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The Value of Testing Before Your Shoot

If you get the chance, you should always test new techniques before you get on set.

Along with my trusty producer Jack, I’ve been prepping over the past few weeks for a client’s shoot. It’s a cinematic scene set on a rainy night in a seedy and sparsely populated clubbing district.

That’s a tough combination. Despite the simplicity of the scene, we have two major factors that we hadn’t faced before: rain for the entirety of the shoot and completely occupying public sidewalk. (Though to be honest, with careful planning and coordination with the city, we took care of the sidewalk issue pretty easily.)

Sure, we have the normal variety of challenges to overcome. That’s normal for every shoot. A ton of tiny things that need to be confirmed, communicating with a number of people, and making sure you stay within budget while satisfying your client, to name a few.

However, when you begin introducing complete unknowns into that mix, it is cause for concern.

Should you stress out too much about it? No. But here’s the key:

You need to eliminate as many unknowns as possible for your shoot. You need to turn those unknowns into known factors.

Don’t guess and hope for the best. Well, you could do that, but I don’t recommend it. When you are on set, unexpected things will always happen. The more you can predict those potential issues, the smoother your shoot will be. Here, we put that principle into practice and test our rain rig prior to the shoot:

Go and test out unknown factors