Pre-production refers to everything you have to do before you actually begin to film your video. Think of the pre-production stage as the planning stage. The following are the various steps that you’ll have to take throughout the pre-production stage:
Set a budget
Before any other form of planning can occur, the budget must be set. This will provide a guideline for what elements you can or can’t implement in the filming or editing process.
Developing creative means coming up with (and flushing out) ways to achieve the main goal of the video. It’s important to have a vision and strategy in mind for each video.
Write a script
Once creative approach and strategy for the video have been developed, a script may need to be written. More often than not, the script will go through numerous drafts before it’s ready.
Create a shot list
Using the script, the director and cinematographer will create a list of shots that most effectively tell your story.
The shot list may be turned into storyboards to make it easier to visualize how the video will look.
You’ll need to find the locations for your video. Considerations will include whether you can get permission to shoot on the location, if shooting there is logical and how far the locations are from one another.
Determine equipment needs
Depending on your shot list and locations, different equipment will be required. For example, if you’re filming in a small farmhouse, you may need a generator to power the lights.
Certain locations, such as public parks, will require you to obtain a permit for filming.
Actors may need to be auditioned for the various roles in your video.
Schedule the shoot
Scheduling the shoot can be quite difficult. The locations, types of shots and the actors involved all must be taken into account. This will create the most efficient possible shooting schedule.
The production process lasts from the first day of your shoot to the last day of your shoot. Although almost every detail concerning the shoot should have been planned during the pre-production stage, there’s still a ton of work to be done, including:
Setting up the lights
Setting up all of the lights can take a long time. For certain shots, the entire lighting set up may need to be changed, even if you remain in the same location.
Setting up the camera
This may involve just setting it up on a tripod or it could mean building a crane for the shot. Additionally, the cinematographer will need to choose lenses and the framing for each shot.
Directing the actors
To get the delivery you need, the actors will need to be directed. You may need to film numerous takes before an actor nails their scene.
Getting B-roll footage
In addition to the main shots, you’ll want to film some footage without the actors. This could be helpful during the editing process. For example, various establishing shots of the location.
Ensuring the set is safe
Safety should be your first priority. You’re dealing with heavy equipment and electrical gear at the very minimum.
In some cases, you may need to have a fire marshal or police officer on set. If there are stunts are involved in the video, this should definitely be a priority.
Once filming is completed, the post-production process begins. A lot of people mistakenly think that editing the footage together is all that the post-production stage consists of.
This is actually one of the most involved parts of the video production process. Post-production typically includes the following:
Editing your footage together is a very important step. First, all of the footage needs to be imported, sorted and labeled so that it can be easily accessed.
Then, numerous cuts will have to be made before a final cut can be decided on. This is about making sure all of the footage works well together.
Sound design and mixing
Sound design and mixing is an important part of this stage. Many of the sound effects you hear in commercial videos are created from scratch to give depth to the video. Good sound is essential to a good video.
Voice over work
If you need a voice over for your video, you’ll need to record it using a voice actor.
Depending on your video, you may require special effects work. This can take up a big part of your budget, especially computer generated effects.
Graphics and text
Once the video has been cut and the sound is in place, you’ll need to add graphics and text that fit your branding.
A colorist will go through the video shot by shot to get the colors to look as rich as possible.
As you can no doubt see, the entire video production process contains a lot of different steps. When working with a commercial production company, you’ll have plenty of input in regards to pre-production and post-production.
They will also handle the production stage based on your input in the pre-production stages. Because of how complicated and in-depth the video production process is, attempting to do it in-house is usually not recommended.
Working with a production company will end up being more convenient and efficient in the long run. They will make sure to focus on each step carefully to create a quality video.