Miami Video Production: Special Considerations

Miami Video Production: Special Considerations

Do you remember the first thing you saw in Miami? Was it Miami’s palm trees, blue skies and the white sand beach, or was it something else? It’s possible for both things to be true! If you’re thinking of filming a video project in Miami then there are some special considerations that need to be made.
Miami is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America. This means that there will always be crowds for every event. You don’t want any members of the public wandering through your live set with a selfie stick! You may also find your crew dealing with traffic if shooting during rush hour!

Like every other city in the world (and some might argue more than others), there are special considerations that must be factored into your planning process. Factors like weather, tourists, traffic, and permitting can impact the budget, timing, and tone of your production. This blog post will delve into the various considerations that must be factored into the planning and execution of a video production project.

Miami Beach Palm Trees Special Considerations

Weather

If you’re lucky enough to do work in Miami during one of our many “good” months (approximately October through May) make sure to time your production accordingly. If you do so, you should expect the weather to be warm and pleasant 80% of the time. On those other 20% of days, it’s best to check the weather online before you shoot because there’s always a chance for rain or lightning at any moment in Miami-Dade County. This is especially true when filming on Miami Beach during the summer months (approximately June through September). When this is the case, not only are tourists attracted to our pristine beaches but so are dangerous storm cells that have caused many cancellations over the years. What could have been an awesome day on film can turn into a bad one very quickly if Mother Nature has her moods set against you.

The weather can play a major role when producing video in Miami because it’s so unpredictable at times. A sunny and calm day can quickly become dangerous when lightning strikes or really bad weather is moving through the area (usually during hurricane season). When possible make sure your crew is aware of potential danger by checking local news outlets. In most cases when shooting outside you’ll want to make sure your production location has a backup in case of inclement weather. A good rule of thumb is reserving a second location in case something goes wrong. If all else fails, you can always move inside and shoot in a nice air-conditioned space while the rest of Miami deals with their summer thunderstorms.

Tourists

Miami is known for its beautiful beaches, chic nightclubs, and amazing weather. Combined with the fact that we are one of the most international cities in the world; these factors make us a perfect location for tourists (both foreign and domestic) to visit year-round. What does this mean? Well, if you’re planning on filming anything where your client wants attractive people involved, you’d better plan accordingly. There may be no bench available or standing room only because there are so many people in attendance at your event. It’s pretty much guaranteed that during certain times of day anywhere along South Beach will have an abundance of beachgoers attempting to get their picture taken while enjoying their vacation. Furthermore, when shooting at night it will be next to impossible to find an attractive crowd of people that aren’t inebriated. You will likely have to rent extras or pay for their transportation which can be pricey. All of this considering the fact that you’re paying for permits, police officers (if necessary), and production assistants just to stand around while you film your 30 second shot of “Miami’s beautiful skyline”.

Lighting

For video shoots in Miami, lighting is not usually a problem because we get so many hours of beautiful sunshine per day. However, when planning underwater shots it may be beneficial to consider what time of day they’ll take place. Oftentimes if possible you won’t want your subjects submerged with bright sunlight shining into the water directly onto them because all that refracted light can cause an unsightly glare on your lens. To prevent this you may have to schedule your underwater shoots for early morning or evening hours, which means spending more money because rental equipment has an hourly rate just like everything else in the film industry.

Police & Permits

When planning a video shoot in Miami it’s also worth factoring how many police officers you’ll need for crowd control purposes. This is not only based on the number of people at your event but where they are congregating as well. If you’re blocking off Collins Avenue during rush hour, be prepared to pay the police department some hefty fees for their efforts. Also keep in mind that when filming at major intersections there will likely be traffic tie-ups. Furthermore, if permits are required for any location you’ll want to factor in an additional cost for that as well. Some locations may also require security personnel which could be yet another fee on top of what was already discussed with the police department.

Miami Traffic

If there is any one thing you should know about Miami it’s that we have some of the worst traffic in the country. Depending on the time of day, where you’re shooting, or which part of town: gridlock and frustration will follow. Even if everyone involved with your shoot is experienced and prepared for this inevitability (like they should be), it can still cause a major headache for your production. This may require them to budget more money for transportation costs (e.g. shuttles between locations), which means less money to spend on other things like talent, equipment rental, catering, etc. It’s also good to keep in mind that while visiting Miami be prepared for a lack of parking. Most places will require you to valet your car so factor this additional cost into any expense budget you create.

Conclusion

When planning out your next video production project in Miami there are certain aspects that should be considered based on what’s being filmed. It’s not just about using great camera angles, having pretty people involved, and applying the perfect filter to your footage; sometimes it really does come down to timing – especially if you’re trying to get the best shots and the most coverage in a minimal amount of time. If your clients want to push for later hours in hopes that the night sky will be more attractive, or if they want you to film during high-sun hours when it’s harder to see people’s faces; make sure these things are taken into consideration when creating your budget. Also remember that sometimes sacrifices need to be made with regard to where you’re shooting and who you can afford on your crew.

As you can see, there are myriad factors which play into a successful video production in our beautiful city of Miami – it may be challenging, but oh-so worth it!

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