4 Tips For Filming In A Retail Store Overnight

The locations called for in the script have taken your production to many types of places: a Spanish style villa, a dingy dive bar, or a trek out into the forest. Each of the listed locations all had their share of obstacles to overcome, but looming on your schedule is your first overnight shoot at a large retail store. Whether it’s a supermarket, a department store, or a warehouse store, your production will need to prep accordingly and problem solve any issues that may arise.

You may be asking: I’ve already done an overnight shoot at a small mom and pops store, how much of a difference can it be? The sheer size of the location and the amount of ground that needs to be covered is the stark difference.

We’re well versed in the preparation for overnight shoots at large retailers having worked with Orchard Supply as well as Lowe’s. For our latest production with the latter, and in collaboration with Roc Noir and Fellow Robots, we shot and edited a video introducing the LoweBot – a revolutionary robot aimed at assisting customers in the store.


Our production schedule included two locations: our studio where we filmed sensational LoweBot product shots and a local Lowe’s Home Improvement store where we filmed vignettes of the robot in action. With these four tips your production will have a solid foundation to take on an overnight shoot in a store with confidence.

#1 Finding Your Electrical Source

Aside from common areas such as cash registers and customer service desks, accessible electricity may be hard to come by. As your production preps for the shoot and location scouts, decide if you’ll be using house power or generator. Regardless of the chosen option, plan on budgeting enough distro and/or extension cords to reach your scenes’ locations.

#2 Use Store Lighting To Your Benefit

Treat store lighting as if it were space lights and take advantage of the soft-flat light it produces. The technique is to use the existing light as a base and utilize movie fixtures to light talent. What you’ll want to discover beforehand is the color temperature of the lights. With the data you uncover you’ll know how to color correct your movie lights to match the store.

#3 Communicate Via Radio

Communication is a valuable asset to a production when filming in large open areas. There’s a reason why store employees are on two way radios, and you shouldn’t overlook this integral form of communication. Walkie talkies will allow for the crew to keep in constant contact with each other and stay informed on the progression of the shoot.

#4 Need Extra Wheels, Use Shopping Carts

Why carry a few sandbags at a time when you can wheel over the entire beach? Depending on the size of your grip truck and how many equipment carts are packed in, you may still need a few extra to haul gear around. Once you’ve established your staging area, reach for shopping carts to load up with essentials that will be needed for each scene.


Lowe’s Introduces The LoweBot


Behind The Scenes