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The Video Pre-Production Process

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There’s a lot to organise before the shoot begins. Carefully preparing a production schedule that covers the plans for pre-production, production and post will save time, money and frustration. The smallest details are important. Even something as simple as a missing prop can interfere with the schedule on the day.

Storyboard - Creating a drawn storyboard or animatic (for movement and lenses) helps plan each shot in advance.

Post-Production - Be sure your Director assembles and liaises with his post-production team so they are aware of what the finished project will look like.

Scripts - These should be finalised and emailed to everyone that requires a copy well in advance of the shoot. This will allow time for any script issues to be identified before filming begins.

Budgets - Ensure each person knows exactly how much they have been allocated for their stage of the project.

Location - Your location should be scouted out in person to assess for suitability of purpose. Don't rely on websites or hearsay.  Ensure you have it booked for as long as you need it.  Factor in time for surprise challenges.

Auditions - Services like Casting Call Pro or Spotlight are great in helping save time. Ideally film the auditiions. You can download a template of our casting form here.

Lighting & Equipment - This should be assessed, listed and tested in advance of the shoot.

Director & Crew Members - You will be relying on your director once production begins so be confident you’re on the same page before filming starts. Having too many people trying to lead once filming begins will result in delays. Make sure crew members know what is expected of them and who to report to.

Props & Wardrobe - Descriptions for these can be interpreted very differently, so they must be approved prior to filming.

Actors & Extras - Confirm that scripts have been received and memorised. It is essential your cast is prepared. Remember that children have specific filming regulations, which may affect the schedule.

Release Forms - Required to obtain permission when filming members of the public. You can download a basic release form template here.

Filming Permissions - There are many public places that require a permit before the shoot. Not acquiring this in advance may result in a police visit (or even a visit from the military depending on which country you are in) and filming may be stopped.

Health & Safety - PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) may be required. Carry out a thorough risk assessment. There may also be an HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) induction process at the location, particularly when filming industrial assets. This needs to be factored into a production schedule as can take several hours.

Insurance - Policies specific to the industry are essential to protect you during production, from equipment cover to public liability insurance.

Weather - Forecasts are not always reliable. If filming outside, prepare for the worst and have an appropriate alternative lined up.

Power - Ensure your power supply is accessible and suited to purpose.

Recce - Go to the location before the shoot to confirm that everything is how you expect it to be. Check that nothing has changed since your original visit.

Delivery - What is the format of the final output? If it is to be shown on the client’s website, confirm aspect ratio and resolution and make sure this is remembered when filming.

Travel - Organise how people will get to and from the location, considering heavy equipment and access.

Aerial Shooting - Check the service history for any helicopters of propeller planes your crew may be travelling in.

Visas for Travel - This should be researched as early as possible, as some visas require passports to be sent away for indeterminate lengths of time, which can affect scheduling. Check the government website for the country of travel to ensure visas will be secured in good time. Crew may also require vaccinations.

Carnets - These are customs permits that allow you to temporarily move goods, including vehicles, in or out of the EU. They are helpful for making customs clearance more manageable. Check if your goods qualify. 

Call Sheets - You can download a copy of our standard call sheet here.

This blog is Chapter 5 of A Guide to Video Production for Business. The rest of the guide can be found below:

Chapter 1: Why Should you Produce a Video for Your Business?
Chapter 2: Creating a Brief for a Video Production 
Chapter 3: Developing a Concept for Your Video Production
Chapter 4: Creating a Video Production Treatment 
Chapter 5: The Video Pre-production Process
Chapter 6: The Video Production Process
Chapter 7: The Video Post-Production Process
Chapter 8: How to Market your Video Production 


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Topics: Video Production

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