Please note that this document references best practices from a technical standpoint only. We expect that you seek further advice from your Production, Post and Legal teams prior to implementing the technical guidance herein in order to follow both medical and civil regulations in each respective area of filming.
The goal of this document is to outline the necessary components for a turnkey home production kit and make recommendations as to what products would be manageable for an entry-level user. There will need to be additional guidance provided when the kit is delivered to the individuals home. We are also having conversations with rental companies and exploring the packages and support they’re able to provide.
A finalized kit procurement should be made in consultation with the show’s DoP or Technical Manager, to ensure all creative factors are accounted for.
Please consider outlining how all the equipment will be sanitized prior to delivery.
Phone Interview Setup
*Pro-tip: Phone lenses get dirty easily, wipe them down prior to shooting.
Flagship iPhone or Android phone.
- Your phones’ default camera app can be used.
- FiLMiC Pro app - allows better quality and more control of camera settings.
Remotely controlling a phone:
This can be useful for adjusting camera app settings and checking shot framing.
- Android - Allows full remote control of device and screen sharing via apps like Teamviewer.
- iOS - Allows screen sharing but remote device control is not possible at the moment.
Camera Interview Setup
DSLR or GoPro style camera
- Panasonic S1H, BMPCC 4K & BMPCC 6K, Sony A7S2, GoPro Hero 8, etc…
- Record to internal media or tethered external SSD (when applicable) for OCF.
- Using an external SSD would be more cost-effective and allow for longer recording than internal cards. This option could serve as shuttle drive and would save the talent from having to transfer the OCF off of the camera's cards.
- Additional power would need to be Included – batteries, chargers and AC power.
Lenses & Focus
- The DP may have specific recommendations, but common photography lenses could be included in the kit.
- Zoom lenses are more versatile, but generally require a little more light. Prime lenses could be an option for low light scenarios, but would be more difficult to maintain focus.
- Some cameras offer continuous tracking autofocus, which can be a beneficial feature
Communication & Directing
A reliable communication channel with the director or interviewer is of critical importance. From using a phone to a more sophisticated VC session, there are several options.
*Pro-tip: Using wireless earphones can allow on-camera talent to receive cues and/or hear the interviewer in real-time. Relying on the speaker built into a phone or computer may cause audio bleed.
Camera Monitoring & Communication: Phone to Phone
- The simplest solution is to use a second device for coordination with the director, interviewer, etc. A screen sharing app can be used on the phone to allow for shot framing guidance.
Camera Monitoring & Communication: Video Chat app
- Using a second phone, tablet or computer to initiate a Google Hangout, Skype or Zoom call.
- This method allows the participants to see each other, making the interview more engaging and allowing the Director or DP to help the subject with shot composition, lighting and audio. A screen sharing app can be used on the phone to allow for shot framing guidance.
Pro-tip: The chat window can be leveraged as a form of teleprompter, allowing direction and interaction without having to speak to talent.
Camera Monitoring & Communication: HDMI to USB3 capture device
- If using stand-alone cameras, this method uses their HDMI output and converts it to USB to serve as a monitor/webcam in Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom. Allows streaming a live image directly from the primary camera for direction and communication with talent, enabling the Director to see what the primary camera is seeing.
We recommend keeping the audio as simple as possible and recording directly to the video device with an external microphone. If multiple cameras are recording simultaneously or sound is being recorded separately, please make sure a sync workflow is determined in consultation with the sound team.
iPhone Sound Recording
- Built in phone mic can produce excellent quality for single subject selfie videos. An iOS device is recommended – Android device mic quality is spotty.
- Add-on microphone options: Rode VideoMic Me / Videomic Me-L, Shure MV88, Sennheiser Apogee Clip Mic or Rode SmartLav+ can be used hardwired to the phone (may require usb-c or lightning adapter cable).
Camera mounted shotgun
Wireless Lavalier “Lav”
- Concealable in clothing and always within close proximity to the talent's mouth. Useful if the talent moves or turns away from the camera. Susceptible to picking up the sound of clothing brushing against it.
- Use industry standard wireless packs from Sennheiser, Lectrosonics, Audio Limited.
When it comes to lighting, there are several LED options that are affordable, do not require a lot of power and stay relatively cool to the touch. Please consider the safety aspects of having cords, stands and heavy lights in an environment that may include children.
*Pro-tip: If no lighting is available, a nearby computer screen can be used by opening up a webpage with a white background and placing it in front of talent.
File Collaboration Security
We recommend a digital asset management system where possible and backing up content via Content Hub or a similar Media Management solution. In cases where this is not feasible Google Drive or similar services can be used. See below for security best practices when creating Drives:
- Files shared must only be accessible to the individual(s) who need them. Once the folder structure is created use the ‘Advanced’ options to update sharing Settings to share directly with the intended audience.
- When someone completes their work on a project they should be removed from the project folders or any other place where they have been given access.
- Only provide “Editor” access to people with a need - this helps prevent oversharing.
- Do not email links to files in Drive. Emailing links will change permissions to files and allow for public access. Instead, setup file sharing permissions directly in Drive.
- Avoid moving files between folders - this changes permissions - and double check file permissions after any files are moved.
- Accounts storing files should be owned by the production company or by Netflix. Personal accounts should not be used.
If Google Drive is not feasible to store and share files, you should enable similar settings on the file collaboration platform you choose. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Mobile Device Security
- iPads (content is copied directly to the iPad's storage)
- IOS and apps are the latest versions.
- Use a passcode (6 digit minimum) and/or biometric controls (TouchID, FaceID) for access and enable access throttling, where the device locks for a few minutes after several bad passwords.
- Enable ‘Find My’ functionality. This is available on iOS and it helps locate and/or wipe a missing device.
- Do not use any App Stores other than the official Apple App Store.
- Any lost or stolen device containing content should be reported to Netflix Studio Information Security. This includes personally owned devices as well as those issued by Netflix or our Production partners.
- Disable media sync with iTunes player
- 2020-04-20: V1.1
- Added guidance for communication options between on-camera talent and offsite crew (Director, DP, interviewer, etc.)
- 2020-04-22: V1.2
- Added note about seeking further advice from Production, Post and Legal to make sure any guidance implemented is in line with medical and civil regulations.
- 2020-05-14: V1.3
- Added note about using TeamViewer or similar app for viewing device screen and/or remotely controlling a device.
- Formatting changes.