Preproduction for a video might be one of the least desirable parts of a project. Many video professionals feel that there’s not a lot of creativity to this phase, and that it’s
not much as fun as shooting and editing. However, preproduction doesn’t have to be lame.
Not only is it the largest contributor to ensuring a successful shoot, but I guarantee that
properly planning for a video will make everything better in production and postproduction.
Even after working professionally in video for
more than 10 years, I’m still finding ways to improve my studio’s approach to preproduction.
Here are some practical tips that I’ve learned
from past experiences that have made my crew
better at the process.
1. Talk Before the Shoot
It all starts with an idea. You and the client
have agreed to work on a video project. With
pricing, deadlines, and contracts out of the way,
it’s time to put together a video concept.
While a client may have an idea or a desired
call to action for a video, it is our job as video
producers to help bring this to life. I can’t speak
for everyone, but most of us probably didn’t get
into this field just to push the Record button.
Adding creativity to a client’s concept or project is what fuels us to deliver better work and
more compelling videos.
Taking the time to have a full creative brief
with the client and stakeholders is absolutely
critical to making sure everyone is aligned with
the video concept. Some of the questions we like
to ask are as follows:
• How do you want people to feel after
watching this video?
• Who is the target audience?
• Where is the video going to end up?
These simple yet important questions can
shape the entire project and how things will
come together during production and post.
Once you’ve got that information, there are
some other things you should run by the client.
For example, where would they like to go with
the creative direction?
Keep in mind that a client’s vision may not
match the production budget, so it’s also part
of our job to set realistic expectations and bring
the client back to planet Earth. Again, these are
conversations you want to get out of the way before the cameras roll.
2. Conduct a Site Check
With the creative brief out of the way, the
shooting location will probably have been selected. Conducting a site check of that location during the same time of day you plan on
shooting is an absolute must. Looking at factors like lighting, power, and audio will help
you better understand the gear and crew you
will need for your shoot.
The location may also require a permit and
insurance, which will need to be obtained ahead
of time. Remember that local government and
city offices work at their own pace, and these
items can take time to process.
Snap some pictures of the location and make
some notes about things like potential interview
By Stjepan Alaupovic