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Site Survey - Sometimes it is helpful to go to the location before the shoot. Look around and see where you will be shooting the scene. Below are a few things to consider at the location:

The Look of the Location:
Why is this place ideal for the shoot? How does this location enhance the story or documentary?

Space for the shoot:
Is there enough room for the camera, crew and subject?

Background of subject:
When shooting, what is seen behind the subject? Are we shooting in front of a window or action that is distracting?

Electrical Power:
Will the group need AC power or run on batteries? Where is the breaker box?

Light Source:
Are you mixing tungsten light with sunlight? Are you shooting in front of a window or with the sun to the subject's back?

Sound Efficiency:
Any other noise occurring other than the subject's such as light hum, equipment buzz, cars going by, planes flying over, etc.?

Contact Personnel:
Who is in charge of letting you into or onto the location to shoot? Who will open the place up for you? Is there anyone in charge of the location such as a caretaker or custodian? Is this the person's home, office or studio?

Other Considerations:
Lining up the players - making phone calls and setting up appointments for taping.

Getting the Equipment Ready:
While out on location review your equipment list. Is the equipment reserved? Do you have the videotape? Do you have batteries?

Tip: When at the location, clap your hands. Listen for an echo. If there is an echo then you may have a problem with audio and should look for another location.

When the site survey is done and the list completed, it is time to create the video.