A tech recce is a pre-filming visit to a location to determine its suitability for shooting, including access to necessary facilities and assessment of any potential lighting, sound or VFX issues.



Stills camera

Theta for sample HDR + tripod



The crew

Let them know what kit you’ll bring

Any kit you’ll need to be provided there? Bluescreen/greenscreens, MDF back board for lens grids, 4’x4’ black floppy for shadow passes, etc. etc. It’ll likely be stuff you can’t bring with you.

Meet the 1st AD and make them aware of passes you will do in camera

Let the the 1st AD know additional time you’ll need after each shot for your work

Meet props and art dept people if needed. Talk about rigging for specific props if needed.


Camera data and setup

Talk to the AC / DOP and confirm:

  • – Camera type
  • – Framerate
  • – Sensor crop
  • – Lens kit, adapters, etc.


Talk to the DIT and confirm:

  • – Transfers and transcodes – online/offline filetypes and resolutions
  •               We would normally require: (assuming arri camera):
  •                – Online:
    •                      – RAW .ari files (or similar Red Raw/Canon Raw, etc.) at full resolution
  •                – Offline:
    •                      – Prores 422 at HD
  • – If shooting audio, request synced audio for all clips
  • – How will they provide the data back? Are we sending hard drives? Who carries them?
  • – A backup/master file structure
  • – Mac or PC formatted drives? ExFat is readable on both and is recommended


Ask camera dept to shoot the camera grids on the camera test day and supply them with necessary files. If not possible make the 1st aware you will need time to do it on the shoot days.

Ask camera dept to shoot a leader board


Shot specific

Anything the grips need to know about? Any rig that needs to be built?

Any props or prop rigging needed? Anything specific from art dept?

Is it a motion control shot or an otherwise repeatable camera move? Talk to grips about equipment.

Layout shot direction and rough angles and take a photo/video of each. By the time you leave the tech recce you should be in a position to build a rough video board/animatic.

Take some rough set measurements if needed.

Take some rough photogrammetry if needed.

Do you need a sample HDR to take back to the lighters? If so, do a quick one on the Theta.


Some Things To Consider

Content of the shot and any CG/Practical solutions

Will there be a matte painting in the shot?

Will there be removal of any elements in post?

Will there be any reflections or shadows to deal with?

What data will you need to collect?





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