Pre-ProductionVideo Production

Pre-Production Tips for Successful Video Content

video camera shooting a movie

Video production is a challenging task, especially if you don’t understand the process. Pre-production, meaning what happens before the camera starts rolling, is decidedly the most important part of video production workflow. Without due diligence on your behalf, poor pre-production can break your budget. Below you will find some tips to help save money, time, and hassle. So, provided you have already found a great idea for a video project, the next step is to:

Know Your Audience

Defining your audience is a process that includes determining buyer personas. Instead of having a generic audience, it is much better to narrow down your video viewer to a specific buyer persona (write with one specific person in mind) so that you can create a more effective and targeted video that appeals to your buyer persona. What do these people find funny? Entertaining? Interesting? How the service/product relates to them? Once you answer these questions, you will know how to craft your video(s) accordingly.

Know Your Message

Being clear about what your message wants to convey is equally important to knowing your audience. Most of the times, video producers squeeze too much information into a single explainer video, which ends up in making the video difficult to follow till the end. And, somewhere along the way, their target audience loses interest in the video.

Since your business has many different aspects you could show through a video, you should create different videos for various purposes. For example, one video could be about what you do, another about the uses and benefits of a product or service, while another could speak of the launch of a new service/product.

Know Your Budget

You won’t be able to manage expectations efficiently if you don’t define a budget. More than often, video producers promise more than what they can deliver, which can never make them look good in the eyes of their clients. If you are working with a reputed video company, giving them a budget will make them find ways to produce the highest quality possible with the money you have available for the job. Also, setting your budget beforehand reduces second-guessing and allows you to know what you can do for any given project.

Devote Time to Preparing the Script

Writing scripts is an essential part of video production. However, success depends on the time you dedicate to revising and critiquing that script before moving forward with the next steps. So, take your time to flesh out the idea you have onto paper and then go through several drafts before post-production rolls around. If you are not too good with words, you may want to get a professional script writer help you with the writing and revising process. Since it is critical that every single component of the pre-production machine works seamlessly, investing in professional assistance is indeed worthwhile.

Extra Tip: When writing your script, refrain from it being too salesy. Instead, make it authentic and transparent so you can establish yourself an an expert in your field, which will offer the value consumers seek from their interactions with companies. Although the majority of consumers trust their peers over ads and companies, providing them with real value is a great way build trust in your brand.

Get to The Point…FAST!

You only have between 5 and 8 seconds, which is the average attention span, to catch viewers’ attention and get your message across effectively. Make sure you include a brief greeting, where you mention that the speaker is about to talk about, and then start your story (it should answer viewers’ whys or explain how your company can help them resolve a problem they have) in the first 8 seconds. A great way to catch viewers’ attention and keep them engaged for longer is by telling a story that starts with events already in progress (aka medias res).

Extra Tip: The total length of the video should ideally be up to 2 minutes to escape drop-offs. This means that you can create a 30-second video and hold viewers’ attention as much as a, say, 90-second video. As long as it is under 2 minutes, you will be alright.

Use a Storyboard

A storyboard will help bring everything together so that you can visualize the shoot before it actually happens. Put it differently, it is a video’s scene-by-scene breakdown and the overall process will show you if you need to make any adjustments. The storyboard lets you think of important information (i.e. what tools each shot will need so that it feels and looks the way the script intended, where to shoot the video, whether you will need a crane shot, what are the requirements the location has to meet so the production can work, etc.) that can make the final product even better.

Extra Tip: Making a shot list could also come in handy as it will provide you with a shot-by-shot breakdown (with details like where to place the camera for better results) of each scene and save you much valuable time during production. Also, creating a shooting/production schedule (meaning a project plan) and sticking to it will allow you know if everything goes to plan.

Be Generous When Estimating The Time You Will Need

Being able to deliver more than you have promised within a specific amount of time is always much appreciated, especially if you are dealing with stakeholders. One of the most effective ways to achieve that is by giving yourself enough time to complete a project, especially if you are not very experienced with video production, and always take into account some hurdles that may come your way and cause delays.

Other Things to Consider:

Will you shoot on location or a studio? – Both affect your budget; however, shooting on location requires traveling and you will need to pay extra to transport the equipment, which is an expense you won’t have to pay if shooting in a studio.

What equipment will you need?  – Being fully prepared saves you time, and in many cases, money too.

What equipment do you already have in-house?  – It can save you 100s if not 1000s of dollars from renting.

Who will represent your company? – Hiring actors is usually better than having somebody from the C-suite be the narrator unless there is a company member that fits the camera perfectly.

Pre-production is a crucial step right before all action starts in front of the camera. The sooner you get things sorted out, the sooner you will be able to start creating compelling videos that appeal to both stakeholders and your target audience alike!

Need a production company to help with your video?  Contact the team at Worklight Pictures, located in New Orleans but doing great work everywhere!