Loading Into Chicago’s Downtown Office Buildings
Video is a very artistic endeavor but there’s one aspect that is not in the least creative: Loading into a downtown skyscraper! We operate on a tight schedule and many of my clients are not familiar with the amount of time it takes from when I arrive with my van and we are ready to roll. This blog post is to help us not lose valuable set up time. Between the alleys being crowded, a waiting line at the loading dock and freight elevator, plus dealing with security and then walking back after parking my vehicle, we might have wasted a good forty minutes. Happens all the time, especially when the docks are located below ground such as Lower Wacker Drive, etc.
SECURITY:First, it’s very important that security knows we’re coming and it helps if I am sent a copy of that email so I have the names of everyone involved. Invariably, when I arrive the dock boss doesn’t know about my need to enter the building.
INSURANCE:Some large buildings are require that the video vendor provide a Certificate of Insurance and this should be done a couple of days before the shoot. It helps to refer to me as “a photographer and his assistant(s)” so they don’t think a larger “video crew” is coming in. If the amount of insurance the building management requires is higher than my coverage permits, we may need to load in through the passenger elevators. This is accomplished by “backpacking” the gear in making many trips so the lobby doormen don’t try to stop us.
FILMING ROOM: Another loss of time is due to the room we are assigned to do our filming will not suffice and we then have to go on a hunt for an alternative. The problems are usually noise or uncontrollable daylight. Please ask for the largest, quietest room they have that has blinds.
In sum, when filming in tall office buildings in downtown Chicago, even if the interview will “only take twenty minutes”, please give me about two hours from the time I arrive until I am expected to roll.