Video is crucial tool for all types and sizes of business’ across a wide variety of industries. If you’re not convinced then take a couple of minutes to check out these Three Reasons Why Video is Essential and here for guidance on the three types of corporate video that are fundamental for every company.
Understanding the potential for using video online is an important first step, but actually making it happen might seem a intensely daunting. In this series of articles we’re going to break down the process into four stages, giving you a basic intro to film production and the mojo and confidence you need to get the ball rolling.
In this (the first in the series) we’ll outline exactly what Pre-Production involves.
Stage 1: Pre-Production
1. Choosing the right Production Company is step one, and is probably the most important decision you’ll make in this journey. Some quick tips: Ask around and get personal referrals, research companies looking for a large catalogue of diverse work ideally within your industry, and trust your gut and make sure that you like the people you’ll be interacting with! It’s important that your production company is able to scale up or down to meet your budget needs, treats you and your time with respect, and has a very solid understanding of video marketing. (And we of course hope you’ll choose us!
2. The next step is to have a very clear and specific picture of your target audience. Who is the person that is most likely to benefit from your product or service? Why are they such a good fit? What is it about their lifestyle (their location, age, employment, marital status, etc) that creates the need your product or service can fill? Ideally this is a step that you involve your Production Team in. Your audience will influence many choices, small and large, for the Director and his/her team.
3. Once you know exactly who you’re talking to, you should have a general idea of what the message is you want to send them. But ‘general’ is a dirty word in video production – always aim for specificity. Ideally, you can sum up the storyline for your video in one sentence. Example: “Introducing a shaver subscription service for men who appreciate quality, value for money and convenience, as they lead busy lives both at work and home.” Again, it can be beneficial for everyone if the Production Company work with you to develop your core messaging. A Creative Director is integral in the telling of your message, translating it into the visual language of film. At Front Runner we love to help companies drill down the very heart of their brand message, and we love to look for ways to add humor too.
4. When you think script, you might think of plays or movies. The script for your production may or may not contain lines of dialogue, but it will contain a step by step breakdown of what exactly will happen on camera. Often key-frames of the script are storyboarded – meaning a sketch or photo comp is provided to help communicate what the Director is aiming to recreate. This document contains notes about sets, locations, wardrobe and cast, audio cues, dialogue and more. It’s the Creative Itinerary of the shoot and it’s imperative that you see this document and approve it before the shoot (ideally a week in advance, not the morning of, timeline permitting.)
5. Casting and Location scouting are primarily the responsibility of the production team, although your input should be requested. How much say you have in these decisions is ultimately your call as the client, but do consider the experience that the production team brings to the table. If they offer suggestions of places or people that they know deliver and without hassles an drama, then take them into consideration. Depending on the type of video you are producing, makeup and wardrobe professionals and set decorators will also be brought on board at this point.
6. The final stage of Pre-Production is the distribution of the Call Sheet. This is the Technical Itinerary for the shoot day and again, it’s produced by the production manager and you should be provided a copy at least the day before. This document summarizes exactly who will be where and when, it includes address’ and contact information as well as information about meal breaks and call-times (when each person involved is expected to arrive).
Next Monday we’ll be walking you through Production Day. What to expect on set and how to prep. An understanding of the basics will allow you to relax and enjoy the day(s) – after all we think that shooting corporate video should be fun.
If you have questions, we’d love to answer them for you – send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give us a call. If you’d like to see what we do and meet the team, then head over to our website: www.frontrunnerfilmsllc.com