Nothing will derail a video marketing shoot faster than a lack of planning. Taking the necessary precautions to pre-plan can mean the difference between a breakout campaign and a total dud.
Account for all aspects of the project BEFORE you even think about picking up a camera on shoot day. How do you do that? What underestimated tasks are you forgetting? Read on to view our checklist for pre-planning a video shoot.
Plan, plan, and plan some more!
Make sure you have a solid action plan, timeline, and schedule for the following:
- What happens before you start shooting (pre-production).
- What happens during your shoot (production).
- What happens after your shoot (post-production).
Think you’re ready to start shooting? Ask yourself a few questions.
- Does your video/script have a clear and targeted message? Is it well crafted or haphazardly strung together?
- Do you have a tightly organized schedule? Develop a schedule to keep yourself as well as anyone else involved on the same page (outline the days with shooting time, breaks, and setup/take-down). Remember to include potential re-shoots in your plan!
- Do you have a shot list? A shot list is not always necessary, especially for events/etc., but if you have particular scenes in mind or are following a direct script this step can save you a lot of time and stress when you are on set.
- Do you need to rent any equipment? If you need to rent equipment, get it in the day before and familiarize yourself with it. It’s going to take time to get used to new things!
On shoot day, don't forget to:
- Stick to the shot list/schedule. You took the time to plan before so you could save time later. Use it as a guideline but never forget that it is just that. Stay flexible when opportunities arise and don’t get discouraged when the shoot doesn’t go exactly as planned.
- Dress comfortably. You’re going to be on your feet and moving a LOT, that or you won’t move at all. Make sure your shoes and clothes are comfortable and if needed, warm. There’s nothing worse then being stuck outside in the cold unprepared and not being able to focus on your work.
- Stay hydrated and well fed. No one wants to work all day without any breaks or food. Make sure you and your crew all have access to plenty of water and snacks. Don’t forget to stop for a lunch or provide one if you can, your crew will love you. If catering will be provided, make sure either your client or you is on point to cover this and that there is a clear responsibility.
You're almost ready to shoot --- if you followed the previous two steps of pre-production and production planning, you should be close; just one more phase of planning! Two important things to keep in mind when you're planning the post-production phase:
- Did you budget enough time in your schedule to handle hiccups or unexpected issues by your client or yourself?
- How will you deliver your content to the client, Digital Download/Physical Transfer? Know this beforehand so you can efficiciently hand-off the work. Also, be sure to agree on a format with your client beforehand so that you're delivering all content in the desired application ahead of time -- ie. if your cleint uses a PC or android device, they're going to have a hard time viewing or downloading mac formatted content.
Dan Sowden, the video marketing specialist at JAM, also pursues several other video projects in his spare time. When he's not volunteering his time at the local animal shelter, he's creating award winning Star Wars videos with his friends.
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