Pre-Production Essentials for a Successful Video Shoot

Pre-Production / Process

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Video production is a fun and creative process, but it involves planning if you want it to go as smoothly as possible. Allocating enough resources for every aspect will ensure everything flows nicely without any unnecessary hassles or setbacks.

A lot of time and effort goes into an effective video shoot. Planning everything down to include the essential details—a step called pre-production or is crucial to getting the end product you want. Pre-production contributes a lot to whether a video is successful or not, so it’s essential to get things right as this sets the tone for the rest of the process. A mistake in pre-production can slow down the whole operation. 

Here are five pre-production essentials for a successful video shoot:

A Very Detailed Brief

Before anything begins, you need to have a brief containing all the crucial details necessary for the video, starting with your target audience and the message you want to convey. This is the foundation of the video that will anchor all future brainstorming sessions. 

The brief should also contain a rough target running time (TRT). While the concept doesn’t necessarily need to be included, even a vague idea can help the creators develop a good story for the output.

Lastly, the budget and target release need to be included in the brief. Before a producer can calculate the budget and cost estimates, they will need to know the ballpark budget they’re working with and the target release, as this can entail additional costs.

The creatives will need all these details to conceptualize effectively. Don’t worry about limiting their vision because it’s more important for them to know what they’re working with so that the project is not blindsided by unexpected limitations.

The Script, Shot List, Storyboard

Once a concept is approved and locked, we can proceed to the script. Writing the script can take anywhere from a week to a month. It depends on the length of the video and its requirements. After submitting the initial draft, revisions on the working script shouldn’t take too long, however, this depends on the approval process and the extent of the changes. 

When the script is more or less finished, we create a shot list and a storyboard for more complex shoots. Every production team will have a slightly different way of doing things. The shot list and storyboard are similar devices but serve different purposes.

A shot list is a map of sorts; it details what will happen and what is needed for every shot, scene, or sequence of the video. It serves as a way to organize crew, equipment, and talent. A storyboard is similar in that it is a graphic/sketched representation of the narrative. The storyboard helps to visualize the script and plan shooting.

Talent, Crew, Equipment, and Staff

Talent, Crew, Equipment, and Staff

This is the stage of pre-prod when things start picking up. You will need one or two production managers to start booking locations, talents, crew, and additional staff. You should already have shortlisted for all these categories beforehand. It can be difficult only to start choosing these people now. 

The talent and their additional staff—hair and makeup artists, stylists, and so on—will need to be briefed and brought in for camera testing if possible. For locations, make sure to shortlist at least 1-2 places for contingency. Begin building your crew and planning for all the equipment needed for the shoot. Coordinate with the team for gear rentals and any necessary crew outsourcing. 


Logistics and Scheduling

You will have to multi-task and make sure that logistics and scheduling are also taken care of. Logistics is everything from transportation, food, waiting areas, equipment, and props. All of these details should be in a call sheet that every crew member possesses. A production schedule will ensure that the video shoot goes smoothly.

A production is all about planning and with a good plan, things go much more efficiently. Scheduling helps to create an organized set which in turn creates less chaos on location or at rehearsal time so work can be done quickly without any interruptions!


Pre-Production Is Essential

Pre-production is a hectic time for everyone. It’s a busy and rewarding time. No matter your designation, once everything gets started, you might find yourself taking on new roles to help production get moving. The pre-prod crew is essential to creating a great video because they lay the foundations and plans that everyone will follow until post-production and release. 

If you’re looking for a company to create the perfect video for your company, we’re happy to work on your vision with you. Mustard Productions is a video production company that specializes in creating video content to boost your marketing and maximize your budget. Look through our services and get a quote today!


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