Sets and locations are both legitimate options for commercial photography or video shoots, but each offers its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. For example, some businesses prefer shooting on location to try and avoid the costs associated with modifying an existing set or building a new one. While both types of sets do add certain costs to a project, it might not be as much of an extra expense as you think.
While it may seem like using a set is a much costlier than locations, there are some inherent cost savings associated with room sets. Yes, a good location can be a great choice for certain projects, but it can also involve unexpected delays and logistical issues that don’t come with room sets. Here’s how shooting on a set can help save you money over the course of your project.
Sets are a Time Saver
As the saying goes, time is money. When you shoot on a set, the only delays involved are however long it takes to prepare an adaptable, pre-made set or build a custom one to your specifications. The logistics involved in location shoots can prove problematic, especially for projects with shorter timelines. The process of finding locations, identifying the right space, and coordinating schedules can take a lot of time that has a direct impact on when you’ll receive your finished assets.
Before you shoot on location, you need to find that location. It may seem like an easy step – find a spot you like and shoot there – but there are a lot of hurdles that slow down the process.
Let’s imagine that you’re looking to shoot in a restaurant. In order to find the right restaurant, your multimedia production company will need to contact dozens of restaurants to see if the owners are open to letting you use their location. Half of them will say yes, so the studio will then need to visit each spot and take shots of the space.
You will then review these shots and pick one or two favorites, but you need to make sure it matches the creative vision behind your project. If you wanted assets that feature a fireplace, that will further limit your options. It starts to get very difficult to find a location that fits your wants as well as the schedule.
Sets have a distinct advantage when it comes to location hunting: you already know exactly where you’ll shoot. Once your set is ready, it’s showtime.
Coordinating schedules and times
Once you finally identify a location and decide on a fee, you still need to figure out when you can use that space for your project. One of the issues with location shoots is that you’re not the only person using that location.
Businesses have regular hours of operation, which means that you have to be flexible and plan around their schedules. For a restaurant that’s open six days a week, that may mean your only chance to shoot at that space may be a Monday or odd hours like 3 to 7 a.m. Public locations mean that you don’t have to deal with owners and business hours, but you will have to work around the general public. Nobody needs random pedestrians walking into their shots.
There’s also the issue of if your shoot is dependent on a time of day or season, especially for exterior shoots. If the time of day plays an important part in your shoot, you may need to time up your use of a location with that time. This can limit the availability of a location even further, causing even more delays and may even require an additional day or two for shooting. Seasonal shoots create other issues. If you need snow or some other specific weather conditions, you’re dependent on Mother Nature to give you the perfect day.
You don’t have to worry about these issues with a set. Sets are in a private space with flexible hours, which means they’ll be there when you and your studio are ready to shoot. If you need a daytime or nighttime shoot, the professionals can adjust the lighting until it matches your needs. Exterior sets can be shot all year round. Want a winter scene with some real trees and foliage? Studios can bring in real plants and use fake mulch, snow, and more to create a realistic setting that’s available when you need it.
Sets Eliminate Unwanted Location Variables
Time delays aren’t the only unexpected issues that can complicate a project. There are a variety of outside factors that can impact your shoot. Room sets give you a level of control over these variables, which allows you to proceed with your shoot without as many potential costly bumps in the road.
One potential issue is that your location isn’t made for a shoot. Unlike set warehouses, many locations don’t have loading docks, available parking, or other features that allow for quick and easy unloading and setup. Set spaces are designed with this in mind, allowing professionals to get in and out as fast as possible so that you can fit as much work in one day as possible.
Another potential problem is that the space you want to use has certain limitations that impact your shots. In existing locations, certain aspects of the space – such as a load-bearing wall or other built-in features – can limit your camera angles. For example, you may want a wide shot, but you can only move the camera back as far the walls allow. Sets allow you to break free from these restraints. You can build the set to accommodate all the shots you need so that the experts can position the camera in a way that achieves that exact look.
Co-op Sets Give You More Bang for Your Buck
It may come as a surprise, but a little teamwork can help you enjoy the advantages of a custom set at a lower price. Co-op projects allow you to work with one or more companies on a photo or video shoot and potentially save hundreds or thousands of dollars on the overall project price.
Essentially, you are the main owner of the set, but other companies can provide assets in exchange for the ability to use the set to showcase their own products. These assets, which can range from light fixtures to carpeting, are used in your set, which means that you don’t have to pay for those features. Once everything is finished, you get first dibs at the set and can set certain rules for the other companies. Don’t want the other companies to release their photos before a certain date? That can be arranged.
Find the Right Studio to Efficiently Complete Your Project
Whether you want to shoot on a set, it’s important to find the best studio for your project. A studio without the right set warehouse or that can’t handle logistics is only going to add to your potential costs (and headaches). Instead, you want to identify a studio that can effectively and efficiently coordinate and complete your shoot so that you get the best assets at the right price.
At TRG Multimedia, we can help you achieve your vision without the hang-ups. Not only do we manage the logistics for both sets and locations, we also have the in-house capabilities to coordinate your projects to make them as efficient as possible, including CGI and retouching. For example, if you need both photo and video services, we can fit what may have been a two-day shoot with multiple vendors into a single day of work or plan out a series of consecutive shoots to help you have all the assets you need for the foreseeable future. We’re even located in Cleveland right by the airport, which makes it easy to drive or fly into town for your next project.
Ready to work with a premier photography, CGI, retouching, and video studio? Contact TRG today to talk to one of our experts about what you need for your next project.