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5 tips for choosing a corporate video location

28 September 2012 at 06:41

Location, location, location might be the mantra of the real estate industry, but it is just as relevant to film production. And when it comes to corporate videos, choosing the right location can really help maximise the investment.

Halo Films recently recorded an interview with Trailblazer PR’s MD Sabrina at the beautiful Hawkwood College in Stroud. It was the ideal setting for what we wanted to convey. So, when we had a break between takes we asked Halo Films’ Managing Director Peter Georgi what his main criteria are when choosing a location. He gave us these five tips:

1. Ensure location and message are complementary

Location is about more than providing wallpaper. It adds depth to the message of a film and when it comes to corporate films, the location can speak volumes about the ethos of a brand.

At the outset of the project you need to define exactly what you are trying to achieve and what you want to communicate. Once you have nailed this, it is important to think very carefully about the location for the shoot, ensuring that it won’t detract from or contradict the overall message. Clearly you wouldn’t film the MD of a successful, forward thinking business against a shabby backdrop. But it goes further than that. With a little care and lateral thinking the location can really add something to the end product.

Hawkwood College was ideal for the Trailblazer PR shoot because it has a real warmth to it, and it exudes the composed air that you would look for in a communications consultancy.

2. Think about sound

Most people consider the visual aspects when choosing a location, but it is easy to forget the second vital component: sound (or lack of it).

When you are doing the initial recce, pay close attention to anything that might interfere with the audio. That might include traffic passing by, or it could be farm animals or barking dogs. Don’t overlook background noise, as it can cause a lot of problems once it comes to editing.

3. Try to keep control

 In an ideal world you would have complete control of the location and surrounding

In reality, you often have to contend with a lot of distractions and annoying interruptions. But with a bit of planning and communication you can keep these to a minimum and achieve some level of control. environment. There would be no risk of random people walking into the frame, or starting up their lawnmower in a nearby garden.

When you first visit the location, assess the surrounding area and consider any potential problems. Then work proactively to overcome them – perhaps putting up signs, or visiting neighbouring businesses or residents to let them know that you will be filming.

Advance preparation can help things run a lot more smoothly on the day.

4. Don’t set the interviewee up for a fall

When the main focus of the film is an interview, you need to be sensitive to the interviewee’s level of confidence. If they are likely to be nervous, it is a good idea to ensure the location is relatively private.

For instance, the staff canteen at lunchtime might seem like a fantastic, buzzing environment. But if you are trying to film a chief executive who has little filming experience, and they go to pieces in front of their employees, they won’t thank you for it.

It is vital that the interviewee is as relaxed and confident as possible. By choosing an environment that fosters this, you are making life easier and enhancing the outcome for everyone.

5. Remember parking!

It sounds mundane, but you really do need to think about how accessible the location is. Filming requires a lot of heavy gear, and you don’t want to be hiking over fields or lugging it up ten flights of stairs.

Try to arrange parking as close to the filming location as possible, then organise trolleys and whatever help you can muster to ensure the film crew aren’t exhausted before they’ve even done the first take.


Sabrina’s interview will be streaming here soon, but in the meantime, here are some pictures from the shoot, showing Hawkwood College in all its glory:

Trailblazer FilmingSabrina Pace-HumphreysTrailblazer Video

Tags: PR | Halo Films | Hawkwood College

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