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Every video project follows three fundamental steps: pre-production, production, and post-production, on this section we will talk about pre-production. Pre-production starts with a concept, which will help us to assemble our primary goal, target our audience, and identify what our audience will get from it.
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To execute a successful video, you need to build a detailed plan. You need to shape your idea and translate it into a video form, and like any good story, your video needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. You need to imagine a scene, build your shot sequences, determine the number of shots, the style of the shots, and the order of shots. To plan your video, you need to touch these points:
Define your goal
Define the tone of your video
Set your video style
Call to Action
DEFINE YOUR GOAL
To define your goal you can start by asking yourself, and your colleagues about the essential message that you want to share through your video. You need to understand which is the main reason to create the promo video. Something that will help you to define your goal will be to answer these questions:
What is the reason for doing the video?
Who is the target audience?
How will we measure the success of the video?
What will be the duration of the video?
What is the budget?
When is the deadline?
Which are the technical requirements?
Are there any resource limitations?
What do you want your viewers to think after viewing the project?
It’s vital that we can do some research first. This research consists of identifying the central idea that you want to transmit to your audience. It’s a good exercise to watch and take some inspirations from some other videos related to the market you want to aim. You need to stay focus all the time, since you will be overwhelmed with all the new and different information that you will find, and sometimes we tend to get distracted and forget the primary purpose of the video.
SET THE TONE OF YOUR VIDEO
Setting the tone for your video is essential and involves, all the different elements that you will use to create your video as the voice, the format of the video, the visuals, and the sound. This video describes all of these points in more detail.
You need to understand that a promo video targets the needs of a particular viewer, giving great value to the thing you are promoting. Nowadays you don’t need a substantial budget to create a promotional video. It is straightforward to create a video with your mobile and publish it on social media, always remember that content is the king. Some styles of promo videos are :
CALL TO ACTION
This should answer this question: What do you want your audience to do after watching your video? Every production has a purpose, understanding the final goal will help you to create a video which can drive the viewer to that action.
Every time you are creating a video think as you are creating an epic story. Remember stories make things easier to remember; they are contagious. SandwichVideo has some great examples of promo videos with great storytelling. To make your story great, it needs to follow this 3 points:
Should be something that is real or it could seem real, and which can give credibility to your story.
Is an obstacle to overcome, a problem that your product will solve.
Is when you tell how you overcome the obstacle and is when you make your product the hero.
Writing the script
When you are writing a script you need to consider some industry standards and format your page on that way:
12 point Courier for the text
1.5 inch left margin
1 inch top and bottom margins
The pages should be numbered in the top right corner
The first page is not numbered
The rule of thumb is one minute per page But if you really are into screenwriting you may love Final Draft, this app already considers all the industry standards, like that, you can focus to write only.
TWO COLUMN SCRIPT
Another and more simple way to write a script is the two-column script, on one column you write all that you want the audience can hear, and on the other column, you write what you wish to the audience can watch.
Creating a Storyboard
Walt Disney Studios, during the animation of Steamboat Willie in 1928, came up with the storyboarding concept which is very similar to draw a comic book describing each one of the scenes. Doing a storyboard will help you to remove any creative roadblocks, to organize your shots, to come up with more precise considerations for your video shooting and to save time in your production process. Your goal for storyboarding is to describe an ideal outcome or future using words and pictures placed into a sequence; we made a storyboard template in sketch that you may find useful.
Animatics take storyboarding to the next level. You can use what you sketched on your storyboard and move them to After Effects or any other App where you can add motion and sound to the sketches you draw. Like that you can have a more close result of how your production will look. There is a plugin called Prolost Boardo made by Stu Maschwitz for After Effects which can help you in this process.
Making the shot list
Something that will help you as well is to create a shot list; this list is straightforward, make a list of all the shots you want with the specific participants, shot angles, locations, and elements. With this, you will be aware of all the shots you need to take, and you will be able to organize them. And also you can use the list to avoid completing a shot and move into a different setup when there may be some other shots that can be done on the same setup. Studiobinder is a fantastic production management web app which can help you to make your shot lists, it offers a free subscription, and you can download a shot list template from them as well.
On this section, we learned about the basics of Pre-Production and how we can plan our video, plus some different techniques of storyboarding, research, video styles and animatics. I think the pre-production process is one of the fundamentals when you want to create any video, and if you have a great pre-production plan in most of the cases, you will have a great end result.