Preparing for a shoot is one of the many stages a production company will professionally oversee. Without the proper foundation for a video, it is bound to fail. Fortunately, a videographer will prevent disaster. The preparation or pre-production stage of videography will likely be the most taxing in that many preparations must be made at once. Organizing the various forms of talent from actors to animators to lighting experts can be stressful at best for the amateur filmmaker, but is familiar territory for the videographer. If you decide to go at it alone, here are some things to consider.
Have a clear, concise idea of what the client is looking for from their video production. The best and easiest way to do this is to communicate with the client. Listen not only to the ideas the client expresses, but also the moods and feelings desired for the final project. Considering the target audience is another way to begin preparing. A music video for children will have a drastically different appearance from covering a major event.
Most video projects will have some sort of script. It is important to read the script when preparing for a shoot and be very familiar with it before production begins. Knowing the script will allow the direction of production to become apparent. When the director has decided how a project is to be filmed, scenery, lighting and other “background” experts can be contracted to create the perfect set for each scene. If the video is something simple or the budget is tight, then resources will need to be carefully parceled out between pre-production, production and post production activities. That’s why it’s always important to be frank with the client about what can be done given their budget for the video production.
The style of camera should be decided before production begins. There are more styles of recording and types of cameras than ever. Knowing which is right for the project is imperative. From simple handheld digital camcorders to high definition cameras, the options provide lots of choices in how a final product will turn out. High definition cameras will provide a fantastic, crisp picture, but such a picture will not always be required or wanted. Sometimes a hand held or urban look might be called for. So know what your goals are before you jump into the project.
If any special effects or motion graphics are required, these will have to be accounted for starting pre-production and of course in the budgeting phase. Whether it is a green screen, images manipulated in post production or graphics to be inserted, these special effects are bound to add a professional touch.
From the budget, to the ambitions of the final project, planning and preparing for production are some of the most important steps in creating a professional looking, artful video production. Regardless of video genre, the method of beginning a video always revolves around communication.