New to video production? No problem.
We know getting started with video can be intimidating. That’s why we try our hardest to make the process as smooth, transparent, and accessible as possible.
This is the first of our four-part blog series for first-time clients. We’re covering all the details you might want to know before you get started on a project with us, from pre-production, film day, post-production, and FAQs. We recommend all our first-time clients review this information, but if you’re a returning client there’s probably some good tips in here for you, too.
Let’s get into it. Here are ten steps of our pre-production process every first-time client should know:
1. We always start with the basics.
Understanding the foundation of your brand allows us to be efficient and economical, straight from the jump.
Once you’ve signed a contract, we’ll get started on the basics: getting to know your company, brand, and contract objectives. If you’re working from a budget or it’s your first time hiring a video production company, you’ll want to note that these initial steps can take some time.
As we get a deeper sense of who you are and what you’re looking for, we can start to outline the how, what, and when of your deliverables, giving you a sense of what you can expect from us in the following days, weeks, and months of our work together. Depending on the scope of your contract, this onboarding process can range from a few days to a couple of weeks.
We want video content to be consistent with already-established aspects of your brand to make sure your video integrates seamlessly with your existing brand presence, so you can expect us to start by compiling your brand guide, logo files, and other important graphic assets.
If you already have a brand or messaging guide of any kind, please share that with us. We’ll also want you to send us any design assets that may appear in your video (common examples are your logo, icons your company uses, typefaces, etc).
2. Decide your point of contact.
Choose a representative from your company to handle all communications regarding your video.
We recommend finding a point of contact who is able to dedicate somewhere between 5 and 20 hours to coordinate with us through the pre-production, production, and feedback phases of post-production. If you have time limitations around this kind of coordination, please let us know as soon as possible so we can build your project process around any time constraints.
3. Once these initial logistics are squared away, we’ll send you your creative brief.
Get to know this document and provide thorough feedback to get the most out of your production.
Our team begins the pre-production process by putting together a creative brief. The creative brief is a document that will provide an overview of your project, highlight key messaging, aesthetic decisions, identify target audiences, and list competitors or examples of work to pull inspiration from. We’ll also link a moodboard if applicable.
Once we create your brief, we’ll share it with you to get additional feedback and make sure we’re on the same page about our vision for your project. We want to do this step before we plan the production so that we can determine the baseline structure of your project before locking in on the logistics of the production. (For example, if your creative brief identifies that it’s important for your shoot to happen at a location with mountain views on a sunny day, we’ll rely on these kinds of directives to inform our scouting process.) It’s important that this kind of visioning happens before we commit to things like casting, locations, and shoot days.
4. We’ll write, edit, and perfect your script to align your messaging with your brand and bottom line.
If we’re creating a script for your project, this step will come next.
Look out for a list of questions from us — our team of writers will review your answers to understand the most important content to include. We’ll send you a first draft of the script for additional feedback and begin to finalize this copy once we have a good grip on writing style and direction. We will likely have a few back-and-forth emails to gather your feedback throughout this process, and want to ensure we have the script perfected before proceeding with next steps.
5. If your video project is more visually complex, we’ll create a storyboard for the shots we’re planning to film.
Creating a storyboard can help us visualize your narrative and understand what we need to film way before we get behind the cameras.
We may share this with you if you’re interested, but otherwise this will act as a good guide for our director and lead videographer on filming days. If you have any specific shots that are important for you to include, we’d like to know this early on in the process to ensure we can capture them.
6. Location, location, location.
Scouting helps us know what to expect on shoot day.
Depending on the complexity of your project, we may want to come out and do a location scout. (This can also be done virtually.) We’ll look for things like the placement of windows or other natural lighting sources, ease of rearranging a space, noises that may be present in the space, etc.
7. Once we nail down a shoot day, we’ll build out your production plan.
We like to schedule our filming sessions at least a couple of weeks in advance (ideally much longer than this) so we have plenty of time for planning.
Once your shoot is scheduled, we’ll share a schedule of the day with details on when interviewees or actors should be expected to be present.
8. Ahead of the shoot, we’ll coordinate directly with anyone appearing on-screen.
Working with your point of contact to determine who will be featured in your project, we’ll communicate directly with actors, interviewees, and background extras to ensure your filming session runs smoothly and efficiently.
If you have multiple representatives of your company, actors, or background extras who will be present on the day of your shoot, we’ll need you to share their contact information (phone number and email address).
9. Expect a call from us to confirm filming details and answer your last-minute questions.
Before the filming day, we’ll have a short call with you to go over any final logistics of our production plan.
This call is also an opportunity for you to ask us any remaining questions you might have regarding the shoot, but please note that by this point details like scripting, location, and hiring of actors will already have been decided and “locked in.”
10. Make sure your team gets a good night’s rest and arrives on set ready to go.
We’ll confirm details with everyone involved in the shoot, but coordinating on your company’s end is never a bad idea.
Ready to start planning your production?