Video Producer’s Guide to Shooting in Orlando, FL

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about about shooting your video in Orlando, Florida!
By:
Dan Beckmann • Cameraman – DP/Partner – Orlando Offices – Go To Team – Orlando, Florida • Go To Team

A Producer’

s Guide to Shooting in Orlando, Florida – the center of the Sunshine State!

Before you arrive in any new city, it just makes sense to get the “lay of the land” beforehand!  These notes are designed to help you “map out” everything you need to know when shooting in Orlando, Florida – landmarks, climate, and local “hot spots” – we’ve got it all covered for you – right here!

The Central Florida Area – Along the I-4 Corridor –

Located in Central Florida, Orlando (reportedly named after Orlando Reeves, a soldier who died in the area in 1867) was incorporated over 100 years ago.  According to the United States Census Bureau the population of the Greater Orlando area, as of 2008, was just over 2 million.  It is the third largest metropolitan area in Florida (behind Miami and Tampa), the 8th largest metropolitan area in the south, and one of the fastest growing metro areas in the sunbelt.

Orlando is situated in the middle of the “I-4 Corridor” – between Daytona Beach and Tampa Bay, and is just over an hour’s drive from Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Kennedy Space Center. The Beachline (Highway 528) gives you direct access to Port Canaveral, one of the largest cruise ship terminals in the United States.

Since Orlando is so close to the Space Coast and the Kennedy Space Center, many high-tech companies have shifted their offices, or main “base” of operations to the Orlando area.  The aerospace/defense company Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) has had a presence in the city for over 50 years.  And CENTCOM (the U.S. Operational Command Center for U.S. and Coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanastan) is located an hour west, in Tampa.

Other companies have either offices or labs in the Metro Orlando area: KDF, General Dynamics, Harris, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Siemens, Veritas/Seagate, multiple USAF facilities, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), Delta Connection Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, GE, Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS), U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), AT&T, Boeing, CAE Systems Flight & Simulation Training, HP, Institute for Simulation and Training, National Center for Simulation, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Systems.

Aside from it’s many lush PGA Tour designed golf courses, the most famous, and most critical part of Orlando’s economy, started just over 45 years ago, when Walt Disney announced his plan to build Walt Disney WorldMiami and Tampa were also strong considerations for Disney, but Orlando’s proximity to the turnpike, and inland protection from hurricanes sealed the deal for central Florida.   The Magic Kingdom opened in October 1971, and the population and economic growth for the central Florida city exploded!   As a result, tourism has become the centerpiece of the area’s economy.  Since the opening of Walt Disney World, Orlando has consistently been ranked as one of the top vacation destinations in the world, boasting more theme parks and entertainment attractions then anywhere else on the planet – Sea World, Universal Studios Florida, Gatorland, Cypress Gardens, Busch Gardens, to name a few!

And in 2004, the Orange County Convention Center expanded to over two million square feet of exhibition space, and is now the second-largest convention center complex in the United States.

Topography –

Orlando is located at 28°32′1″N 81°22′33″W / 28.53361°N 81.37583°W / 28.53361; -81.37583 (28.533513, -81.375789).[9] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 261.5 km² (101 mi²). 242.2 km² (93.5 mi²) of it is land and 19.3 km² (7.5 mi²) of it (7.39%) is water. Orlando is, on average, 106 feet (32 m) above sea level.

