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Pre-production Planning Checklist

Shooting a Video: Pre-Production Planning Checklist

pre-production planning checklist

You have a great idea and are almost ready for a video shoot. When you are planning to shoot a video, pre-production is important before you pick up the camera and start shooting. By skipping this step, you will waste time and money and run the risk of not having any sort of backup plan for situations that go wrong.

Pre-Production Planning Basics

Before scheduling your video production shoot, you should consider the following pre-production planning checklist:

  • Have a script: Script is on top of your priority list when it comes to video production planning. What story or message do you want to convey to your audience? How are you going to deliver what you shoot into a clean, concise message? You need a script if you plan to shoot anything from an indie feature to a corporate training video. A well-designed script is a gateway to your story. A script will allow you to have a table read with a narrator reading the action/location descriptions and different people reading the dialogues.
  • Create a storyboard: If your story relies on visual elements, storyboards can help. A storyboard may be as simple as line drawings or detailed illustrated breakdowns of every video shot.
  • Obtain your permits: You cannot take the risk of police arriving at your film shoot location and shutting down production. It’s vital to have a permit for shooting at a public location.
  • Make sure there is constant power supply: Cameras and lights can only work so long on batteries. Therefore, plan for an uninterrupted source of power supply. Know your power supply options at the location you are shooting and be prepared for the worst.
  • Look-book: A look-book is a guide in the form of images, paintings, photos, fabrics, and illustrations that show the desired style of the production. The pre-production director often reviews the look-book. You can still put together a look-book if there is no production designer.
  • Scheduling: A key element in any video production project. Scheduling keeps you organized. The more precise the schedule, the less the room for delays. As a result, you will also be able to avoid common mistakes in production. Scheduling all of your tasks during the pre-production phase of the project and tracking the hours worked will help you stick to your schedule and remain within budget.
  • Develop your message: What are the topics, ideas, or themes you need to communicate to your audience? What do you want them to understand from your video? What solution are you trying to offering for their questions?
  • Length of Video: Our Chicago video editing company suggests keeping your video short. As online attention spans are shrinking, your focus should be on shorter videos. However, in some cases, you need longer videos. This is especially true if you are creating a training video or product demo which need to be more detailed, as your audience needs more information. As far as the length of your video is concerned, it should depend on the viewer’s motivation. All in all, it should be succinct, informative, interesting, and targeted.

If you need a Chicago video production company for video production, video editing or duplication, contact us at (773)252-3352 or at

Video Production Chicago
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