Guide to Pre-Production of your Online Video
I often say that all the hard work should be done by the time you shoot your first few seconds of footage. Filming can be an expensive business if you fail to pre-plan exactly how each element of the shoot will pan out. When you receive a quote for producing a corporate film or promotional video you may be wondering exactly what the amount shown in “Pre-production” is spent on. Hopefully you’ll be working with a production company who have broken the Pre-production fee down and explained it clearly prior to the quote arriving. However, if this is not the case let’s try and throw a little light on the subject so you know exactly what your paying for and how valuable it actually is.
Online Video Production
Whether your production company is charging you for 1 day or 1 month of pre-production time will reflect the complexity of the shooting required. For example the work required to plan a simple talking head or vox pop shoot is minimal compared to a location based larger shoot with specific shot requirements. Although however large or small the project one thing is certain and that is that once filming commences even small things that have been overlooked in pre-production can take huge chunks out of your budget.
For any small to medium sized corporate film or online video the following elements should be provided by your production company as part of their Pre-production fees:
We usually develop and agree with our clients with a script/storyboard that gives them a very accurate idea of how the film will pan out and what script/dialogue/voice over/action footage etc will be featured.
All access, safety and filming clearances should be confirmed in writing prior to filming.
Each shoot day should be already planned out very tightly with each element of shooting timed to include setup and re-takes.
The last thing you want to see your budget being spent on is the crew turning up on shoot day 1 and spending hours messing around trying to find the best angles to shoot from. The production company should have performed a site recce to establish this and also to check that the light and camera provision is correct.
It goes without saying that any actors appearing in a corporate online video will need casting before hand. However, If you’re using a voice over in the final edit you should also expect the production company to also send you a shortlist of suitable voices so that this element can be signed off prior to shooting to save time in post/editing.
There will also be other (sometimes surprising) elements depending on the nature of the online video being produced that will need thought and planning at this stage also. Without good pre-production you open yourself up to a wide range of unexpected risk factors which ultimately will cost you money and time. So when you’re production company presents you with a quote with Pre-production detailed you know exactly how they are spending their time and your money.
In fact the time to start worrying is when you are presented with a project quote with NO pre-production factored in!