What Is Video Pre Production?


Video Pre Production is the process of planning for making a video program. It is laying the foundation for a video project by assessing the need for the video, researching the information which is to go into the program, writing a script, scheduling all people who are to be involved in the production, booking the locations where the shoot is to take place, and gathering the equipment and material needed for producing the project.

That is not to say every video production needs all these elements. Sometimes pre production is as simple as, “grab a camera and show up tomorrow,” but most video projects for business or government are more involved than that. They take time.

Video pre production usually starts with a meeting between all the stakeholders of the project. The parameters of what needs to be accomplished are set. All the questions one should have thought through when hiring a video production company will be discussed again: purpose, audience, venue, takeaways, call-to-action, budget, resources, deadlines, etc. This meeting can be held virtually, but it’s also an excellent chance (often one of the few chances) for all the stakeholders to meet in person.

The result of this pre production meeting should be a plan which includes at least a tentative schedule, a budget, and if a script is to be written the information on which to write the first draft of a script.

While the script is being written other tasks can be accomplished. Actors can be auditioned. Archives can be scoured for useful historical material. Interviewees can be identified and contacted. Travel plans can be researched.

As the script is being finalized, the production crew and shooting locations can be booked; interviewees or actors scheduled; travel arrangements finalized.

Once the script is approved, the director needs to break it apart into shootable elements. Video is not necessarily shot in order, so a whole new breakdown needs to be created in order to get everything shot in the most efficient manner. Together with scheduling interviewees, locations and other logistics this becomes one big jigsaw puzzle that needs to be arranged one way for one purpose, another way for another purpose.

Not all of these elements are present in every production, but the point is that there are a lot of moving pieces in every project. They need to be arranged carefully in order for the shoot to go smoothly and efficiently. If planning were lacking, it would reflect badly in the budget and the quality of the final video product.