Oh my gosh! What have I forgotten? My company’s live video broadcast is next week and I am not sure that I have everything covered! It could be a disaster if I forget something! What do I do?
We don’t hear this very much when we are involved with a client in preproduction planning for a live video broadcast, but that is because we are involved. As the broadcaster you must be involved in advance, but what questions are important? It is true that the number of technical and creative things that need to be considered when planning a live broadcast can have a profound effect on the quality of the outcome. Planning also allows you to explore various options for the live broadcast such as camera locations, lighting and sound. We have, over the years probably encountered most of the most obvious issues in preproduction planning but every now and then we encounter new challenges such as a new or difficult venue for a broadcast. I recall one instance a few months ago where the client wanted to set up sideways in a room that was designed for a lengthwise use. Standing at the venue with the client in advance we walked the client through all of the creative aspects of what they were trying to do and ultimately took our advice on room layout. Our preproduction planning worksheet which we left with the client helped us walk the client through all of the things to consider and made sure that we had all of the potential issues and questions on a piece of paper before the broadcast setup day. Our client thanked us for our assistance with preproduction planning and the changes we recommended from it. We have created a preproduction planning worksheet which we share with conference planners and ourselves internally so that when we load in for a broadcast we know we have everything we need. It is always a good idea to carry extra equipment with you, but what you do not want to have happen is to show up with no equipment to solve a particular broadcast requirement. This is what our preproduction planning worksheet is designed to prevent. When used by and shared with the client, the producers, and the on site crew, everyone ends up “on the same page”. Please feel free to download this document and modify it to your own situation and needs. It’s a great checklist for video broadcasters.