What to Expect on Shoot Day at Waves

May 8, 2024

You’ve made it! After all the pre-production planning, you (and we) have made it to shoot day (the best day ever). Yes, shoot day is exciting but it does carry a lot of weight, capturing the right shots and delivery. So, to help ease the process, we’ve outlined below what a typical shoot day looks like for us (and you) at Waves.

First Things First: Location Prep

No shoot day is complete without, well, a location to shoot it. Technically speaking, this is part of pre-production, where we scout out necessary location(s). But, should the location be your company’s office or an on-site workspace your brand provides, it’s important for it to be prepped for filming in advance. This could be something as simple as “tidying up”, to put your brand’s best foot forward. Or creating extra space, so there’s adequate room for gear/equipment. Whatever it is, we will be sure to communicate any needs prior to the day to help you prepare the space if needed.

The Call Sheet

This next document is of prime importance: the sacred call sheet (*cue fanfare). In a nutshell, the call sheet is the overall schedule for the day, including times, dates, location, etc. It also lists the contact info for those involved, so everyone can easily communicate when/if needed. This way everyone is (literally) on the same page.

We try our best to have the call sheet firmed up and sent out at least a few days prior to filming. It’s important for all involved to check their own personal call time, as these will vary, depending on each person’s role that day.

You, as the client, may or may not be present on set. While more than welcome, you may be unable to attend (based on your schedule and/or location). Or you may find it unnecessary, as we’ll have thoroughly established objectives for the day(s). If you’d like a company rep. to be present, that is also an option, and one we can discuss prior to filming. And finally, we often will have a virtual call link for anyone who would like to “digitally” observe and give feedback on what is being filmed that day.

The Schedule

Shoot days tend to run on the longer side, and usually start first thing in the morning. But, don’t worry, unless you’re crew, you most likely won’t have the earliest call time. This is because our team must first stage all the gear and set up the space/set/scene for you and others that day.

The size of our team can range from just a couple people to several, depending on how large a production. We work with a fantastic group of filmmakers and creatives, and have established trusted friendships with these folks for many years now. A reliable team, for sure.

The Talent

Once gear and equipment have been loaded in, the actors (or “talent” as they’re also referred to) will begin to arrive. Depending on how many actors are involved that day, we generally schedule their call times an hour or two before shoot time to go through hair/makeup and wardrobe. As an aside here, if it is within your budget, we recommend hiring a professional hair and makeup artist. Wardrobe can usually be covered by the talent themselves, but a professional handling the rest can really elevate the “look” of the talent and, thus, the final outcome.

Now if you yourself are the talent, let’s cover that for a second. We work all the time with actual employees vs. hiring professional actors. However, there are many factors to take into consideration when deciding which route to go, casting-wise. Just keep in mind, whether working with employees or pros, choose people who have a presence about them that is in sync with your brand.

An FYI: if you are using team members as talent, we can use teleprompters on set, to help with dialogue. Be assured, we send out any questions they’ll be asked beforehand, so there are no surprises on set. While we take our job seriously, filming should also be fun, and we do all in our power to make it so. 🙂

Other Shoot Day Elements

There is a lot that goes into shoot day, so we wanted to highlight a few important points for you and your team to keep in mind beforehand.

  • Include “padding”. When it comes to scheduling the day, we highly encourage you to include “padding” or extra time, should the need for it arise. And, trust us, it usually does. No matter how well-planned you are, there is usually a surprise or two where surplus time is appreciated.
  • Prioritize shots. We suggest filming the most important “shots” first on shoot day. Ways to identify these would be factoring in cost, difficulty in rescheduling, and ensuring the most important parts of your message are captured to your satisfaction.
  • Capturing BTS. As a general rule, we try to capture some BTS (or “behind the scenes”) footage in between takes. BTS is a fantastic way to repurpose content, and get more bang for your buck. Plus, audiences love seeing behind the scenes. So, don’t be thrown off if you see one of our team shooting BTS stills or video in between takes. You’ll be glad they did.
  • Food and Drink. As important as our work together is, we all still need to eat. And yep, we plan that in the day as well. Depending on the length of the shoot, there will be at least one scheduled lunch break, with orders taken beforehand for those involved. Outside of that, there can also be “crafty”, which is show biz lingo for snacks and beverages available throughout the day. In other words, none of us will starve. 😉

Final Thoughts

And that’s mostly it. At the end of all the filming, the crew will handle dismantling and breaking down gear, but you will be free to head out. Following this, of course, will come post-production, so the journey will continue together in “the editing room”.