Often overlooked when thinking about professional video production is the essential period of pre-production. Sort of like the behind the scenes of the behind the scenes, pre-production is the process of taking an idea or story and beginning to turn it into a reality. The key role that functions between the moving parts is the producer, who arranges the schedules, locations, budget, and more. Even on a small project, pre-production is an indispensable process that dictates the quality and order of a business video.
The necessity of pre-production goes beyond paperwork and numbers, too. Scouting the location is just as important as finding one. Questions need to be asked, such as:
- What kind of lighting will we use?
- How many crew members can we fit in this space?
- Is there noise pollution?
- Is there a source to run power from and if so, how much wattage can we use?
- How long will it take to wrap here?
- How long will it take to set up between shots?
Figuring out the answers to these questions requires several departments working together to create a plan. Arriving on set without having scoped out its requirements and foreseeable problems has the potential to delay shooting, throw the schedule off course, and result in a poor end product.
In pre-production, the producer is also responsible for preparing for post-production. Work with the editor to ensure that they have reached a shared vision with the director and the director of photography.
- Will the cuts be clean and fast?
- Are we color correcting?
- What workflow is being used?
When planning how you will shoot something, you must also be thinking about how this will best serve as a piece of the whole and how the editor can weave it in to the final product.
Having realistic schedules is another crucial part of pre-production. Locations and actors may only be available at certain times, so staying close to a projected day schedule can make or break a shoot. Issues may arise that demand time and attention. Trying to predict what conflicts might be a possibility beforehand allows you to have a backup plan if things do go awry.
It’s also important to remain rational about how many shots you can possibly tackle in a day. Being overzealous about a production schedule will add pressure and tension to crew relations, lead to fatigue, and, of course, almost inevitably lead to a rushed product. A high-quality video requires precise attention to detail and planning.
Although it’s not the most glamorous phase of a project, pre-production is an extremely important process. Hiring a professional video production company ensures that these small and easy-to-miss details are addressed and accounted for.