Shoot Day 1:
We set out to nail our shot list at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the metro area and the club setting. The day went off without a hitch due to a tech scout the day before. The scout day was crucial as the photography and video teams knew the exact poses and spots to shoot in. We moved to the Metro where we were allowed to only shoot photography and video one at a time. We knew this going in, so we prepared for the photo crew to move and get lunch while the video crew finished up. Doing this allowed us to keep the production moving and valuable crew minutes from creeping into overtime. The rest of the day was spent at our second location capturing as much content as possible.
Shoot Day 2:
With a long shot list and three Baltimore locations to transition across, day two required timing and execution. We started later in the day to time our last shots at Federal Hill during the golden hour. We also planned the day so we started from the Northeast part of the city moving to the southwest, so we never had to backtrack. There are so many things that could go wrong with people getting lost, cars breaking down, and more when you have location moves. Any more than two moves with a crew of 30 is difficult and stressful, and we faced three.
We started at the stoops and quickly captured what we planned for there and moved to Howard Street. Howard street is a bit of a rough area, and while we had (and always have) planned security, this was where it was a must. The security team made us feel comfortable as we captured fantastic photos before moving onto Federal Hill. It was an easy move, thanks to the city blocking off a large portion of parking for us. We pulled right up, got out and were able to capture several set ups in the park with the perfect lighting, to my relief! We wrapped up at 7pm without losing anyone in the location changes.
Reflecting on the project, I learned (and reinforced what I knew) a great deal. First and foremost, scout days are an absolute must on a project. You can never be sure of a location unless you have visited in person. Beyond scouting, it’s crucial to remain open to outside the box ideas and quick changes in the plan. Our persistence and a willingness to wing it led us to homerun locations. Finally, there are always unforeseen hurdles (parking, power, weather) but proper planning allows for quick adjustments.
In the end, the shoot went incredibly smoothly. The crew commented that it was one of the smoothest run productions they had been involved in. Much credit goes to the team for diligent planning, that often goes unseen. The many documents they created and organized for a 30 plus crew, and weekly (sometimes daily) meetings for sign-off with the clients were essential in such a short turnaround with many moving parts. The clients were great to work with and understanding of what we were up against. The results have been incredible and the DMV has been covered with New Balance and DMV imagery.
Read parts 1 and 2 here and here.