Understanding The Video Production Process Part 1: Pre-Production

May 4, 2018 | Filmmaking

Video Production Process

The team here at Fool’s Errand Films loves making compelling video content to help our Southern California clients achieve their marketing and creative goals. While every production project has its own special considerations and requirements the video production process can be broken into 3 parts for each project:


Pre-Production –

Pre-production is the most important part of video production. We start the planning process from the moment our client gets in touch. We collaborate closely with the client, taking into account their budget, goals, and vision to lay out a plan that results in the best video production product possible. Whether our Southern California client has an idea in mind or wants our talented team of producers to come up with something we always make sure to reach our client’s goals.

The pre production process can be broken down into a few simple steps.


One of the most important aspects of a project that often gets overlooked is what the client’s goal for the video products is. Even though we here at Fool’s Errand Films are more than happy to just shoot a client a cool television commercial, if there is a targeted goal in mind, with trackable metrics, to show return on investment for the commercial costs, the client is more likely to return and want more video production in the future. Which is good for all parties involved!


Another key aspect before deciding what kind of commercial or video production product our clients would like to have us create, is determining who will be watching and where they will be watching. If a video we are creating is just for Instagram, shooting in a 1.91:1 or 4:5 aspect ratio is going to provide a better conversion rate than a 16:9 video squeezed into the feed. Small details like this are very important when deciding what you want your team of San Diego videographers to create.


Once a goal and audience are set in stone by the client, it’s time to hear the clients vision for what they want out of this video production or commercial filmmaking project. This entails the basic idea they had for the project, what kind of locations, actors, sound and imagery they saw in their head before they decided to call us here at Fool’s Errand Films.


Once we have a specific vision laid out for us, we can let the client know the scope of the kind of video project they are hoping for, and a rough idea of the budget. This scope will entail the number of shooting days, the number of video production crew needed, the amount of editing time and visual effects work needed.


One the client has a good understanding of the scope of the video production project and everything involved, it’s time to start the script. I won’t get to detailed here about how a script is made, but it’s basically everything you see in the video, on paper. We will go back and forth with the client on the script, so they end up with the exact video production or commercial they are looking for.


Storyboarding isn’t always necessary and it’s often time consuming. For larger projects, the Southern Californian team at Fool’s Errand Films always prefers to have a solid storyboard locked in. If you aren’t familiar, a storyboard is basically a comic book that shows every shot that will take place during the video shoot and how the actors will move inside of the shot.


Often overlooked by people who aren’t as familiar with the content creation world / video production world / filmmaking world is set location acquisition. Unfortunately you can’t just shoot anywhere you like on a commercial video project. This is why sound stages and sets are often used. Finding a suitable shooting location that is not a soundstage often requires lots of phone calls and some patience from the Fool’s Errand Films team.


At this stage of the project it’s time for casting. Sitting down and deciding who you want your actors to be in the project. Often with small company video production projects, this is friends and family or even clients. On a medium sized project, a commercial or multi-stage training video production, the team will often try to find a trained actor, who is more familiar with the set environment, doing multiple takes, and being consistent on camera. A trained actor will also produce better audio. On a large multi day commercial production, professional actors are a must. They will be better trained at taking direction from the video production team, looking fresh on camera for the entire shoot day and will have better endurance at speaking for long periods of time.


One the talent, location, scope, and storyboard are locked in, it’s time to make a schedule. The team at Fool’s Errand Films like to schedule video production projects so that we can ensure a fantastic product, while also keeping things moving so the client can save money. These schedules are highly detailed and distributed to everyone on the productions as soon as possible, so everyone is on the same page

That entails the typical pre-production process for the San Diego team at Fool’s Errand Films. This is a flexible process, that often includes much less for smaller projects and sometimes includes much much more. We try to find a happy medium with all of our clients, balancing what they require for their budget, getting them the most for their money.

Join us next time for Part 2 of this blog, where we will talk about the production process.

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