This is the first part of a 3 part blog series on the video production process. Be sure to check out the other two parts, "What is Production?" and "What is Post Production?".
So, you have decided that you are ready to make a corporate, promotional, or training video. But where do you start? Well, simply put, you start with something known as pre-production.
Pre-production is the process of planning, scripting, budgeting, and scheduling your video project.
If you work with Point of View Media for your corporate, commercial, training or promotional video, you will find that we have streamlined the pre-production process into 4 simple steps. They are as follows:
1. Establish your goals or objectives.
2. Determine your budget
3. Develop a script or outline for your video
4. Planning (storyboarding / locations / schedule / delivery date)
So let's get into these in a bit more detail, shall we?
1. Establish Your Goals or Objectives
You have a reason for making this video, correct? Perhaps, in the case of a commercial video, you are trying to sell something or build brand awareness. Or, if you are making a corporate video, you are maybe trying to teach the audience a bit more about your company or brand. Maybe you are making a training video? In which case the goal is to train new hires or educate the audience in some way.
No matter what type of video you are making, it is very important that you have your main goal "set in stone" to get started. Try to focus your vision down to one concise sentence. This will make the rest of the process go much smoother.
2. Determine Your Budget
This is always a bit of a tough one. Mostly because you, as the client, may not be sure what the costs are to produce these videos. But chances are that you have a number in mind that you are willing to spend. And chances also are, if that number is reasonable, any good video production company should be able to work within your budgetary limits. Not all corporate videos have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. A lot can be done with a moderate budget if you're working with the right team (like us!).
Do keep in mind, however, that the cost has little to do with how long you want your video to be and more to with what is involved. In other words, a 10 minute corporate video can be relatively cheap if it's just, say, a "talking head" video (someone just talking to the camera). But a 1 minute promotional video can cost thousands or even tens of thousands if there are multiple locations or travel required. Or if the video needs a lot of animation or something more time-consuming like that.
So, just be willing to be reasonable with your needs when you determine your budget. And remember that smart planning can go a long way when it comes to keeping costs low!
3. Develop a Script or Outline
Now you are at the stage of outlining your project in a bit more detail.
Will your corporate or promotional video require speaking parts? This could be actors, company spokespeople, or a voice over. If it does require speaking parts, you will need a script. Perhaps you don't have a script completely written or developed. That's ok! If your project requires it and you don't know where to start with that, your production company should be able to help. At Point of View Media, we have a stable of fantastic scriptwriters on hand that can help bring your vision to life.
Oftentimes though, a corporate video does not need an actual script. The video might be driven by visuals alone. Or it can contain clips of non-scripted interviews with customers, employees, or other subjects. In this case, all your project needs is a good outline. This can be a detailed outline that contains visual cues, or just a general outline stating what you want the video to look like. Don't fret if this sounds daunting! Your production company will help with this.
Now that you've established your goals, budget and script, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty, the planning. At this stage, your production company will start to create storyboards, and work with you to figure out production locations and create a schedule for your production.
Storyboards are visual representations of your final product. They are literally drawings of what the final video will look like. Actual storyboards are not always needed for every project. Some projects may be visually driven solely by what is known as "b-roll" footage. This is just footage that gets shot on location on the production days. Since you don't always know what footage will be captured, you can't really storyboard it ahead of time! At most, for a project like that, you or your production company could create an outline with descriptive video cues stating what type of footage to show.
For more in-depth projects that have detailed scripts already prepared, storyboard drawings should be created for every shot. This gives you a very good idea of what shots are needed during production. From these storyboards, your production company can create what's known as a shot list that lists all of the required shots for the production.
At this point, you also need to figure out your production locations for your corporate, promotional, commercial or training video. This location could be as simple as an office space, or alternatively, you may need to travel to multiple locations to capture what's needed. These locations will need to be notified that production will be taking place there.
Schedule and Delivery Date
Now that you have your shot list and locations out, you will work out a production schedule. This essentially means planning the dates that to shoot the footage, interviews, B-roll, etc.. You will make sure that all required locations are available on the planned dates, and that all location preparation will be done accordingly.
You will also need to figure out your delivery date. This is essentially the completion date for your video. Having this date will help to create the production and post production schedules.
And that's pretty much it for the pre-production process!
Though it may seem overwhelming, it really doesn't have to be. A good corporate video production company (such as Point of View Media, for example!) will help you with every step.
Proper planning at the pre-production stage will ensure that the rest of your video project will run smoothly and that your end product will be a video that both you and your production company will be very happy with!
In upcoming blog posts, we will discuss the production and post-production stages of a corporate video project.
UPDATE: READ MORE ABOUT "PRODUCTION" HERE!