Friday, April 18, 2014

What is Field Production, Really?

Some people may not know what field production actually means, well field production means you're anywhere but a studio. Field production is always dependent upon the characteristics of your location. Your location might be a doctor's office, the bottom of a canyon or a barn.

Each situation calls for unique methods but you can always find similarities. Field production usually requires a lot of setting up and tearing down the equipment.

The Super Bowl, the mother of all field productions, uses at least seventy cameras along with two huge trucks full of tape decks, lights, microphones, cables, switchers, signal controllers, graphics generators, you name it that extravaganza uses it.

(These are just the cameras!)

Hollywood movies evolved using one-camera technique. Most field productions, especially low-budget, are done with one-camera technique.

One-camera technique means the action is repeated over and over with the one camera in a new location every time.

For fancy field production, all the lights are moved and re-set up in between every camera location.

Then, all that footage is editing together to simulate the effect you would have gotten had the action been captured simultaneously by multiple cameras.

Field productions are edited using a computer after they are shot. Good editing can make even a boring subject exciting but quality editing is time consuming. An editor who knows his stuff will plan on taking a minimum of one-hour to finish one-minute of edited story. Quick, down and dirty editing might go faster, but not much. An extremely intricate :30 commercial that gets bickered over a lot might be in editing two weeks. No wonder the budgets for video can quickly soar out of sight! Don't let that happen to you.

The higher the level of the production, the longer editing can take. Quality editing can save an otherwise poor production. Good editing is usually planned, and not just a reaction to fixing stuff that went wrong when shooting. Good editing is one of your most powerful story-telling techniques.

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