In the captivating world of video production, the key to a successful project often lies not in the moments caught on camera, but in the extensive groundwork laid before the first scene is even shot. This critical groundwork is known as the pre-production process. At Lapse Productions, we consider this process the backbone of our projects, setting the stage for everything that follows in the video production process. In this post, we’ll be pulling back the curtain on the pre-production process, detailing the key steps we follow to ensure each project’s success.
*Please note that these stages at times happen in different orders or concurrently*
1. Concept Development
Every successful video starts with an idea. During this stage, brainstorming and creativity come into play. This is where we identify the goal of your video, determine the narrative, or the key message you want to communicate to your audience, review the sample videos and start creating the spine of the story.
2. Booking the Crew
When the Production Date is set that is when we will start booking crew members. Freelancers that accept the project will be sent a contract (which includes an NDA) that they will need to sign. We use a highly curated list of creatives for our projects. If you are interested in learning more about the different roles that each crew member plays then check this article.
3. Location Scout
Location scouting comes into play early on the pre-production process or just after the midway point.
If we know what the shooting location will be going into the project then we will schedule the location scout before we even start conceptualizing the video; for example, we know we’ll be shooting in a corporate office or a manufacturing facility. Doing this allows us to more accurately develop the concept.
If we will be shooting in a location that will be rented out for the project, then the location scout will happen after the location has been selected and reserved.
During location scouting, a Lapse Productions producer will consider practical factors such as:
- Lighting conditions;
- Suitable shooting spots;
- Noise levels;
- and whether the space can comfortably accommodate our cast and crew.
We will also be capturing LiDar scans of the areas to share with our crew along with solar tracking readings.
4. Scripting & Storyboarding & Shotlist
Once the concept is developed we either have the Client provide us with a script or we develop a script for the Client to review. Only from there can we start to develop the Storyboard. Our Storyboards consist of adding relevant images to the script. This is to help us envision what the final video will look like. From there we can develop a relevant shotlist, which will act as a checklist for the shoot date.
The casting process involves finding the right talent to bring on for the video project.
Casting comes in 2 forms for corporate videos: Actors or Voice-Over Actors.
When it comes to casting actors we determine the requirements first. So for example:
- Vibe (serious, friendly, etc)
From there we do a casting call, either through our network, groups, or via a casting agency, and present our selects to the Client.
When it comes to Voice-Over Casting we use a voice-over site to do a casting call, get auditions, and then present them to the Client. We have written about our extensive process here if you are interested in learning more about our Voice-Over Process.
6. Talent Preparation
A lot of the time, we have the Client provide their own employees for our videos (this is because we create a lot of B2B corporate videos). What we do in this situation is create a Talent Preparation Brief for them. This document goes over appropriate attire, how to prepare for a Teleprompter shoot, correct posture, and much more!
Scheduling involves breaking down the script and storyboard into individual scenes and planning when and where each will be filmed. It also includes scheduling talent, crew, and equipment needs. Effective scheduling is essential for a smooth production process and can save time and money.
8. Preparing the Crew
At different stages of the process, crew members are updated with information regarding the project. This is because their input is valuable to the production in many ways. For example:
- The cinematographer needs to know exactly what will be filmed because s/he will determine its feasibility or complexity.
- The grip or gaffer can provide the cinematographer with advice on camera set ups and equipment that may need to be rented to achieve the cinematographer’s goals.
- The audio operator will need to know what equipment to bring and if the sound will create problems in the editing process.
- The makeup artist needs to know how many people she will need to fix and in which succession because she can provide the Producer with how much time she will need per person. She also needs to see reference photos of the talent to know how to prepare for them.
- The Production Assistant is usually someone that is getting their foot in the industry so they just need to be updated on what their role for that day will be.
In conclusion, pre-production is where the magic begins. It’s all about meticulous preparation and setting the right foundation for your project. At Lapse Productions, we invest significant time and effort in pre-production, knowing that this critical stage can significantly impact the final product’s quality.Ready to see your concept transform into a captivating video? Our team at Lapse Productions is prepared to guide you through each stage of the pre-production process, ensuring a smooth journey from concept to completion. Reach out to us today, and together, let’s start creating a compelling visual narrative that resonates with your audience. The first step towards your video production journey begins now.
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