Some people think creating a video is a piece of cake. It’s simple: just pick up the camera, find a location, gather some friends as actors and start rolling. Bam! You’ve got your first big hit, right?
What about filming permits, a fixed budget or the chaos that can ensue after a lack of planning? Pre-production is a vital stage to every video project – if not the most important. A smooth video demands a quality pre-production process. It’s the vision before the creation and trust us, brainstorming in its infancy will prevent some major headaches throughout the life of your filming process.
Nearly every video project begins with a set of staple factors and considerations. A finished movie is the accumulation of many moving parts, schedules and creative insights. Failing to plan out just one of the finer details can disrupt the big picture – big time.
First Things, First: Determine Your Needs
Here at Gate6, our video team tries to gain a good understanding of the basic elements prior to conducting the first shot. It’s like anything you want to be good at – practice makes perfect and we run through our process before we step up to the big show.
We’ve found the following segments highly important time and time again:
- Budget: How much is this going to cost?
- Script: Are all the lines fleshed out?
- Casting: Have we found the perfect characters?
- Location: Does this environment fit our story?
- Permits: Are we allowed to film here?
- Tech Scout: Has the film team audited the location to verify it has what they need?
- Storyboard: Are the actions built out?
- Shot List: Do we have our takes and angles planned out?
- Scheduling: Do the right players know when and where they’re needed?
Once these elements are ironed out and everyone has a clear understanding of the production needs, we’re confident and ready to get the cameras rolling.
Follow Tried and True Practices
In addition to checklist above, we’ve found a handful of practices that empower effective pre-production. They’re habits, if you will, that consistently keep our video process killer in its ideation and brilliant in its execution.
- Make sure the video concept truly aligns with the budget. Brainstorming ideas gives you a chance to have fun and flex the creative muscle, but the exercises shouldn’t strain the client’s wallet.
- Work to have the script as close to finalized as possible, though, there’s always room for creative adaptations. On the contrary, an underdeveloped script can cause major inconsistencies in the intended plot, production timeline and actor expectations.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to get film permits. Permits typically take a few weeks to attain, so it’s encouraged to start that process once locations are finalized.
- Keep the editor in the loop. Some people overlook the role of the editor and assume they will only participate during post production when, in fact, they play a huge role in weaving the story together. Keep your editor engaged during the storyboarding phase so they can let you know what shots will work with the flow of the edit.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions. We try our best to avoid problems during production by identifying and solving the challenges beforehand.
- Most importantly, stay calm. Nothing is perfect. No matter how hard you work on planning, scheduling and prepping for the shoot, some things are just beyond our control.
Embrace the experience and enjoy the fruits of your planning. Post-production will thank you later!
Check our Video Production Services & see how we stand apart from competitors and engage customers on a new level with professional-quality video production.