Pre Production Stage

Video Production - Pre Production StageВ В  by Amit Jain

in Advertising / Broadcast Advertising В В  (submitted 2012-05-23)

A video is divided into three phases - pre-production, production and post production. Pre-production is the first of the three parts you need to consider when producing any type of professional video. Pre-production is a critical part of getting things off on the right foot so be sure to think about calling on the services of a professional video production company.

During this stage, you're organizing everything so that the production phase goes smoothly. Pre-production starts out with identifying the goals and objectives of your video. Your target audience needs to be identified and scrutinized. This is of key importance, as everything from here on out should be done with your specific audience in mind. Are they conservative business people, wild and crazy creative types, or soccer moms? The tone, the pace, the actors, style, language, music, length, and other aspects of the production must be geared to the temperament, attitudes and interests of your intended audience.

You also need to consider how much you are willing to spend on this program. If it's important and you plan to use this production to generate money for yourself or your company, you should expect to spend some money to do it right. Look at it as an investment. For your first production, you may want to use a professional company to produce your video, if it's really important to get it right.

After you've decided on the purpose and goals for your video, identified your target audience, and considered your budget, the next phase of pre-production involves preparing an outline of the points you want to make. If you're promoting your business, your outline may consist of identifying your mission, background, products or services you provide, how you can help solve your audience's problems or meet their needs, testimonials from satisfied clients, costs, distinctions between you and your competition, and any other factors that will convince your target audience to patronize your company.

After you prepare your outline, it's time to go to script. The script is a detailed document that identifies what will be seen and what will be heard and in what order they'll appear. Draw a real or imaginary line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side of the page, identify the visuals that will be seen, and on the other side, identify the audio that will be heard for each shot. The more specific, the better. Here's an example of what your script should look like:

Shot # Audio Visual

1 Music (name the song) Title (Name it)

2 Music Continues Dissolve to wide tracking shot of group of people in a business meeting. Stop on John.

3 John says, "I can't take these boring meetings any more!" Wide shot of John jumping up, throwing papers in the air. Others at table are in shock

And so on… The script should be as detailed as possible. It should include direction about the shot, whether it's wide, medium, or a close up. Specify whether it's a static shot or if dollies, pans, pull outs or other camera moves are involved. The point is that this is the time that decisions need to be made - certainly not on the set when you're shooting your video. If you wait until you're in production, people will get impatient and the time will slip away while you're trying to brainstorm ideas and get agreement on them.

The pre-production stage is also when you hire your actors and crew. Do you want professional actors? Union or non-union? Are you going to have auditions? If so, who will conduct them? Do they know how to conduct one?

Have you identified the Production Houses? Have you seen examples of their work? Have they worked together before? Have they produced the type of video production you want before?

Think about how you will feed everyone on the set as well. Who will get the food? Time is money and people work much better and happier if they are fed in a timely fashion.

Will you need a make-up artist? What will people wear? Stripes, herring boned patterns and vivid colors are no-nos, as camera doesn't like any of this and it will cause moray patterns and other problems on the screen. What's better earth tones or subdued colors with simple or no patterns on Documentary Film Maker