Orlando has many neighborhoods within its city limits –

  • 33rd St Industrial
  • Airport North
  • Audubon Park
  • Azalea Park
  • Bal Bay
  • Baldwin Park
  • Bel Air
  • Beltway Commerce Center
  • Boggy Creek
  • Bryn Mawr
  • Callahan
  • Camellia Gardens
  • Carver Shores
  • Catalina
  • Central Business District
  • City of Orlando/GOAA
  • Clear Lake
  • College Park
  • Colonial Town Center
  • Colonialtown North
  • Colonialtown South
  • Conway
  • Countryside
  • Coytown
  • Crescent Park
  • Delaney Park
  • Dixie Belle
  • Dover Estates
  • Dover Manor
  • Dover Shores East
  • Dover Shores West
  • Eagles Nest
  • East Central Park
  • East Park
  • Engelwood Park
  • Florida Center
  • Florida Center North
  • Haralson Estates
  • Hibiscus
  • Holden Heights
  • Holden/Parramore
  • Johnson Village
  • Kirkman North
  • Kirkman South
  • Lake Cherokee
  • Lake Como
  • Lake Copeland
  • Lake Davis/Greenwood
  • Lake Dot
  • Lake Eola Heights
  • Lake Fairview
  • Lake Formosa
  • Lake Fredrica
  • Lake Mann Estates
  • Lake Holden
  • Lake Mann Gardens
  • Lake Nona Central
  • Lake Nona Estates
  • Lake Nona South
  • Lake Richmond
  • Lake Shore Village
  • Lake Sunset
  • Lake Terrace
  • Lake Underhill
  • Lake Weldona
  • Lancaster Park
  • LaVina
  • Lawsona/Fern Creek
  • Lorna Doone
  • Malibu Groves
  • Mariners Village
  • Mercy Drive
  • Metro West
  • Millenia
  • Monterey
  • Narcoossee Groves
  • New Malibu
  • North Orange
  • Northlake Park at Lake Nona
  • Narcoossee South
  • Orlando Executive Airport
  • Orlando International Airport
  • Orwin Manor
  • Palomar
  • Park Central
  • Park Lake/Highland
  • Pershing
  • Pineloch
  • Princeton/Silver Star
  • Randall Park
  • Richmond Estates
  • Richmond Heights
  • Rio Grande Park
  • Rock Lake
  • Roosevelt Park
  • Rose Isle
  • Rosemont
  • Rosemont North
  • Rowena Gardens
  • Seaboard Industrial
  • Signal Hill
  • South Division
  • South Eola
  • South Orange
  • South Semoran
  • Southern Oaks
  • Southport
  • Spring Lake
  • The Dovers
  • The Willows
  • Thornton Park
  • Timberleaf
  • Ventura
  • Vista East
  • Wadeview Park
  • Washington Shores
  • Wedgewood Groves
  • West Colonial
  • Westfield
  • Windhover

Climate –

Orlando has two major seasons – hot and rainy – June through September – and the dry season – October through May – that brings cooler temperatures and a lot less rainfall.

Orlando is classified as a clear humid subtropical climate ranging from hot and rainy summers to dry and mild winters. The average high temperatures are over 90 °F (33 °C) for almost five months out of the year, and it’s not uncommon for triple digit temperatures to pop up from time to time.

During the height of the humid summer season, temperatures rarely fall below 70 °F (21 °C), and daytime highs average in the upper 90s (33-39 °C).  However, the extreme central Florida humidity can push the heat index to over 110 °F (45 °C).  During these months, strong afternoon thunderstorms occur almost every day.  Spectacular lightning, heavy rainfall (sometimes several inches per hour), and powerful winds are not uncommon.

During the cooler seasons, the humidity is much lower and temperatures are more moderate.  The average nighttime lows in January are usually around 50 °F (10 °C), and the average daytime highs are in the low 70’s.

Orlando receives about 50 inches (128 cm) of rain each year.  And most of that occurs between June and September. The months of October through May tend to be the driest times of the year.

Weather averages for Orlando
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 87
(31)
90
(32)
92
(33)
96
(36)
100
(38)
100
(38)
101
(38)
100
(38)
98
(37)
95
(35)
89
(32)
90
(32)
101
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 72
(22)
74
(23)
79
(26)
83
(28)
88
(31)
91
(33)
92
(33)
92
(33)
90
(32)
85
(29)
79
(26)
73
(23)
83
(28)
Average low °F (°C) 50
(10)
51
(11)
56
(13)
60
(16)
66
(19)
71
(22)
73
(23)
73
(23)
72
(22)
65
(18)
59
(15)
53
(12)
62
(17)
Record low °F (°C) 19
(-7)
26
(-3)
25
(-4)
38
(3)
48
(9)
60
(16)
64
(18)
64
(18)
56
(13)
43
(6)
29
(-2)
20
(-7)
19
(-7)
Precipitation inches (cm) 2
(5)
2.8
(7)
3.1
(8)
2.4
(6)
2.8
(7)
6.3
(16)
7.1
(18)
7.9
(20)
6.7
(17)
3.5
(9)
1.6
(4)
2
(5)
50.4
(128)
Source: Temp – weather.com, Precip – accuweather.com 2009-04-15

