Planning a video shoot can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. However, taking the time to develop a well-thought-out plan is essential if you want your video to be a success. Maybe this is the first time you’ve produced a video yourself, or maybe you need to submit a video brief to a video production company like Southpoint Films so that we can make the video for you.
Whatever your goal, the best way to prepare is to break it down into a few key steps. Read on for our top tips on how to plan a video shoot.
Before anything else…
You need to start by asking yourself some questions that will help you define your objectives and plan your project.
What’s the purpose of the video?
For example, is it going to promote your business, event or product? Or will you be using it to train your staff or customers?
Who is your audience?
Have you already got insights into your viewer demographics or personas? Knowing who you are trying to target with your video will influence the overall design and feel of the video. For example, a video for a university that’s aimed at students might have a very different feel to a video aimed at teaching staff.
Where will you use the video?
If the video will be shared on social media channels like Instagram, there are certain technical requirements for video. It can be helpful to consider these upfront.
Will the video need additional assets added in the edit suite?
What’s your budget?
We find that clients who are upfront about their budget get better results. That’s not to say we always use every penny of it, but it helps us to be creative with what we can provide. In some cases, it might mean that we can use higher-end equipment like drones and 360º cameras, or that we can bring in a dedicated crew to handle roles like lighting, audio and set design.
What’s your timeline?
It’s good practice to commit to a timeline so that the project stays on track and everyone involved knows when the final video is needed. Time will need to be factored in to get approval and feedback from any stakeholders. This may take a while if there are lots of different decision-makers involved.
Planning the Video Shoot
Once you’ve outlined some of your key objectives, it’s time to get down to some pre-production.
Write the script
Or at least an outline of what needs to be covered. This in itself can be a difficult task and sometimes it’s best left to a professional script writer or a video production company. However, if you feel confident that you can get the message across yourself and want to give it a try, you could take a look at some tips we have for How To Write a Video Script.
If there’s a particular style or design you’re aiming for with your video, a storyboard can be really helpful. This document usually details key components of the shoot like lighting, transitions, graphics or animations. This isnt always necessary though, especially if your video is short or not very technical. But for projects with animation, it’s a must!
Prepare a list of any specific shots that are needed. If you’d like something specific, such as aerial footage, this definitely needs writing down and sharing in advance. A shot list helps your crew or production company know what kit to bring on the day of the shoot, as well as being helpful on the day itself.
Have you secured a location for the video shoot? If you’re filming in a public place you might need special permissions to film there. If you’re filming on company property you might need permission from the supervisor for that area. Filming on a construction site or around machinery will mean that there will be safety rules and regulations that have to be adhered to and anyone on site will need to wear PPE.
Make sure you get the team on board. Think about who needs to appear in the video. Do you need to bring anyone in specially for the filming? Whose diary needs clearing? And do they know what they will need to do?
Do you need to find a voiceover artist, actors or presenters? Maybe you want to hire a celebrity or influencer so that your audience sees your company as an authority within your industry. Maybe you or your colleagues don’t feel confident in front of the camera and you would prefer a professional to handle the job. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that your video will be better received by your audience if the host is someone who is familiar with the company and the product or service you are trying to promote or explain.
Have you got any props that you would like to use in the video shoot? You need to make sure they are ready to be filmed and in good working order, not old and tatty, unless that’s what you are after! (Props may include your products, or equipment at your facilities!)
Visuals and Brand Assets
It always helps to make sure you’ve collated any company logos or brand assets before the video shoot. This will mean that the production company or editor can hit the ground running when it comes to post production. If the video is part of a bigger campaign or being used on a website, make sure the production company has seen any supporting content in advance so that they can ensure the final video is on brand.
There you have it…
…you should have all the information you need to help you get stuck-in and plan your video shoot. However, if you’ve realised that you don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to produce the video yourself, you can always get in touch with us and we can handle it all for you!
At Southpoint Films, we’ve been creating high-quality videos for businesses and organisations throughout the UK and beyond since 2013, so we are quite good at it. (If we do say so ourselves!)
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