Video Pre-Production essentials
In my opinion, pre-production is the most important phase. If you don’t set a solid foundation, everything later is on shaky ground.
Here’s a rundown of what happens in the pre-production phase and why:
Planning: The goal here is to establish goals, funny as that sounds. What is this video supposed to achieve? The simpler your answer, the more likely you are to have a good outcome. When you have multiple objectives things quickly get convoluted and complicated.
Scripting: This is where your video takes form and where you have to do the heavy lifting. Even if your video is unscripted, this is the point where you will make critical decisions. What will people talk about? For how long? What emotion should they convey? How does it all tie together? Without a solid plan on paper, you have no compass when the camera finally rolls.
Story-boarding: If you take the time to plan out what the audi-ence will see in each shot, you can make the most efficient use of your cam-era time. This step also helps reveal any holes in your script — places where it’s not clear how to visually represent what’s being said in the audio
Revisions: It’s wise to build at least two rounds of revisions into your script-ing process. It can take time to develop a workable script, but the pay-off is well worth it. A little polish here can make all the difference in the quality of the final product.
Budgeting: Many people want know to how much a video will cost, even before any critical decisions have been made. Unfortunately, it’s usually impossible to answer this question in anything but the most general of terms. The best way to work is to hire a producer and/or writer to develop the core concept. Then and only then can you determine what it will take to get there.
Scheduling: Just as a video’s budget is determined by the concept, so is a production’s schedule. Most projects will require a wide array of people and equipment, all of which need to be scheduled. While you may not always have the luxury of starting the pre-production process early, advance planning usually results in a better product. Ideally, you would allow 3+ months for short-form video and 6 months for long-form pieces. If you aren’t able to plan ahead, you be prepared to pay more or accept somewhat lower quality
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