Video marketing is a valuable tool for any business, product or individual who has a great story to tell. Whether you need to showcase a product on your website or attract new talent to your workplace, a well-executed video can have a substantial impact on your marketing campaign. But to produce a well-executed video, a well-thought-out pre-production plan is a must.
At Anania Media, every video project that we take on goes through a three-step process before becoming a reality: pre-production, production and post-production. This post is a detailed look into our pre-production process.
Planning, research and kickoff meeting
A kick-off phone call or meeting is a great way to get the project started off on the right foot. It’s an opportunity for our team to get to know you and your needs., From there, we will dive into the project goals and start brainstorming how to accomplish them — together.
The first things we seek to uncover during kick-off are 1.) what your goals are and 2.) how you plan on using your video. Will the video contain interviews with staff members? Do we need to travel to a specific location? During planning and research, we ask all sorts of questions to get familiar with your project.
Pre-production can easily take a back seat to filming because it can be perceived as tedious and boring. If done well, the time and work put into pre-production will pay off tenfold when it comes to shooting day and post-production. When a video production company arrives to film your video, they have often already put in hours of work, planning and preparing for this day.
Our in-house pre-production documents
Our custom materials help us plan everything from the filming schedule to the questions being asked during on-camera interviews. Here are a few of the documents we commonly use to help plan for the shoot:
- Surveys – While preparing for interviews it is often helpful to speak with employees before shoot day to gather more information about the topic. This helps us craft our questions and build a stronger narrative. Our team has standard surveys for different types of videos that can be tailored for your organization.
- Question lists – When preparing for interviews, we choose questions that will prompt answers that help tell a story. Our pre-made list of questions is a starting point to help jumpstart the process.
- Shot lists – Creating a list of shots we need to capture on filming day is an important tool to make sure we don’t forget to film anything.
- ‘What to expect at your video shoot’ – This document contains lots of helpful hints and tips for our client about how to prepare for their video shoot.
- What to wear – The human eye and camera lens sees colors and pattern differently, so we share tips on choosing your outfit for filming day.
- Production schedule – Before filming begins a detailed schedule is put together by our team and approved by the client to help make sure everything goes smoothly on shoot day.
Figuring out the gear needed for each video is like putting together a puzzle. Between video, audio, lighting and stabilization our growing collection contains the pieces needed to put your project together. Below are some of factors we consider when choosing the right gear:
- Video – HD, 4K, action cam and drone footage.
- Audio – Lavalier, condenser and dynamic mics. Wired or wireless.
- Lights – LED and tungsten lights. Diffusers and reflectors.
- Stabilization – 3 axis gimbals, shoulder mounts and tripods.
One of our custom pre-production documents is a shot list builder for the project. We brainstorm a list of shots that we want to capture for your project and figure out which pieces of gear we will need to accomplish the shot.
In our efforts to always get better, researching new gear is an ongoing effort. When we notice trends in the needs of our clients we work to find gear that will help make those projects easier to create and deliver a higher quality product.
It may seem obvious that scheduling is part of the pre-production plan, but a surprising number of projects are done without a predetermined schedule. Below are some things we take into consideration when building the schedule:
- Plan for more time than you think you will need – If you tell a client it is a two-hour shoot and you finish in one hour they are thrilled to be ahead of schedule. If your two-hour shoot turns into a three-hour shoot the client may become annoyed, jeopardizing the quality of your video content.
- Consider weather/time of year when conducting outdoor shoots – When shooting outdoors be aware of where the sun is, because it moves, changing the lighting of your shots throughout the day. Also, in January you have considerably less daylight to use than you do in June.
- Travel – Always factor in travel time on your shoots. If you are traveling to multiple locations in one day plan for extra time while traveling to account for unexpected traffic or bad weather.
It’s important to view planning as an evolving task and not a checkbox. Throughout the pre-production process, details can change many times, and you must be able to adapt as the project develops. This essential time spent putting together a rock solid pre-production plan will pay off big later on when it comes time to film and edit.
Enjoy the process; happy creating!