One of the most crucial parts of any video project regardless of its length – be it a 30-second commercial or a 20-minute informative video – is pre-production. This involves a concept, writing a script and storyboarding, or showing the client the potential end product.

The creation of a video is usually broken down into three parts, each playing a vital role:

                 1. Pre-Production – the concept creation and planning phase.

                 2. Production – the execution resulting from the pre-production plan.

                 3. Post-Production – the capturing editing and special effects.

But why is pre-production so critical to the outcome of the project?

Well, mostly because it allows a video project to run smoothly from start to finish. Read on to see how it all comes together in the end.

Now That’s Entertainment

Concepting can vary from project to project. At times a client may come with a concept in mind and they ask our creative team to execute it. Other times our creative team is asked to come up with a concept, present it to the client and then execute it. Whichever the case may be, we sit down as a team and make sure the idea has “legs,” or can be obtained within the client’s budget and done well.

If the client did not have a concept, we enjoy the process of coming up with one. We sit down with the creative team and hold a brain jam ™. During the jam session, we throw out all the potential ideas, or id-ers as we like to call them, and hash out a rough concept. Our Writer takes this rough concept and she develops the ideas to a readable script, including camera shots or visual direction for the actors.

Now, you may be thinking we just send that off to the client and see what they think, right? Not quite there yet. Our team reviews that script internally to make sure we can execute the details, and make suggestions to further enhance the script, or even simplify it if necessary.


You Should See it in Color

Once everyone is happy with the script, we then move on to storyboarding. Storyboards are extremely helpful when giving a client an idea of how the script would be viewed on screen. The storyboards are sometimes fully illustrated to show the complexities of the shots or effects, or at other times just rough sketches to get the idea across.

Storyboards are one of the things that can really help a project that involves a lot of camera motion or special effects. At least they are for me, being quite a visual person.

After all that going back and forth between our creative team and having a script accompanied by a storyboard, the client gets to see what their product would look like on paper. Here’s where the client may have edits. If so, we’ll make the edits and get the final script approved. Or perhaps the client isn’t totally sold on the idea and wants a sample of what it might look like on video. This is where we bring in a video storyboard.

What is a video storyboard? Well, it’s essentially a mock up of a video. In this instance I’ll say a 30-second commercial. I grab a few people from in the office, generally an intern or two and have them be the actor or the subject, sometimes just holding a prop on a green screen so that the effect can be quickly simulated for the client. Why would this be helpful? Well, not only can the client see what the heck is going on, they can also see if we are all on the same page and working toward the same outcome.

May the Force Be With You

There is another important element of pre-production that most people don’t realize: Producing. This is one of the hardest jobs, and one that many people tend to shy away from, yet it’s the most crucial to ensuring that everything goes smoothly. Producing means doing the legwork and necessary organization behind the scenes such as: finding and hiring the talent and extras, getting props and costumes lined up, securing the locations and then scheduling the times when everyone involved can participate.

Producing is the glue that holds everything together during the video shoot, similar to the role of the Stage Manager in a live show. Once the Producer has the puzzle pieces in place and the client has approved everything, we are set to go for the next phase: Production.

But, that’s all for now folks. Tune in next time for more insider information on production and post-production…Coming Soon to an Absolute Blog Near You…