What you need to do during pre-production in video production

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If you have been on set before, you know how much work goes into setting up and ensuring everything is running on schedule. One thing you might not have thought through, however, is the work that went into ensuring everything would run on a schedule on shoot day. The task of doing this is left to the producer and director. Suppose you intend to run a production from beginning to end. In that case, you might want to put more thought into what happens before actual production starts. Many people ignore the significance of pre-production as it is not often visible on set. However, one thing to remember is that without pre-production, there can be no production phase. Some work goes into ensuring that whatever is being shot has been thought through completely. If this is your first time heading a shoot, here are a couple of things you need to do during pre-production.

Research

One thing that fails many productions is the lack of research. Before putting anything in place for production, do your research on the same. Look at similar works done by other productions and how they were executed to get a rough idea of what needs to be done. Companies like Spiel Creative have done so many videos you can refer to. You can also check out film production pages and see what they are doing. Doing this helps you know what is happening around you and how you can run your production.

Get an idea

Every great production comes from an idea. The idea will guide you when creating a script, selecting location, cast, crew and choosing the equipment required. To help you do this efficiently, have a team that will bounce off several ideas before you settle on the one that works for all of you. The idea might get changed and rewritten a couple of times, so be open to these changes.

Assemble a team

Your production will only be as good as the team you settle on. Have a list of people you would love to work with and reach out to them. In this case, the crew is what we are talking about. A good crew will make your production stand out. It helps to do this in pre-production so you can book the crew ahead of time. You also get to know what their rate card is and if you can afford them. Once you have a crew, you can organize to have the cast for the production to audition for the parts.

Have a comprehensive budget

As is with every production, you need to have a budget. Running a production without a budget can drain you financially. Create a comprehensive budget and ensure it includes every tiny detail. With this, you can also ask for funding from potential sponsors. Sponsors would like to see what their money will be used for, so bear this in mind.

Approach sponsors

One of the most taxing things to do during pre-production is getting sponsors on board. Many people dread it because it feels like so much work to do. If you have no money to fund your productions, then this is a step you cannot skip. One way to ensure this goes smoothly is by having a short pitch, also known as an elevator pitch. Ensure it contains all the details of what you are working on and why the sponsor in question should come on board. While many people only organize to pitch for money, you can also get support in equipment or free shooting location. Do not be disappointed when this is all you get, as it still helps in the production.

Book equipment

Before production commences, ensure you have all the equipment you need to be booked. Some companies have all the equipment you may want to use under the same roof, and you can take advantage of this. Booking the equipment as a whole has proven to be cheaper in the long run. In case they do not have everything you need, you might have to get the other equipment from a different company.

Secure the locations

With the equipment booked, you will need to get a location for the production. To help you with this, ensure you go location scouting with the director, the DOP, lighting technician and the sound technician. They should see the place you want to be booked and whether it will work for the shoot. Often, one books a location without seeing it only to realize it has so many distractions they cannot use. Another thing to do when location scouting is knowing what paperwork needs to be filed before the shoot starts. Doing this ensures you do not get on the wrong side of the law for shooting without a location permit.

Have read throughs

Read throughs are important before any major production is done. It helps the cast build chemistry before the actual shoot day,and they get to chip in on what they think should be done in the scenes. Before production starts, ensure you have more than one sit down with the cast and go through their lines with them. Ask them what they think about their characters and have them enact some of these scenes out. Where possible, have dry runs on the actual set to see how the scene will play itself out.

Create a shooting schedule

Life on set can be confusing. There is a lot to be done in a single day, and so many people on set simultaneously. To help you run smoothly,you must create a shooting schedule. It will guide you on what needs to be done and what has already been done. To ensure there is no confusion on set, have the schedule prepared before you get on set. The crew and cast both have different schedules, so do not forget to include them both. In doing this, you ensure that the production phase is on schedule when shooting finally begins.


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