What To Expect During Pre-Production
With our focus on video production in Chicago, we understand the importance of a concentrated and strategic approach to the entire process, not just the bits and pieces that are creatively stimulating. Video production often conjures up glamorous images of an energetic crew honing in on the perfect shot, a producer bellowing instructions, your subject or presenter putting on a grand spectacle, and of course, finally getting to press that red record button.
Yet throwing yourself into the heat of the production process can be done far more confidently with the right preparation, and this is where pre-production becomes critical to your entire project. Poor pre-production practices often result in inferior finished products, a bewildered crew and perhaps worst of all, a wrecked budget.
If you are new to the video production process and have perhaps not yet considered the demands of the pre-production phase, these are a few of the primary tasks you can anticipate:
Knowing your audience and knowing your message
A great place to start is to clearly define your audience. This intricate process, often dubbed ‘building buyer personas’, will assist you greatly in delivering personalized, targeted video storylines. Particularly if you are creating short-form videos in an online space, you’ll be fighting for your audience’s attention amongst the hundreds of other call-to-action messages they’ll be inundated with throughout the day – your video’s storyline should therefore be specific, not generic.
Writing and creating in line with your budget
Naturally, pre-production includes conceptualizing, writing, and fine-tuning your script. However, you can’t begin the creative process without first examining exactly what your budget allows for – and what it doesn’t. By knowing your budgetary limitations, you’ll be able to deliver precisely what you have promised.
(Don’t) take your time…
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the average attention span has dropped to just 8.25 seconds in 2015 (down from 12 seconds in 2000). This leaves you with very little time to clearly state your intent at the start of your video. Within these initial few seconds, it’s all about the basics – who you are and what you’re talking about. Similarly, it’s worth getting professional input to help you decide on the ideal total length of your video before shooting it.
Clearing the red tape
So far, we’ve covered a lot of the ‘fun’ stuff, but what use is the perfect creative treatment without knowing when, where, and if you will be allowed to execute on the day? It’s important to acquire any permits and other documentation, especially related to your location (which you will have had to comprehensively scout out many days or even weeks prior to the shoot day). Unfortunately, one also needs to prepare for the worst, as location shoots contain a number of variables and something could very well go wrong – here, it’s important to make sure you’re fully insured and that relevant crew members have signed some manner of indemnity form.
Just as a brand new vehicle from a motoring manufacturer is brainstormed, designed, scrutinized, re-designed, tested, and undergoes a rigorous set of approvals before finally ending up on the showroom floor, so too is the pre-production phase a detailed and critical part of your video production process. Get this phase right, however, and your chances of ending up with a far more enjoyable production phase – and a much more polished finished product – are far higher.