Your Pre-Production Checklist for Video Success
Lights, camera, and… logistics? The pre-production stage of video development involves tallying all the tangibles that come before the cameras start rolling. This is when things start to get real—from calculating budgets to screening talent and storyboarding to setting timelines. The pros at Plymouth-based video production agency Studio 120 say that this is the stage that sets the course for a video’s creative message.
“Murphy’s Law is in full effect most of the time,” says Jeff Petersen, creative director. “If things can go sideways, they’ll often start in that direction at some point. The more you have your goal defined… the easier it is to keep things on track and efficient. That puts you in the position to focus on doing your best work.”
1. IDENTIFY YOUR INTENTION.
Tracy ReiderBower, business development, says there are three main purposes of video projects: reach, recognition, and education. Identifying the intention behind a video project starts with determining who your target audience is, and what your metric for success is.
Your purpose helps inform the direction of your story, so it’s important to also take into account the brand standards and tone of your organization, which can ensure a video project aligns with your business strategy and resonates with your viewers.
Crunching the Numbers
38 | the percent of marketers who say the most time-consuming stage of the video development process is pre-production, according to HubSpot
3.65 billion | the number of people anticipated to be consuming video online by 2025, according to Insider Intelligence
89 | the percentage of customers who were convinced to purchase a product after watching a video, according to Wyzowl
78 | the percentage of companies that incorporate accessibility features in video, according to HubSpot
91 | the percentage of people who crave more videos from brands, according to Wyzowl
2. REIGN IN THE SCOPE.
There are some practical things you’ll need to know before connecting with a video production team—like budget, timeline, and a general idea of the length and breadth of your video project. “Simply just stay on course,” Petersen says. “Eyes on the prize is essential. We’re there to navigate the variables for you.”
The nature of video editing is iterative and can be costly, meaning it’s important to come prepared with set parameters to ensure you manage expectations. Consider how long it will take for the video to be created, but also consider how long it will take for the video to be approved by your organization’s executive leadership (how far up the flagpole does it have to go?). A quality production company like Studio 120 will check into any legal concerns and make sure you have the permissions you need, such as consent forms for subjects that appear on camera.
3. GET CURIOUS.
The video production process can be confusing, especially for businesses that haven’t explored its full potential.
Address any confusion head-on with a list of questions to ask. Some of the FAQs that Studio 120 receives include: What kind of costs are associated? How quickly can the project reach the finish line?
“My favorite common question is, ‘Do I have to clean my office?’” Petersen says. Or, “Can you film around the mess?”
4. BRING EXAMPLES
One of the best ways to develop an effective video project is to gain inspiration from other successful projects. Studio 120’s video team often asks clients to provide examples of a video that inspired them. “We want their insights, feeling, passions,” ReiderBower says. “We engage with the client to collaborate.”
Identify elements in those videos that you enjoy—the cinematography and camera angles, format, location, lighting, the way it makes you feel. Share these insights with your video production team and see how to incorporate the elements you like into your own video process.
Whatever you do, don’t say: I don’t know what I want, but that’s not it. It helps to come prepared with tangible ideas and discussion points versus engaging in a process of elimination.
5. KEEP UP TO STANDARDS.
Accessibility is no longer a nice-to-have in video development; it’s critical to the effectiveness and reach of your marketing efforts. “We encourage our clients to look at the expansion into all markets,” ReiderBower says. “Be mindful that the content can be taken in by all audiences.” Identify your needs, such as subtitles or closed captioning as well as ASL translation or human-voice audio production.
The ADS Group is a Plymouth-based, full-service media development and distribution company. Their subsidiary companies Studio 120, Advanced Duplication Services, and Copycats Media make media simple with everything you need to bring your brand to the next level, all under one roof.