But, if you have the right equipment, select capable willing people, and spend the time to have sufficient preliminary meetings with all your crew members, and thoroughly discuss your production and what everyone is supposed to do, your production should be very successful, and your technical problems will be minimized.
Typical Remote Production Concerns
Pick the right equipment Will your camera's 10-Pin cable connect directly to your VCR without modification? If not, can you get an adaptor or plug it in through the video input? But then you may need an extra person to turn the VCR on and off. How about power? Are your battery belts the right voltage and wired correctly for your VCR? Do you have enough extra batteries, and are they the right size and type?
Lighting Although there is usually adequate light outdoors, shadows, a cloudy day or interior environments may require artificial lighting for best results. Florescent light in particular is inadequate because its spectrum unpredictability will cause faces to be green and make camera balancing difficult. It's a good idea to bring a quartz light kit or two, and of course you will also need stands, clamps, diffusers, extension cables, spare bulbs and plug boxes. Each 1,000 watt quartz lamp will draw about 10 amps, and most circuits have a limit of 20 amps, so you may need special wiring or extra fuses.
Be well prepared for your audio In many ways audio is more difficult and troublesome than video, especially on a remote production. You will have a multitude of random sounds to contend with, and perhaps it may be difficult to get the mic near the subject. You may need a shotgun mic and a person to work it. Have spare cables, adapters and mics if possible, and a good set of monitor headphones is a must. Also, make sure you have the right type of microphone and the correct connectors on the cables. Be sure to bring spare batteries, extension cables and a mixer if necessary.
Pick the right crew There is no substitute for someone who really knows their stuff, like how to revive an intermittent microphone or power box on the job or how to tweak a camera for optimum color. A good tech can really save a shoot sometimes. It's also very helpful to have just the right number of people—enough to move cables, hold mics and operate VTRs, but not too many that they get in the way and create a distraction.