I'm interested in hearing what the preparation process is for some people.
Before leaving my home or the newsroom most of the time I'll already have a good grasp of what to expect going in. I find and research the video features I do which really helps me pick and choose what will make the best story and the best visually. Most of the time I'll do a phone pre-interview with the person or meet them ahead of time to talk which helps me get;
Anyone else going to chime in on this? I'm curious as well.
I pretty much do everything in my head. Before I head out, I visualize (storyboard) the story. I try to think about my what opening and ender shots should be.
I only listen to music on the way to shoot something to clear my mind a bit.
When I get the idea/assignment for a story, I usually talk with a reporter if there is one. If not, I make a call and talk with the person to find out what they might be up to that day, or that week. Talking to the reporter, I'm trying to focus the idea into a story, and see where they're headed with their ideas.
After reading the above posts, I can only conclude that I have developed some bad habits. I don't do much pre-planning or storyboarding; I don't scout locations before hand; pre-interviews are rare before the actual assignment; I don't usually write my questions down either... but at the same time a lot of this is playing out in my mind. I usually have a good idea of what I will see or at least I think I do and if I don't I will adapt.Usually, I go into a story with a basic framework of the subject from what is on the assignment sheet, then work it from there. Most of the time at the assignment I will talk to people just to get an idea and if they seem like they'd be good on camera, then I ask them for an interview. As far as shooting, I approach it like I'm working on a photo-essay but with a video camera- wide, medium, tight, a mix of rack focus low angles, subject interaction, get nat sound, which I forget to do regularly, I'm working on that... but for the most part that is how I approach most feature stories.Until writing this I hadn't really made a check list. At this point more thought goes into my still assignments than for video. I definitely need to get a more consistent workflow. Thanks for getting me thinking!
I try to know as many of the facts as possible. If I'm pressed for time, I can skip over the factual background questions of the interview and get right into the meat of the story.Adam's point of summarizing the story in one sentence is a great one. It really helps me distill exactly what story I'm trying to tell. Is it just a basic "this happened" story where I just want to give the viewer the experience of being there, or is it something more? If I can't summarize the story in one second, how am I going to make a short, engaging video?Since we're often using pool equipment here at The Day, I try to imagine what the shooting environment will be. I'm generally a minimalist when it comes to equipment, but I hate to be caught unprepared. In the best case, I'll only need my camera/headphones, the tripod, and a small waist pack.But depending on what I'm doing, will I need a rain cover? Wireless? Handheld mic? Long XLR cable? Wide angle adapter? Mic stand? Light kit? Multiple cameras?I do a feature-y series called "Behind the Scenes" with an on-camera reporter. We have to decide where we'll do stand-ups, what locations to shoot, and how to transition from one place to another. One some occasions, we get a pre-tour of the location, figure out where we want to go and what we want to say, so that we can arrive with a basic script and shot lost.