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Planning your filming

If your project involves filming, there are particular things to think about, in advance and on the day.

Things to think about in advance

Filming locations

  • Take advice – your supplier will be able to advise you about the suitability of locations.
  • Recce – can you recce the location before filming to check things like noise levels, lighting, any obstacles or restrictions?
  • Alternative – is there an alternative location in case the weather is bad?
  • Permission – have you got permission for filming from everyone you need to? When asking permission, your email should say: who you are, the purpose of the filming and where you want to film. When filming on campus, please get permission from those in charge of the immediate area and contact the following:

People in the film

  • Camera ease – have the main subjects been filmed before? How comfortable are they in front of camera and what can you do to help?
  • Availability – what is subjects' availability and how much on-camera time will they have?
  • Stand-ins – do you need to have other people on standby, in case someone can't come on the day?
  • Clothes – what will subjects wear? Ensure it’s appropriate to the project/setting. Avoid clothes with busy patterns and extreme colours.
  • Consent – by law people featured in the film must give their written permission. Read more in 'Agreement from people in photos' in commissioning photography.


  • Pre-production documents – has the supplier provided you with these? They typically include:
    • running order – the sequence of your video
    • shot list – all the shots to be captured
    • schedule – a time-specific outline of the day(s)
    • call sheet – listing the people involved on the day(s), with contact details, scripts and key messages
  • Roles and responsibilities – this lists the key people in the production team (eg camera operator, producer, director) and what they’re responsible for, and yourself and any team members.

More guidance

You may also find it useful to read in advance:

Things to think about on the day

You will get a better video if you're present at the filming and play an active role in the process.

  • Checklist – use our filming day checklist to help you on the day.
  • Documentation – have with you all the pre-production documents your supplier has shared (see above).
  • Additional support – it's a good idea to invite at least one colleague to the filming, so you've got help. Check your team members' availability and ask any helpers to schedule in the time you'll need.
  • Attendees and roles – tell your supplier who's attending the shoot from your side and what their role is.
  • Quality control – this will be one of your main responsibilities. It includes checking dialogue/key messages against the pre-production documentation.
  • Direction – the kind of things you can keep an eye on are:
    • Is anything distracting happening in the shots? Check both the foreground and background, removing elements where necessary.
    • Is the weather (eg too much wind) having a negative impact?
    • Are the subjects articulate and speaking clearly?
  • Communication – keep talking to the supplier about how the day is going, in line with the schedule and running order. This keeps communication open and will give you peace of mind. If you're running short on time, communicate this with the supplier immediately so you can discuss possible options.

Note: The supplier will handover the master files to the commissioner at the end of each project.