The most critical bit of any video production is the nitty-gritties gathered before the camera starts rolling. Most magic happens in the planning and logistics phase. While poor pre-production may not hurt your video, lack of due diligence in proper planning will definitely break your budget.
This phase ensures that the whole crew is in line with what’s happening at the onset and what to expect in the production phase. When working on a film, it is important that the content delivers through a stress-free process whether the video is being solely produced or with the input of an external agency. So, how important is pre-production?
Many times, clients concentrate too much on the output and forget there is a planning phase. The most important step is to define what is trying to be achieved. Who is the audience? What is the key message? What is the video intended for? Will it be designed to drive traffic to a landing page or simply bring awareness? Is the objective to influence decision makers in the industry? Or is it to simply set the company apart from competitors? If the client cannot clearly articulate the objective, then it would be difficult to produce a meaningful video.
There has to be a call to action before any production is completed. This is what determines the reaction viewers give after watching the video. Determining objectives allows the producer to focus on the outcome. Lack of it is the principle reason why videos fail. It is also the time to set timelines for the project. However, it is necessary to overestimate the time needed to complete the production. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to under-promise but over-deliver. The best way to achieve this is avoiding a small window of completion. This is because there are often many unforeseen post production conflicts that could delay the process.
Conveying the Message
This is where professionalism meets great ideas. Although a client may have great ideas of what they want brought out in the video, they may not figure out how to say it. A good video means that the audience is not turned off after every few seconds. After signing off the script, the written ideas need to be brought out through visualization.
This is the phase that brings out the idea of how the final video will look. Here, you can visualize the content from the first to the final scene. Ideas from the crew need to be bombarded to give a complete visual idea of the content. The team can then figure out a creative way to convey the ideas. Once this is determined, the talent can be put on set. Rehearsals and line readings cannot be understated. You want your talent to be at their best on the actual shoot day to avoid delays and reduce the number of takes.
Call Sheet and Logistics
Failure to visualize main day logistics could be the starting point of disaster even with a great script. This phase includes locations, timings, contact information and every critical detail relevant for the main day. It is vital to get call sheets right since they go out to the entire crew. These should clearly outline what and where every member is supposed to do and be when. If possible, they should visit the shoot location beforehand. When picturing camera angles, power concerns, lighting and more, this would be a brilliant move.
The crew also gets to familiarize itself with the equipment needed for every shot. Before the first camera starts rolling on the day of production, there has to be a pre-planned agreement. While understanding basics such as the production schedule and the location is vital, knowing why a certain camera is the best choice for a certain shot cannot be overlooked. Once the right equipment has been determined, it is important to double check what is already available.
This is a phase that must never be ignored when planning a video production. Pre-planning allows you to determine your financial capacity before producing a video. Without a guiding budget, a team may not manage expectations. In fact, this is a major cause of under-delivering. Also, once the budget is known beforehand, it is easy to eliminate guessing and narrow down on what can be done for the project. Pre-planning allows you to set a clear budget early enough. This makes it easy to manage expectations and eliminate financial problems in good time.
Pre-production is a step that is too important to be ignored. In fact, it would be highly important to seek help from credible training companies. If you have not properly planned your production, it will most likely fail. Taking the time to properly plan a video production gives a much higher likelihood of success.