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The First Stage of the Video Production Process: Pre-Production

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The video production process includes three main parts: pre-production, production and post-production. The process of producing a video is very much like cooking, because both activities rely on careful preparation in order to turn out successfully. For example, a good chef always does some research before making something new or before using an ingredient they have never tried before, and the same goes for making an interesting, engaging video. Think of your script as the list of ingredients, and your images, sound and crew as the main recipe. Remember, everything you do in pre-production affects the next two stages, as well as the finished product. By making the effort to plan everything out beforehand and then get your ingredients organized, you’ll save much time, money and stress overall.

Pick a dish

Spend some time thinking about what you want your video to do for you. Determine exactly who your target audience is, and what message you want the video to convey to them. You’ll want to use that information to create the right style and pace using music, speech and visual cues. The content of your video should be interesting and easy for your viewers to relate to, so it will engage them. If you plan to produce a marketing video, for example, you’ll want to use your video to show your potential customers why they should employ your services, instead of going somewhere else.

Hire the kitchen crew

This is where you should make the important decision on whether to employ the help of an experienced video production company or to go it alone. There are many video production companies, with a range of experience and costs, so shop around. Go to their websites, watch examples of their videos and talk to them. Find a video production company that aligns with the level of participation that you require to produce your video, which depends on your level of video production knowledge, as well as your budget. A good video production company will work behind the scenes to help you find the best crew, actors, and locations. They can also take care of the legal aspects, such as copyright laws and permissions.

Find the perfect recipe

Start by creating a basic outline that includes the main points you want to make to your viewers. Use that outline to complete a script, or hire a professional scriptwriter to do that for you. The script should include the text of anything spoken in your video, for narration to voice overs. Divide the script visually into two columns in a logical sequence. The left column should cover all of the narration and music. The right column should include a detailed description of each scene. Add important information, such as locations and suggested times of each shot to help the director. Everything needs to be included in the script, and then everyone involved should agree on the final version before the actual shoot.

Assemble your ingredients

video production example of a storyboardWhen you’ve finished the script, it’s time to put together the shot list, which is also called a storyboard. The storyboard resembles a comic strip that details each scene, such as dialogue and appearance. It helps ensure a smooth, logical flow to the video and helps you see what the final product will look like. Add explicit details and annotations to guide the person who will be directing the actual shoot. Make sure to meet with the director or video production company to work on the storyboard, to ask questions and to fill in all the blanks well before the day of filming. Even if someone else does the storyboard for you, you’ll still want to meet with them to look it over and ask questions.

By following these steps, you can proceed with confidence and peace of mind, with a solid idea of how your video will sound and look to your intended audience. Now that you have taken the time to find a great recipe and assembled all the important ingredients, you are ready for the production stage.

Also make sure to read: Seven Ways to Leverage Multimedia on Your Website

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