How to film a construction project

Andy Porter Behind the Scenes, How to Leave a Comment

By its nature construction demands a very particular approach to film making. Capturing a project successfully over 6 months, a year or even 3 or 4 years is in our experience a highly collaborative exercise.
We have worked on a number of major construction film projects over the last 4 years and our history with the industry goes back a decade or so. In that time we’ve learned what it takes to make construction films that are engaging, inspiring and creative, so here are our top 5 hints and tips for commissioners.
Treat your production company as partners
The production company is there to present your project as positively as it possibly can. The best supplier relationships are built on trust and mutual respect, so involve them as the project develops – they will have ideas that they will be happy to share that will enhance the project as a whole. And they are professionals, so what’s shared between you will always stay that way, just between you and them. To get the best out of them you need to talk at the very beginning about how you see video content being used and what the audiences are. That way any new ideas for content will be targeted and relevant. You also need to be clear on the budget and invoicing structure. Itemised monthly billing tends to work best for longer-term projects where there is a constant involvement that can be anticipated.
It Pays to Talk

 

You are in this together for the long term – sometimes for years on end. A good production company will become very much part of the team and will rely on you week in, week out for early practical information about changes to plan, safe access to the site and better ways to capture what is happening. They will try not to interrupt your day job – getting the project built is more important than getting it filmed – but regular, clear communication is important. Someone on your side needs to take responsibility for this – they may be in Marketing, Communications or on the Project team, but whoever it is they ideally need to know the bigger picture as well as what’s happening from week to week.
don’t cut corners

 

If you are tendering for work yourselves you know all about the dangers of compromising the job by taking a superficially cheaper approach. If you are about to embark on a 4 year time lapse project for instance you need to know that the company you are commissioning have experience of doing something of that scale with all it entails. Risk assessments and method statements, location recces and careful planning, allowing for access to maintain the cameras and download data, weather-proofing for all conditions – these are just some of the factors that go into producing results that lift the project’s profile, generate PR and attract the attention of customers.
keep an open mind

 

Our production arsenal for construction projects includes long term time lapse, short interval time lapse for project milestones, documentary filming, 3D graphic animations and drone filming. We have used multiple techniques on projects to help keep the public informed about what is happening on site, generate national and B2B PR or to update investors, government ministers or boards of directors. There are lots of ways to tell a story and only by talking to your production company will you arrive at the right combination for your project films.

Be Social

 

As the project is progressing there will be opportunities to use social media to keep feeding the audience with controlled information. You should take advantage of the PR (internal as well as external) and business development value of this and your production company can help with the planning and distribution. It will also benefit the quality of the eventual edit at the end of the project if material is being pre-selected and edited for other purposes along the way.

Take a look at our construction website to find out more

 

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