13 Pre-Production Tips For A Successful Video Content

October 26, 2019
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Photo by  metamorworks on Shutterstock

The pre-production stage isn’t an easy task; in fact, it’s during the pre-production stage where most of the magic happens. All the planning, brainstorming, storyboards, scripts, and shot angles happen during this stage. This is important because even if the video production team has on-staff creatives with complete gears, they may not be able to understand what your vision or objective of the video is.  This is where you put all your ideas and images together for a clearer picture of what’s going to happen.

The following pre-production tips will help you get better results:


1. Define your audience

Defining your target audience is a step forward towards making more targeted and effective videos. This process involves building personas to identify different types of customers. This helps you create better and effective content for different groups.

2. Clarify your message

Don’t try to cram or squeeze everything in a single animated explainer video. It is important for your audience to know and understand the purpose of your video. Don’t just try to explain what you do, instead, try to sell your service.

3. Determine your budget

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Photo by Sulee_R on Shutterstock

Working without a defined budget can result in a catastrophe for your company’s finance, as video production can be expensive. Having a budget to guide the production process will help you to manage expectations and keep expenses at a minimum.

4. Get to the point within 8 seconds

The average attention span is only 8.5 seconds, so you better get to the point and let your audience know what you are trying to convey.

5. Decide on your ideal video length

The decision on length should be based on metrics such as conversion rates. Studies show that the optimal length for online videos is about 2 minutes. For social media, it is recommended to create 10 to 30-second pieces of content. You should avoid making a feature that goes beyond the two-minute mark, thus shorter videos are more effective.

6. Be Transparent and Authentic

For effective video scriptwriting, it is important to be transparent and authentic. You want your viewers to see you as an expert and place trust in your brand—and not just about your own products and services, but about everything.

7. Create and follow the storyboard

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Photo By Saikorn on Shutterstock

Storyboards give a visual guide on the content and flow of the video. It helps to visualize the entire shoot before it actually happens. It can also help to answer questions like:

  • Where does the light come from?
  • What does the location need to have for the production to work?
  • Is there a location in mind?
  • And what tools will each shot require in order for them to look and feel the way the script was intended?

8. Make a Shot List

A shot list is the shot-by-shot breakdown of each scene. Shot lists include specific details like camera placement and lighting direction, as well as include the

  • Scene number
  • Shot number
  • Location
  • Shot description
  • Framing
  • Action/dialogue
  • Actors involved
  • Props needed
  • Extra notes

9. Create a Production Schedule

Creating a production schedule is important because it sees how your video project is going according to plan, as well as manage the time expectations of stakeholders. Your video production schedule should include this key information:

  • Location
  • Scene/shot
  • Equipment
  • People needed
  • Contact info
  • Date and time

10. Decide on a Studio or Location

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Photo by gnepphoto on Shutterstock

Deciding on a studio or location is important as it will affect your production schedule. If you want to shoot in a studio, then everything will already be in place for you to work with and all you’ll need to do is show up and bring your actors. On the other hand, shooting on location involves travel, equipment transportation costs, and the weather.


11. Visit all Locations Ahead of Time

Even if you do decide to shoot in a studio, or on a specific location, you should still visit it beforehand to get a full understanding of the space you’re working with. Visiting locations ahead of time also gives you the chance to preview each “scene” and update both your shot list and storyboard with actual, accurate pictures.

12. Determine Your Equipment Needs

Knowing exactly what equipment you’ll need for every shot in your shot list should be something that you have set long before the first camera starts rolling. This is to ensure that you’re going to be using the right equipment.

13. Line Up Your Talent

Now you have your script, storyboard, shot list, production schedule, and call sheet lined up, you’re all ready and it's time to put your talents on set! Make your talents do line-readings and rehearsals so that the result will be flawless.