As we wrap up another global production, it seems the perfect time to reflect on the challenges and rewards of pulling off this type of large-scale shoot. The value in being able to physically explore all corners of the earth on a personal and creative level never ceases to amaze me and is invaluable to our clients.
Since the first time that the Lumiere brothers recorded a train coming into a station, shooting on location has been able to create a sense of place and kinetic energy that can never quite be recreated in a studio. At Tribe, we know that no matter what the content of a video, using locations that are real and personal can help our clients have a tremendous impact on the ability to tell their story and connect to their audiences.
Being able to cross oceans and borders with our production team is an integral part of what we do for Global 1000 clients. When a company has a diverse and global workforce, the ability to reach and connect with them where they are is paramount.
All corporations are focused on emphasizing their company’s dedication to a diverse workforce in order to maintain global competitiveness. At Tribe, we believe you don’t just want to go into the workplaces of international employees, you want to show their communities and their homes. This helps to fully explore what diversity means on a human level.
Not only are authentic locations key to exploring the diversity of a company, they are also indicative of a company’s commitment to good global citizenship. It is not a matter of capturing scenery, but of showing how our clients work with and value their people – as well as the environment.
Overcoming Logistical Challenges
The challenges of international productions may seem insurmountable, and there are many logistics to overcome on every project. These challenges range from the mundane to the unpredictable, so flexibility and attention to detail are critical.
Here are our top three tips for successful global productions:
1. Scheduling Is Key: On any production, everything must get scheduled down to the minute. That’s true whether you’re shooting on a backlot in Hollywood or a desert in Africa. But scheduling can become tricky when some of your team is putting on their pajamas in Manhattan while your crew is having breakfast in Sydney. These staggering time differences can quickly turn a simple production schedule into a nightmare without the right level of pre-production and flexibility from everyone – even if it means taking meetings a little earlier or later than usual.
2. Understand & Respect Politics and Culture: Time zones are hardly the only challenge that comes up during the course of an international production. Any production that travels to another country must be sensitive to the culture as well as the political climate, particularly in more volatile areas. The safety of the production crew must always come before the day’s schedule. Tribe is able to maintain flexibility and awareness largely due to to the local personnel we work with. In just the past year we were able to shoot in Nigeria during potentially tumultuous elections. Without knowing what the outcome would be, we had to schedule our shooting schedule around any potential unrest. Thankfully, because our crew has international experience, we were able to maintain the necessary level of professionalism while ensuring safety all around.
3. Maintain Strong Global Partnerships: All the planning, equipment, and ideas in the world will go nowhere without the right people to bring a production to life. While anyone can put a camera on a plane and shoot in a foreign land, Tribe’s ability to connect with IQ members worldwide is truly something special. We are fortunate to have extremely close ties with each member since our CEO has developed strong relationships both as a Board Member and as President of the organization for two terms. Through iQ, we are able to connect to industry professionals around the world to source professional crews and provide key political and cultural intelligence.
Being able to work on a global scale has helped us to establish our reputation as professionals with wide-reaching networks and the willingness to overcome difficult logistics. But more importantly, each new experience allows us to better connect our clients with their audiences and help them to reach new heights in their corporate communication strategies.
Since we opened our doors more than 28 years ago, Tribe Pictures has produced films in more than 50 countries. These diverse experiences have allowed us to create memorable content for our clients and to learn, grow and thrive as a company with the ability – and willingness – to take our talents on the road.