Tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting


It is impossible to expect each and every one of your shoots to go perfectly and without a single hitch. Perhaps, if you are lucky, you will go a long time without encountering a severe problem. But there will come a time when you do, and being unprepared for it can be detrimental to your current project and career. As such, it would benefit you to know about the most common issues and how to handle them. To help you with this, we have put together a list of tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting.

Damaged or lost equipment

Perhaps the most important of our tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting relates to equipment handling. It is obvious enough, but without all the equipment, you will never be able to successfully perform your shoot. Even if you manage to pull something off, it will likely not be of the same quality. You might even need to scrap an entire day’s worth of work and effort and redo the whole thing. This is why it is essential to always bring along backups for the most critical pieces of your equipment. If not all of them. Equally as important is to know how to travel with production gear since most if not all damage occurs during transport. You do not want to arrive on location only to realize that you cannot proceed properly with your work. 

Weather troubles

Shooting in a studio where the weather cannot touch you is one thing. However, if you are working outside to capture authentic shots, rain would mean serious trouble. The best solution would be relying on portable storage units. The benefits of portable storage units in this scenario and the fact that portable units offer many perks besides the obvious make them a very worthwhile investment. You would be able to easily shield your equipment from weather damage even if there is no shelter in the vicinity. And their transfer to the location would be much safer and stress-free, particularly if you hire professionals to deliver your equipment to the site. 

Delays and scheduling issues

Another of our tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting is tied to schedules and delays their clashes can cause. Now, there are two factors to consider when it comes to this. The first is the human factor. Your employees and actors have their own lives and schedules to keep. Of course, considering that their job is a priority, it is challenging to run into serious problems here. But not impossible, unfortunately. Make sure that, before you schedule a shoot in a popular location that is hard to get a hold of, you confirm the health and availability of your staff. If someone gets sick or is unable to attend, it would be a waste of arrangements. Similarly, keep in mind that most filmed locations are not always available due to their popularity.

Location problems

Our previous tip dealt briefly with one of the location problems you can run into. However, that’s hardly the end of your potential troubles. A lot of people love the allure of shooting in a live, authentic location. Yet, they completely ignore the difficulties this can cause. Let us consider for a moment the chaos passersby can cause to a shoot. The background noise and bustle of a busy street are good settings for certain scenes. But if you are shooting in a park or a nature preserve, running into people can be a nuisance. In such cases, you need to contact the location representatives beforehand and make the required agreements to ensure a smooth shooting experience. Similarly, some locations can be difficult to get your gear into. So it’s essential to know how to go about packing and relocating film equipment

Safety measures

The final of our tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting has to do with the safety of your staff and actors. There’s a whole host of horror stories to draw from when it comes to underestimating the potential risk of a location or even props. We have recently encountered a cruel lesson on the importance of not using actual guns in your shoot, for example. Similarly, consider whether the location of your shoot is as safe as you believed it to be. Cliffs, ravines, and similar make for an excellent and rather dramatic setting. But if you do opt for them, you must ensure your staff follows all the safety regulations related to working in such an environment. It’s better for your shoot quality to suffer a little than for anyone to get hurt! 


Now that you have gone through all of our tips for handling unexpected setbacks during shooting, it should be evident that preparation is the essential thing for preventing and managing any troubles. Proper preparation allows you to keep your equipment and staff safe, it helps you avoid scheduling conflicts, etc. As such, you would be completely remiss to ignore it in favor of getting the pre-shooting phase done as quickly as you possibly can. Yes, it is possible to cut the process a lot shorter. But would the little bit of time you had bought yourself be worth it if it causes endless problems and delays later? The answer, we can all probably agree, is no.


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