Planning an Artistic Shoot for Your Brand
December 19th, 2019
I always feel the need to create. My art may have the power to spark a conversation or bring a story to life that hasn’t been told before. The medium I chose to express myself in ranges from photo, installation and video. In this blog post, I’m giving you a glimpse on how a piece of art, through film, video and photography is planned. This can also be known as the pre-production stage. As filmmakers and photographers, we must have a planned artistic vision in order for the final piece to come together as a whole.
1) IDEA, CONCEPT OR PLOT
As creative individuals, there are many ideas that run through our little curious minds everyday. Therefore, writing down every idea that comes to mind is pivotal to the success of your art. If you don’t write down your ideas, a matter of 20-40 seconds and your ideas are long gone. Owning a little black book of ideas that you can carry around or that is easily accessible is key. Inspiration can come from anything you see, hear and feel. Another reminder is to double space when you write so that when you develop more ideas, you can easily add it between your original ideas. Push yourself to add and modify your ideas. The more you edit, the better direction you will have during production. Once you’ve got your ideas and inspiration clearly written down, you can now begin to think about how to turn your ideas into visual work, whether it’s for a film or photography shoot.
‘Deathless’ by Mariam Radwan
2) PLANNING THE SHOTS
Having a storyboard is crucial to organize your ideas and keep them in order. It is pivotal to always work on the shots in advance because they will guide you during production and post production. Whether you are creating a video or a film, storyboarding will help you align your shots together in terms of continuity and flow. If are unable to sketch/draw out your ideas, you can describe all of your shots in detail and find inspiration on the internet and insert the chosen shots above the description.
Here are some examples on what to Google Search when looking for certain shots :
“Wide shot in the ocean” or “close up shot in living room”. There are also numerous downloadable storyboards that are free to use along with shot lists on the Film planning templates page that is recommended to use.
3) EQUIPMENT, LOCATION AND TIMING
Depending on your budget, you can have a production that will require minimal equipment, or you can have a studio with all types of equipment from gadgets to fancy lights. However, if you’re just starting out and don’t have access to advanced equipment, don’t be discouraged! You are still capable of creating amazing work with the camera you own right now as long as you have your concepts and ideas well planned. Location is one of the most important elements; it can either make or break your photos or film visually. Taking the time to research the area you are intending to shoot during production is very important. Depending on the idea, always look for a location that will complement your concept and story. For instance, if you’re looking for a melancholic atmosphere look for a place that is perhaps old and dark. If you are looking to uplift your audience throughout your work, look for nature and a space that has access to daylight. Make sure to call and do your research! Many outdoor locations require a permit or permission to shoot in such as public spaces and parks. To avoid disappointment, call or email ahead
‘Celebración sexual’ by Carlota Guerrero
4) MODELS OR ACTORS
Having a suiting actor or model for your film or photo shoot is crucial to any artistic project. If you’re just starting out, hiring a professional model or actor may not be feasible. Instead, reach out to people you know that may be interested to partake in your project. The trick is to find someone who is willing to collaborate with you rather than someone who is only looking for monetary compensation. Therefore, finding someone who is interested in your idea is important. Therefore, selling your idea is key. If you sell your idea as a “collaboration”, the model or actor/actress will understand that you may not be able to compensate them financially however they will be benefiting from working with you in other ways (exposure, experience etc). If you have a bigger budget for your work, my advice is to directly reach out to agencies that scout talent (models, actors, makeup artists, production designers etc). Browse through the catalogues of the agency and always read reviews. Doing your due diligence is a big part of creating a successful project.
Having a crew is important if you’re working on a larger scale. If you are shooting or directing a campaign for a big client, you most likely will have a larger budget to work with. If you are creating just for yourself, you are capable of setting your own budget. As I briefly mentioned in point number four, there are people who are looking to expand their portfolios and are interested in collaborating. So, who is your crew? They are the makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, hairstylists, set designers, etc. This crew-like your equipment-can be very big or very small. Just like the models and actors, if you are just starting out as a fresh creative, you can sell your idea to your crew as a collaboration. This way, they will have an incentive to why they would be working with you as they need to feel like they’re gaining something as well.
My final advice to you is always to have fun with your craft. Experiment and create as much as you can. Always find what works the best for you. After all, you need to make your art stand out rather than blend in. As the role of the artist is to disrupt, remould and reshape our global social spectrum. When you create, create from the heart.