How to Make a Video Part II: Pre-Production

  • By Christine Campana
  • 06 Sep, 2016

Preparation is Key

How to make marketing video Part 2

Once you know your objective, audience, budget, and timeline, it’s time to get creative and organized. In the second phase of video marketing, you’ll be preparing to start filming. This will involve organizing the logistics of video production, including script writing, creating storyboards, production scheduling, determining your equipment needs, finding locations, lining up your talent (including the cast and crew), getting supplies and props, as well as selecting wardrobe. As you enter this phase, remember, the best defense against unforeseen problems and delays is planning.

Below are some tips on how to make the most of your preparation:

1. Get your script and storyboard prepared before anything else.

Since in the strategic planning phase you’ve already determined the purpose of your video, the next step is to conceptualize how you’re going to convey your message. Now’s your chance to get creative and think about how you’ll tell your story and demonstrate why your brand is best. You’ll be thinking about the type of video you’re creating (for example, product or how-to), the speaker(s), and the best way you can share your message and engage your viewers. After drafting a few versions of your script, if you are not confident with what you’ve put down on paper, you may want to get professional input. This will likely come with an extra cost, but it may be worth it since your script will be a major part of your production. Next, you’ll be creating your storyboard, which, despite what you may think, doesn't require you to be a talented artist. You can either use drawings or picture clippings to create the scenes in your script. A storyboard is crucial because it makes you visualize the scene by scene breakdown of the video; hence, you will have an invaluable guide on how the shoot will go and can make the necessary adjustments beforehand.

2. Construct a shot list.

A shot list is simply a detailed shot-by-shot breakdown of each scene. It is usually done using Microsoft Excel and creating a table composed of three columns: scene number, location, and detailed description. Unlike the storyboard which only presents visuals, the shot list points out the specifics of each scene, including what props should be used, how the camera lights should be placed, and the amount of crew members that need to be present.

3. Come up with a production schedule.

Creating a production schedule (or a shooting schedule, as it is sometimes called) will determine the overall production workflow and steer the process in the right direction. The schedule should list: location, scene or shot, equipment needed, people in shot, contact information, and the date and time of the shoot. Having all of these important details written down will help you track the flow of the production, manage expectations, target concerns, and coordinate with all of the people crucial to the success of your video.

Planning ahead of time and getting everything you need before the actual production will help you handle unforeseen elements like scheduling conflicts, scene confusion, location unavailability, or equipment shortage. Therefore, spending the necessary time on the pre-production stage can save you a lot of trouble down the road.

In the next blog, you'll learn about seeing the results of your careful planning. Read Part III.

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