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Planning Your Video Project – Preproduction

Without an in-depth and thorough preproduction stage, you run the risk of ending up with a final project that feels incomplete. Don’t make the classic mistake of thinking preproduction can be skipped to save time and money. Each stage is as crucial as the other; get one wrong and expect a disastrous domino effect.

Before any pre-production begins, you will have sent a brief to your video production company and they will have sent back a response. You therefore should have a good idea of the overall project timeframes and the costs associated with managing the preproduction, production, and post-production stage.

The preproduction stage will form the backbone to your project and gives you the opportunity to smooth out any complications before the camera starts rolling. Your production company will closely liaise with you to cover all of the logistical elements and possible eventualities, ensuring all creative aspects are practically viable and (hopefully!) resulting in no nasty surprises when you view the end result.

Research

Clearly define your target audience and the key messages you wish to get across in your video.

Script writing and storyboards

The script is the voice of your video. A single script may have a dozen drafts and re-edits but be patient with it. It is essential you have a clearly defined message that is effectively conveyed to your target audience. Some production companies don’t produce storyboards, but we always do – and for good reason. The storyboard gives you a chance to pre-visualise your production in the style that you want.

Schedules and timeframes

It’s always good to work out schedules and realistic timeframes during the planning stages. That way as a client you know what is happening next in the process and what (if anything) you need to prepare.

Equipment needed

Having a clearly defined message allows us to have a clearly defined method of delivery. It means we can plan what equipment is needed for your shoot(s), ie cameras, lighting, tripods, sliders, cranes, drones, props and costumes.

Location visits & logistics

Most locations require a recce before filming and sometimes shooting permission is needed. Watch out for ariel filming especially. Nowadays it isn’t enough to simply have permission to fly a drone and a lot of additional hoop jumping is required. It’s worth it though – imagine the heart-in-mouth moment when you see a filming drone being shot down from the sky..

Organising crew, legal requirements and insurance

This covers the production crew, actor auditions, transport needed and any overnight stays. Make sure you discuss insurance with your production company to ensure all liability is covered.

Make a plan, define your audience, know your message

Preproduction is a lot to think about. As with everything, view the production process as an entire entity. Don’t rely on the old “we’ll fix it in post” attitude. Spending half a day planning what not to do is far more efficient that having to spend 3 days fixing something in post-production (yes, it really can take that long). Trust us, we’re specialists for a reason. See you in front of the Camera!