single camera. I felt that it was important that I shoot the performances all the way though for each camera angle. That allowed me to control the pace and flow of the action between the actors and allowed me the freedom in the edit room to mix up the different camera angles. See video below.

Square with Rick Sammon from David Leveen on Vimeo.

In part 2 I’ll go through the lighting setup and all of the equipment used. The whole shoot took about an hour including rehearsals and setup. The actual edit and graphics took just over an hour. So remember to Edit before you Shoot and visualize what you want your video to look like from start to finish.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in 7D, On Location, Video Velvetta. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s