Video marketers will find success in a well-planned production that boasts the same behind-the-scenes organization as a Hollywood production. The pre-production stage of your video is just as important as the filming stage.
The more organized you are, the fewer blunders you will encounter on the days you shoot. A solid pre-production plan—crew requirements, location specifics and prop sources—will greatly influence the quality of your final product. Here are some essential pre-production filmmaking tips and techniques from which you can benefit:
Source and Hire a Film Crew
Firstly, hire an assistant producer who will organize the small, but important, details that are necessary measures for a successful production.
The assistant producer can help you assess which crew members are key — as an example, how many cameramen, gaffers and grips are necessary and whether or not it is imperative that you have a director. If you can utilize your assistant producer as a director, that would be ideal, as it would reduce labor costs. If the assistant producer cannot direct, find a cinematographer who has an intuitive eye and won't need ample direction. Asking them “What video equipment do I need?” in advance as well will help them identify the gear you need for your video production.
Speak with your assistant producer about the vision you have for the film and iron out what the production schedule will look like. The assistant producer can create a succinct schedule and detail-oriented call sheets for the project, while you focus on the vision and creative content for the shoot.
Scout Locations in Advance
Decide what sort of site will work best for your script and visit the site at the time of day you will shoot your video.
Assess the various factors that lie within the environment, like variance of light, volume of traffic noise, the volume and frequency of people who pass by and the amount of businesses and residential structures that are nearby. If there are nearby businesses or homes, make sure you have an official handout that will explain the site and times of your production so they can prepare. Assess how accommodating your site will be for your power supplies and where the nearest power source lies. Also evaluate the area for cell phone reception, parking, and the nearest electronic store in case you need an emergency cable or adapter.
Make sure the location won't require a permit or legal permission for a video shoot. Take photos of the location, with accompanying notes, and share them with your assistant producer, director and cinematographer.
Acquire and Use Props
Enliven your set through the use of props. Arrange with your director or assistant producer what props you will need and how accessible they are. For a smaller budget production, utilize props that you already own. You can also find affordable props at a second hand store or may obtain permission to borrow merchandise from a local shop.
If a retail vendor loans you their merchandise, make sure you have a contract that entails the ramifications if the item becomes damaged and an agreed lease period. If you require any food props, visit local businesses and see if they will donate their food for the project. Utilize the Internet for prop order, as it will be the most convenient method for your prop accrual.
For example, if you're filming a hotel promotional video and must incorporate appropriate flower settings for tables, it'd be wise to browse flower arrangements online and have them delivered. Etsy is another wonderful online resource, as you can communicate and work with talented artists for custom prop design.