Production Travelling Tips
Booking A Hotel
So you just landed your next job and it requires travel. The budget is tight and there isn’t any room for mistakes. This is a common situation you can find yourself in when owning your own video production business. The internet’s accessibility and multiple media platforms springing up make for a very competitive market. Planning the budget for a job you just landed takes effort, resourcefulness, and flexibility. Key factors will be travel, food, and lodging. Planning the best value can make or break a video production bid. Finding a hotel that allows you to book without a down payment is always a perk but you will normally be paying premium rates. Not having to put a down a payment is great, especially if the production changes. Booking a hotel with a down payment will normally get you a cheaper rate, but you will lose money when changing any dates. Always try to use a hotel you can acquire points towards a free stay which will save you money down the line.
Many people don’t know you can reserve a car with no upfront fees or deposit. The same rules apply. If you add a down payment you pay less but can’t change days without a penalty. Though on the flip side reserving a car without a deposit you end up paying premium but it allows you to change or cancel without any penalties. If considering taking your own vehicle or company vehicle, always ensure you have a good set of tires and all maintenance on the vehicle has been done. A four cylinder vehicle "rocks" especially if you have a long distance to travel - such as travelling across the United States. Not ensuring proper vehicle health can only be hazardous to safety on the road, loss of time, and cost more in the long run, cutting into any potential profits.
Traveling by Plane
When traveling by plane, it is worth taking the time to find the best deal. We try to travel Delta and Frontier mostly, that’s just our personal preference and where we tend to find the best deals. We utilize a booking platform like Booking.com or Orbitz so we can earn points. Booking early can save you hundreds of dollars and buying insurance can stop penalties from ever being an issue if schedule should change. Also, consider baggage fees, some carriers charge for carry on baggage. If you are bringing gear with you on the plane, we always suggest to carry our most expensive gear in our carry-on bag. This allows us to keep track of it and minimize the damage potential. If you have to check your gear, hard-shell waterproof cases are a MUST. We use custom foam fitted, hard-shell cases that lock and seal to store any gear that leave our hands.
Meals and Snacks
Food is the hardest aspect of a production to plan for as there are so many factors to consider. Let’s face it, some places have better food than others. Eating healthy is expensive with a minimum budget. Depending on the level of production, sometimes you will have a person on staff to handle the food for the crew. On smaller production it usually comes down to the production company to feed everyone. We typically factor in a daily budget per person for food and then either provide the food or give the money out. There are multiple ways to handle this and we would suggest to do what works best for your crew.