Everything You Need to Know About Video Pre-Production


If you fail to prepare, you should prepare to fail. Here’s everything you need to know about the video pre-production process.

Are you thinking about creating a new film or video, but you don’t know the first thing about video production? Well, don’t you worry. That’s where we come in.

We’re going to tell you all about video production and pre-production so you can confidently get started on your new project. Let’s jump into it!

The Basics of Video Production

When you watch a movie, short film, or even a YouTube video, it seems pretty straightforward. Someone wanted to make this so they just made it. It’s actually a lot more complicated than that.

In fact, there are three stages of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production. What exactly do you need to know about each stage? Well, quite a lot so we’ll give you a quick rundown of each stage.

Pre-production is the most important part as this is where the film is developed. All the planning for the production, including writing the script, is done in this stage.

Production is the shooting stage of the process. Actors shoot their scenes, directors call shots, assistant directors keep extras in line, and so much more.

Post-production is the editing stage. Most often, this stage will happen alongside production so as to reduce turnaround time. After a day’s shoot, the footage will be ingested and logged, ready to be edited into dailies or even a rough cut.

While it’s too much information to go into depth on each stage, we will take a closer look at pre-production and what it all entails. Let’s jump in.

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The very first step in the pre-production process is to come up with the idea and actually conceptualize it.

Having an idea is great, but to really make it a concept, sit down and think out. Your finished concept should be something that you could easily pitch to someone on the spot.

Writing the Script

Depending on how long your video or film will be, writing the script will most likely be the longest part of the pre-production process.

Most scripts go through tons of rewrites before they’re considered finished, and even when they are, scripts are still being rewritten and reworked during production to adjust certain aspects. If you aren’t a writer, this process can be painstaking for you, but if you are or even if you’re working with a writing partner, you’ll know it’s a lot of fun.

Finding a Team

If you haven’t already attached a team to your project, now is the time to do so. Whatever positions you aren’t doing yourself, you need to lockdown. We’re talking producers, directors, a director of photography, actors, and the other main tentpoles of the operation.

You can hire the smaller roles like grips and makeup later on. It’s important not to just hire anyone that comes along. Make sure its people you trust and believe in that will aid you in carrying out your vision.

Shots and Overheads

Next is to plan the actual production. The director and the director of photography will sit down together and create a shot list, a shooting script, and overheads in preparation for the shoot.

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A shot list is just a list of all the shots in the film that makes it easier to schedule out the shoot. The shooting script allows the director and DP to envision the film in their heads. Overheads allow the director and DP to plot lighting, camera movements, and actor movements within a scene.


Film and video shoots also do rehearsals in many cases. They usually only last a few weeks so as not to take time away from the shooting process.

Finishing Pre-Production: Time to Shoot!

Understanding how pre-production works is essential to a successful film or video production project. Use this information to your advantage and create your vision.

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