Field Production Notes

If you’re working for a production company on a small budget more than likely they’ll send you out to shoot with a cameraman and a sound person that will sometimes double as the grip and the production assistant. Now it’s up to you, the producer, to take notes while you’re directing and asking interview questions.

Many producers feel, it’s important to keep all their attention on the person they’re interviewing and not be bothered with notes, but you won’t always have that luxury. And after a day, or several long shoot days, you won’t remember who said what when, or what tape the exterior shot of a building is located on. So, take notes.

Always ask your cameraman to supply a video tap with visual time code. Have the monitor set in front of you, or if you’re shooting on the fly and running around, carry the monitor with you. It’s important, because you’ll not only want to see what the shot looks like it will give you the visual time code you need for your notes. Even if you only have time to mark the time code at the beginning of the shot – do it for your own sanity, and make a quick note of what it is you’re taping. It will help in your writing and editing process. It will also help you at the end of the day, before you wrap up; to quickly go through your notes and make sure you’ve shot everything you’re going to need.