PRE-PRODUCTION | 7 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL VIDEO PRODUCTION
Roll up, roll up, rolling! Before the exciting step of ‘Lights, camera, and action’ of video production, there are people, places and things – pre-production.
In previous posts of this blog series, we discussed the strategy and scripting stages of video production. (Click here to read our earlier blogs on achieving video production success). While it’s almost time to grab the camera and start rolling, AFW must organise a few more things before the director can yell ‘action!’
In this blog, we break down the importance of pre-production, the people and the roles required to make the filming process successful. After all, the show won’t go on without planning and practice – as well as a strong marketing strategy to pique audience interest. Naturally, there will be unexpected moments, so being adaptable will work in your favour. To ensure the smoothest run of events possible, organisation is key. Here’s what you need to consider:
There’s more to the video production ‘circus’ than just a trapeze artist is the wow factor. It’s the behind-the-scenes action you don’t necessarily see which helps make the show spectacular.
Who is involved, and what do they do?
Director: The ringleader of the show, the director makes the creative decisions and decides what the audience sees. Well-versed in the technical and visual aspects of making video, the director has to consider budget, strategy and scripting. They also work closely with the client and crew, which includes producers, camera operators and talent.
A managerial role, the video producer is a true juggler. Working closely with the director and crew, they are responsible for devising and maintaining the budget, writing the script, hiring staff, organising talent, booking the filming venues, and editing.
The camera crew bring the director’s vision to life. They are responsible for capturing the raw material ready for the editors and animators to turn it into the sky-diving act. In pre-production, the crew must organise the types of cameras required to achieve the desired shots. It’s important to capture everything the script stipulates, be it the talent, product or scenery.
The lion-tamers of the show, editors and animators wrangle the raw footage into picture lock. Following the video script and any changes that may have occurred during filming, an editor’s job is to piece together the footage. Both the editor and animator need to be organised in the pre-production phase and briefed on the desired result, so they can work out the best way to achieve it.
More complex animation, such as 3D architectural renders and cinematographic scenes, will require a lead animator, a supporting team, and additional storyboarding to achieve the desired design elements and style, which can range from flat cut-out characters to hyper-realism. The script is very important here, as voiceovers determine the timing for the animation of spoken words provided by the talent.
The cast and talent are the fire-breathers and trapeze artists of the production, bringing the script to life. The talent will vary depending on the type of video. For example, if it consists of client staff and customers, members of the public, or professional actors. Video production companies such as Adelaide Film Works can send casting calls to scope talent from acting agencies and casting directors. With the director, producer and often the client present, a casting session can be arranged with a script reading to select the best cast for the video.
Essential liaisons + extras hands:
Not every video will require a full crew. Still, for example, those featuring live-animation and large or intricate sets will often require an art department to achieve the desired aesthetic vision. For music videos and voiceovers, sound production will likely be required for the best audio quality. Writers can assist or be in charge of the script, makeup artists and costume designers may be necessary for more theatrical productions. Production assistants are that extra pair of hands that help make lighter work, operating auto-cue or simply keeping everyone caffeinated to keep the day moving smoothly.
There’s no circus without a striped tent, which of course, means sourcing a location. The same goes for filming; locations must be agreed upon and booked pre-production. This process can include:
Site visits: Scoping the location for any test shots required. If anything inhibits filming ideas, this process allows time to edit the script, find an alternative shot solution if necessary, or search for a different location.
Booking and permissions: Securing the location is crucial, as is getting permission to film there. Should you be using drone cameras, not only does your drone operator need to be qualified, you may also need clearance to film in the area.
From flame throwers to costumes, camera gear and thematic props, ‘things’ will be present in the video production– and again, the team will organise this in pre-production. Think cameras and their corresponding accessories, lighting, green screen, wardrobe and makeup, hand-held props, auto-cue. Even catering gets a mention – it’s a big working day, and it is imperative to plan so you’re not caught short.
Pre-production is the background hard yards that tie the strategy and script to production. Check out our favourite examples of what can be achieved through clever and thorough pre-production in our latest reel – featuring sky-high locations, animation, broadcast-style shoots, and more:
From the Director to cast and everyone in between, Adelaide Film Works’s talented team offers everything you need to create a professional, polished video. Whether you need a video production company to help you script, produce, direct, budget, cast, film, edit, or animate your video, Adelaide Film Works can deliver a detailed strategy to lead you to success. Meet our Team here.
Check out the other posts in this blog series providing you with all the tools for successful video production. In our next blog about Production, we’re rolling — chookas!