Have an Awesome Film Night: Scripting

Have an Awesome Film Night: Scripting
April 28, 2014 Anya Anderson

If you’ve been given the auspicious task of working with us to roll-out your company’s brand new tailored training programmes, there are a few things you should know before it comes to the big night. There’s a lot to cover on the night of filming, and while we’re here to help make the process run as smooth as possible, we’ve got some tips for you to help make filming a breeze!


1. Nail Your Script

In most cases, we’ll be working alongside you to get the script written. After all, we’ve got a bit of experience. For us to script appropriately and efficiently with you, we like to get a good feel for your business, products and services.

We’ll have a few questions for you and undoubtedly you’ll have a few questions for us too. Let’s make sure the flow of communication open and we answer these as quick as we can.

We’ll probably ask for a bit of marketing material, product info etc. too, so be prepared for that. It helps us to get the tailoring and branding just right!

Also, allow time for scripts to be reviewed and amended if necessary. This will often take more than one ‘back-and-forth’, until everyone is happy. The best way to speed up this part is for you to schedule some time with your team to sit down and have a ‘table-read’.

It’s pretty easy, and shouldn’t take a lot of time. All you’ll need is 3-4 key players in your business to sit down for an hour or so and read the dialogue we’ve scripted.

We know…it sounds like a bit of a time commitment, but you’ll be surprised how different things sound out loud, especially if they’re coming from someone else! You’ll pick up a lot of language and terminology changes that will need to be ironed out before D-day. This is important because on-the-fly scripting can take up a lot of film time on the night which slows up the whole process.

Just do it…trust us, you won’t regret it!

NOTE: If you’re scripting without our help, make sure we get to have a look at the script well before film night so we can make sure we can capture everything thing you need!

2. Find Your Stars

So you have your script, and you know the roles required…or do you?

Identifying the profile and demographic of your required roles is an important step…don’t just fill the spots without considering how well they represent your team, or your customer-base. Think about things like; age, gender, and ethnicity when you’re picking your stars. Once you’ve pinned down the ‘types’ of people you’re looking for, you can begin the search!

Generally talent is sourced one of two ways; identifying talent in-house, or through a talent agency. If you are planning on using outside talent, have a chat to us about the steps involved, we’ve done this a few times and we’ll be more than happy to help.

If you’re selecting talent from within your organisation, why not make it fun? You could hold a ‘[YOUR BUSINESS NAME HERE]‘s Got Talent’, and let your team audition in person, or send in videos. At this point these don’t need to be too serious, you’re looking for those people who look ‘at home’ in front of a camera!

Make it creative, have them act out a scene from their favourite movie, or make a short film themselves. Once the auditions are underway, you’ll quickly start to work out who’ll do your videos justice.

Once you have a few candidates, create a short-list and check their availability. When you feel like you’ve got your A-team, let everyone know where they stand and make sure you have some alternatives available, just in case something unforeseen occurs.

HINT: When selecting your actors, consider the following;

  • Ability to take direction and have good sticking power. Filming sessions can often be intensive and long.
  • They will also need to perform under the spotlight, so they need to be natural, both in their interaction and body movement.
  • Sometimes height can be an issue. Be wary of combing ‘vertically challenged’ staff with taller staff.

Location, Location, Location

Sometimes we’ll need to capture in-store or on-site footage, to enhance or support the video content. In most cases, we try to schedule this to happen outside of normal business hours. Sometimes, customers find film crews a little intimidating when they’re browsing. It also means we need to get a lot more talent release forms signed, which can be a nightmare.

Some points to consider when you’re picking your location are:

  • Is the store one of your newer ones?
  • What are the available filming hours?
  • What is are lighting and noise levels like?
  • Signage, in-store promotions and stock levels
  • Security requirements (have you given your security company a heads-up?)
  • Food and drinks for actors

Sometimes we film videos in front of our green screen (located here), like the narrators in our courses. This means that your filming becomes less about location and more about wardrobe!

HINT: If you’re filming in front of the green screen, do yourself a favour and leave your favourite green sweater at home. If you wear any green to filming, you’ll quite literally disappear when we edit the footage! You may also want to rethink anything with a detailed pattern, and any transparent fabrics. Get in touch if you’re not sure what to wear!

Relax and Enjoy Yourself!

Remember, not everything will always go 100% to plan. Be ready for things to change on the fly. Be ready for something to go wrong. We’re not saying it will…it’s just always good to be prepared! And finally, be ready to have a laugh!

Having a camera in your face while surrounded by a group of people can be an intimidating experience, even for the most confident of retail stars. If you relax, your small-screen stars will relax. Speaking from experience, this means that they’ll make less mistakes and ease into their role a lot quicker.

You owe it to yourself, and to your team to relax and enjoy the night. Oh…and we love to have a laugh too, so we’ll probably thank you for it as well.