 

Airports –

  • The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is Orlando’s primary airport – the busiest airport in the entire state. According to J.D. Power & Associates the airport was ranked by passengers as the #1 airport in the nation. OIA has 2 terminals with radiating air-side terminals, and elevated trams carry passengers to their gates. The airport also houses an on-site Hyatt Regency hotel.
  • The Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is located just to the north in Sanford, Florida, and serves as a secondary airport, mainly for European discount carriers and charters.
  • The Orlando Executive Airport located near Downtown Orlando, serves mostly executive jets, houses flight training schools, and is home to general small-aircraft aviation.

Roads –

Major highways –

Orlando Hotels – Downtown Area –

A.

Grand Bohemian Hotel: Downtown Orlando Hotels

www.grandbohemianhotel.com – (407) 313-9000

B.

Sheraton Orlando – Downtown Hotel

www.starwoodhotels.com – (407) 425-4455 –

C.

Embassy Suites Hotel Orlando-Downtown

www.embassysuites.com – (407) 841-1000 –

D.

Holiday Inn International Drive Orlando Hotel

www.hiinternationaldriveorlandohotelsite.com – (407) 351-3500 –

E.

The Peabody Orlando Hotel

www.peabodyorlando.com – (407) 352-4000 –

F.

Rosen Centre Hotel

www.rosencentre.com – (407) 996-9840 –

G.

Doubletree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando

www.doubletreeorlando.com – (866) 704-7845 –

H.

Rosen Hotels & Resorts

www.rosenplaza.com – (407) 996-9700 –

I.

Florida Hotel and Conference Center

www.thefloridahotelorlando.com – (407) 859-1500 –

J.

Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, A Loews Hotel

www.loewshotels.com – (407) 503-1000 -

 

Film Office –

407.422.7159 or FAX 407.841.9069 - 301 East Pine Street, Suite 900 – Orlando, FL – info@filmorlando.com

Chamber of Commerce –

407.425.1234 0r FAX 407.835.2500 – 75 South Ivanhoe Boulevard  – P.O. Box 1234 Orlando, Florida 32802-1234 –  www.orlando.org

Visitor’s Bureau –

www.orlandoinfo.com

Orlando Production Guidlines –

Every crew across the country has their own set of guidelines by which they conduct business.  And, as different as each city is from another, so are those guidelines.  Every producer should have a basic understanding of each city’s standards.  For instance, shoots in Raleigh are based on a ten hour day and the crew is “on the clock” at the specified crew call.  Overtime (at a rate of time and a half) begins after ten hours.  And if your shoot takes the crew to a distant locale, travel time can be expected, which is normally billed into the shoot day unless overnight travel is planned for.  For more details on our Orlando guidelines, contact us anytime or visit us on line at www.gototeam.com.

Booking The Right Crew!

But even with the perfect location, the best laid plans, and great weather, so much depends on the “right” crew!  Booking that crew means not only finding one that gets the job done, but also does whatever it takes to insure you have the best shot each and every time!  Are you conducting a series of interviews that requires dramatic lighting?  Will you be “running and gunning” around the city?  Or is your shoot going to require special equipment?  Whatever the case, Go To Team has it all!  Finding a crew that can handle all your needs is just as important as lining up all the interviews and creating your shot list.

For more information on booking Go To Team – in and around the central Florida area – visit us on line at www.gototeam.com

This article was written by Dan Beckmann, Cameraman/Partner and Director of Photography – Orlando Offices, Orlando, Florida – for Go To Team.

Go To Team is a leading provider of video production resources throughout the southeast – including video camera crews.

Copying this information to other sites is allowed only in its entirety, with credit and web link to Go To Team.