When most people who aren’t too familiar with the film and video production process imagine it, they jump right to the lights, cameras, and action. They envision the set, the actors, the equipment, etc., and it makes sense. After all, it tends to be the most inherently exciting part of the process, but it’s not the only part.
In fact, there’s a ton of stuff that should be done, that needs to be done, before you even get to the point of shooting, and the truth is that if you rush too fast to the production phase then you’ll regret it. Trust us, no matter what kind of video you’re trying to create, the process requires some careful planning and preparation.
For some basic tips, check out this post, Film and Video Pre-Production Tips for Creating a Better Production and Better Project, but you can never have too many tips when it comes to the early phases of your film and video production, especially when you’re new to it. So, read on for a few more.
1. Chisel your message down to its core.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in video production is trying to do everything at once, which is why it should come as no surprise that it’s also one of the mistakes made most often by those new to creating video content. They just have so much they want to say that they try to squeeze it all into one video, but that’s never the right approach.
First off, there’s the audience to consider and they won’t put up with unfocused content filled to the brim with information solely about you and what you do and why they should care. From there, there’s your own identity and brand to consider, and chances are that there are a lot of variables and moving parts to it, like any other.
That’s why you’ll be far better off coming up with a strategy for creating different videos for different reasons, and also why narrowing down and clarifying your mission and message during the pre-production phase of each video you create is so important.
It’ll help to give the viewers a much more digestible video and will allow you to build a strategy around your various missions and messages, but on top of all that it will also be a big help once the production phase begins. Think about it, everyone involved will have a clear understanding of the specific mission they’re on, and that’ll make for a much better shoot.
2. Give yourself some cushion.
Yes, precision is absolutely a big part of any film or video pre-production. It’s all about planning and preparing as best you can for everything you can, but when it comes to time, the best bet is to forget precision and give yourself a lot more of it than you think you’ll need.
No, that doesn’t mean that you should guesstimate in any way, shape, or form. You still need to be extremely precise in how you go about estimating how long the shoot should take. It’s just that once you do what it takes to come up with a number that makes sense, then you need to add to it, sometimes a lot.
The more complicated and challenging the shoot, the more cushion you should give yourself and your video crew, because the bottom line is that anything can happen. It’s just the nature of the craft, and it make sense. It happens to require a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, all essential to the process.
So, while planning for every possible outcome and scenario should always be the main objective during pre-production, just remember that there will always be some things that will ultimately be out of your control, and that you’ll appreciate that extra time should something come up.
3. Factor the platforms into the plans.
Like mentioned above, a good video strategy requires creating different videos for different reasons, but it also requires creating different videos for different platforms, or tweaking them for different platforms at the very least, but the point is that where you’re ultimately going to be putting your videos should factor heavily into the pre-production phase.
Another big video production mistake is creating content and then worrying about where it’ll be posted later on. There are just too many possibilities now and each platform has its own community with its own tastes and preferences, which is why you can’t just create any old video and expect it to connect with every viewer who sees it no matter the platform.
So, start thinking about the various platforms you use and which communities would get the most out of the specific message you’re trying to send with your video as early on in the pre-production phase as possible. Don’t wait until production begins or until the video’s been edited.
That way, you’ll have plenty of time to come up with more ways to tailor the message and video for the specific platform and audience it’s intended for so that it makes an even stronger connection.
4. Don’t underestimate scheduling.
Again, no matter the kind of video you’re trying to create, there are always a lot of moving parts to the process. It’s part of what makes it so fun and exciting, but it’s also part of what can make it so complicated, and one aspect of the pre-production phase that tends to be one of the most challenging is scheduling.
Whether you have a crew that you’ll be working with, actors or talent coming for the shoot, members of your own team of organization taking part in the project, etc., the bottom line is that video production is a collaborative artform and finding the perfect times for all the collaborators to come together can be a challenge, to say the least.
First off, you’ve got everyone’s own jobs, responsibilities, and personal lives to work with, but then you also have to factor things like the times certain locations will be available into the equation and the lighting conditions at certain times of day. All this will only serve to make the process more complicated.
So, give scheduling the time and thought it deserves in pre-production, or find a video production crew that understands the value in doing that, because an airtight schedule will be essential once the production phase rolls around.
Pre-production can make or break any film or video.
We’ve been doing video production for long enough to know how critical a quality pre-production is to any project. If everyone does their parts in those earliest phases, then it’ll only make things that much smoother later on, when things get really hectic. We hope these tips help. Good luck!
About Us: KVibe Productions, one of the top NJ & NYC video production companies creating video content of all kinds, can handle every aspect of the process. And whether it’s a commercial, a corporate video production, or a feature film, at KVibe, we always create to inspire.