Planning on filming a commercial for your website, television, or even YouTube ads? Here are the do’s and don’ts for any successful production filmed on-location.
Haneke Design was called upon by FrankCrum to direct a commercial for their Human Resource Information System (HRIS) called “MyFrankCrum.” Haneke Design jumped into action to write, storyboard, cast, and direct this project. With the help of Scatter Bros. Productions and the marketing department at FrankCrum, we had our dream team.
Who – FrankCrum (the client)
What – Commercial shoot for a new HRIS software they are launching called “MyFrankCrum”
Where – Sunny St. Pete, FL with 3 different locations: Residential Home, Marina, and Oyster House on Beach Drive
When – 1-day shoot, juggling many elements like chasing light before it gets dark
Why – Show how small businesses can benefit from the new software being rolled out by FrankCrum
How do you advertise a product without actually showing it? The FrankCrum HRIS software is currently still in the production phase and not yet released to the public.
The target audience for this commercial is small business owners. So we had to find an industry that is universally appealing – everyone loves food! So restaurants are the perfect way to showcase an example of the FrankCrum potential customer of this new software.
1. Pick your A-team crew
We chose to hire a videographer team local to Tampa Bay, Scatter Bros. Productions. They would know the locations and have a good grasp of the production specs!
2. Write your voice over script
If you plan on having a voice over in your commercial, you’ll want to write those ideas down on paper before you start visualizing the project. Figuring out what message you want to communicate will help you craft your commercial’s storyboard.
3. Visualize your ideas into a storyboard
When you are dealing with shooting on location, there are going to be elements out of your control. So the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. Especially if you are going to be filming outside, taking into consideration that natural light will be fleeting, you’ll want to plan everything as much as possible to avoid time-sucking snags.
4. Location scouting
Location, location, location! This can make or break your video. For this commercial shoot, the storyline called for 3 locations. Finding the perfect locations that were believable to our audience was key. Big shout out to The Oyster Bar in St. Pete, who was nice enough to let us shoot during the day outside of business hours.
This script called for a variety of subjects. The cast ended up being a mix of paid actors and friends of the crew. When hiring a paid actor, you have to go through the vetting process, watch their reels, and ultimately decide who makes the cut.
6. Don’t forget about the details
Hair and makeup are crucial. Even though it doesn’t look like it, even men are most likely wearing makeup in all of your favorite TV shows and movies. Makeup artists will make your shoot look polished because they have an eye for detail – like taming those stubborn fly-away hairs and making sure that the actor’s face is shine-free!
- Storyboard everything before filming.
- Feed the crew – keeping everyone well-fed will decrease the chance of people getting hangry and impatient.
- Keep things moving – don’t dwell on every single detail. After you film a couple of takes, you will likely have something good enough to work with in the editing room.