Five Things to Do Before Someone Videotapes Your Facility

Last week PBS came to film a new 30-second sponsorship spot on campus. The end result will be a montage of 1-2 second clips that we spent all day filming. Looking back, here are five things I could have done to make this type of experience go easier...

1. Decide who will be on camera and get waivers signed. The day before! Don't wait until the day of the shoot to alert staff to find some residents. Schedule this time in advance with both the resident and staff, and be sure to get a facility photo consent signed ahead of time. In some cases, the person filming will also have a waiver; don't bet on it, though.

2. Setup shots and cleanup. Decide where you will be shooting and schedule Environmental Services for some specific upkeep of the area. Again, don't scramble at the last minute.

3. Get to know the camera person. They may come with an agenda and specific shots in mind. If you have your own vision of the project, key into this person quickly and don't be afraid to speak up. Especially if you are paying for the end product.

4. Sell staff on being on camera. You know who your in-house stars are, but that doesn't mean they want to be immortalized on camera. Give everyone at least a 24 hour heads-up to get pretty and primed for the spotlight. Even if it's just a "cameo."

5. Acknowledge those who helped. What it's over, go back and say thanks in person to those who gave their time to the project. You will need their help again next time!

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