20 Essential Steps for Video Pre-Production, Part 1 of 2

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a video production? Is it a camera, fancy lighting equipment, a green screen, or a group of actors? In reality, the most important aspect of a video production is the groundwork that comes before the day of shooting. This phase, called pre-production, is where all of the planning and logistics take place. In addition to providing clear messages and structure, pre-production planning is what helps keep productions on budget. As part one of a two-part series, this post will begin to outline some of the pre-production steps that will make your next Orlando video production a success.


  1. Determine the Production Type

Film productions come in all shapes and sizes, from music videos and social media clips to trade show videos and larger corporate productions. Before progressing too far into the planning phase, you must determine what type of production you want. If your company needs a new television commercial, will it also play out online? Do you need to produce product demonstrations or training videos for internal use? Determining the type of production will also help later as you develop marketing strategies and work to make the most of your advertising budget.


  1. Identify the Audience

Understanding the production type will help you determine your target audience. Together, these will enable your crew to create a much more effective video as opposed to a generic presentation. By defining your audience, you will likely see better results as well. Factors include basic demographics as well as individual interests or particular needs. Consider your company’s products and services and who would be best served by them.


  1. Choose a Core Message

If your audience is wide and general, rather than specifically targeted, it is especially important that your production carries a clear message. Why does the commercial or video project exist? If you know whom you are trying to reach, why should they be interested? Clearly defined goals will help keep your production on track.


  1. Establish the Length

Although the length of productions is important, different lengths may not play as heavily into your production budget as you might think. The cost difference of developing a 15-second versus a 30-second commercial is likely negligible, depending on the amount of locations, scenes, and special effects you incorporate. It is more important to consider marketing and ad placement at this time, to ensure your production will be seen. In addition, for longer productions you must also consider viewer attention spans and drop-off rates. If you have any questions about what length is best for your company and budget, do not hesitate to contact an Orlando video production company for assistance.


  1. Set the Budget

The fear of “the budget” is the reason that many companies resist video marketing or attempt to pull together a production on their own. The truth is, video marketing can be an investment in terms of cost, but it is one that truly delivers. Videos are eye-catching and engaging, and are more likely to prompt reactions from viewers than fliers, banners, or other forms of advertisement. Setting the budget can be complex, but consider your current marketing resources as well as your projected goals. It is important to establish the budget early on in the process to ensure your production does not get out of hand, financially-speaking.


  1. Begin Brainstorming

After establishing the basic structure for your production, start brainstorming. Perhaps you already had a seed of an idea when first considering creating a video, but let this seed grow and develop before settling on any single idea. This open-minded attitude will establish a sense of communication and collaboration your company and production crew will feel and appreciate. In addition, feedback from others can be eye-opening and may become an essential aspect of the resulting production.


  1. Move to Script-Writing

In some cases, script-writing may be practically superfluous. Certain commercials rely only on images and sound effects while others use super-charged background music with on-screen captions to tell a story. On the other hand, your production may need a few powerful words for a voiceover or a lengthy script with back-and-forth banter for a group of actors. Whatever direction you take, know that script-writing is an essential part of the process. Give your story a clear beginning, middle, and end, and try to include compelling content. Informative tones are best for some companies, but others might consider other approaches such as humor or even irony.


  1. Stay Authentic

As you or your colleagues begin writing, stay authentic. Use natural, everyday language while writing scripts, and do not exaggerate or make false claims. Keep in mind that consumers have the ability to call companies out on incorrect information, and negative retaliations are often the first type of reviews to be posted online. This is not to scare you, but simply to serve as a reminder that your production will directly reflect your company. Set the tone you want from the beginning, and try to create an atmosphere that is in line with your company practices.


  1. Start Storyboarding

Storyboarding is the part of the pre-production process that synthesizes all of your ideas up to that point. It includes the script alongside sketches or pictures of proposed footage. You can also begin to include details about location, lighting, angles, and props. Storyboarding is essential to a strong shoot, as it will streamline the process and keep everyone on the same page in terms of core message and creative direction.


  1. Write an Intro

No matter how many drafts your script has gone through already, the introduction must be particularly captivating. The intro is what sets the tone and atmosphere for the production. It should be eye-catching in order to engage the audience, but clear and concise to deliver your production message. Depending on your production, types of intros include a brief greeting, a controversial statement quickly resolved, a need-based question or a compelling image.


At this point, wouldn’t you think you are ready to begin filming? Stay tuned for part two, with ten more pre-production tips. In the meantime, look no further for the right Orlando video production company than NG Production Films. We have over 15 years of filming and marketing experience with productions in multiple mediums. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 877-203-2895 or fill out our simple contact form for a prompt reply.