As under-pressure production teams look for ways to stick to timelines and budgets, there has been an increase in the use of parallel filming units. For producers and tech leaders, this presents the challenge of ensuring seamless and secure coordination and collaboration between all sites. The more units you have, the bigger the challenge.
If lighting styles, composition, and camera settings aren’t matched across all units, it can result in a continuity headache. The best-case scenario involves fixing it in post, but this drives up post costs. The worst-case scenario could necessitate going back to shoot more footage after wrapping the location, which can prove to be an extensive and costly endeavour, considering the schedules of the involved creatives who may be committed to other projects.
To avoid reshoots, split units need to maintain constant communication with key stakeholders from the director to the DP, and often the colorist or the VFX supervisor, ensuring the delivery of seamless footage in terms of continuity, pacing, and style.
Using over-the-shoulder collaboration tools to share live footage straight from the second unit camera with the main unit director and cinematographer for real-time review bridges the gap between teams and helps to maintain continuity. Similarly, second unit directors could also review shots from the first unit DP and provide their crew with a reference point to ensure their sequences stay in line with existing scenes.
“When the main unit is busy shooting, watching cut footage gives you a sense of the geography of what you’re going to do and an awareness of what the editor might need. It also helps you understand what can get you out of trouble 3 months down the line.” David Mackie, DP/2nd Unit Director
Sohonet can deliver a ClearView Flex 'Flexbox' to your shooting location, have the DIT connect it to the video-assist equipment or loop out via SDI from one of the video village monitors. Then, simply connect it to the internet and invite the second unit crew to view footage in real-time – via tablet, laptop, phone, or Apple TV. Find out more.