Pre-production – a vital step

Video Pre-Production

We consider that good execution of preproduction is important in the success of the video project. The list of things that can come under the umbrella of preproduction is not only huge but also very variable depending on the nature of the video project. Items on the clients tick list are predominantly of a marketing planning nature, or should be, and ours are mostly technical or creative, but the sweet spot is where all align towards the end goal. The subject is an essay in itself, as is all of the background preparation from a marketing perspective, but what kinds of things should happen in preproduction? This is not an exhaustive checklist, but some of the points we focus on are; Location. Where are we filming, and how suitable is it? As most of our work is on client premises, a recce can be useful to check that sound acoustics, background noise and lighting are not problematic. We can also size up possible shots, check access issues, and often combine the visit with a client meeting. Script and storyboard. How is the video going to flow? We try to visualise the finished edit and head off potential problems by planning the shoot with the end in mind. Can the script be delivered without autocue? Does it need to be supplemented by additional content or shots to (a) maintain audience interest and (b) make shooting easier and less stressful for the client? Outcome. Where is the video going to end up? Does this impact how the video starts and ends e.g. with call-to-action slides or narrative? Does the hosting platform have restrictions on video file format, use of copyright music etc? If the video is going to end up on YouTube, what is the status of the client's YouTube account? Does it need to be set up, improved? Are the required keywords ready for inclusion? If not, what work needs to be done on SEO as part of the project? Audience. Who is watching, and in what point in the buying cycle? Does this impact on the length of the video, tone, narrative, structure, call to action, online destination etc? How is the video going to be promoted? Branding. We like to receive all branding collateral in advance, colour palettes, logos, fonts etc. Having this discussion early means that we can prepare assets in advance - animated logo, titles, captions, end screen etc. It also means that if there is trouble securing these assets from a 3rd party, the process has less impact on the delivery timescale of the video. Sign off & Deadlines. Are there any, and are they realistic and fixed? Who is signing off the video and what is the review process. How will the draft files be sent electronically and to whom? Other Opportunities. Can any other work be dovetailed with this e.g getting additional contributions or footage which may be useful later?   Sometimes even the act of going through this process can change the nature of the project. Why not get in touch about your next video endeavour?