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How to Plan Video Production

The process.


Conference call between client and Mark to discuss video concepts, script ideas, visuals, design elements, and scope of the project.

The first thing is simply for Mark and the Client to get on the same page to produce what the client needs.

Typically the pre-production planning meeting takes about 30-minutes and is best accomplished by video conference. We go over things like:

-outline the approach to the video

-discuss the subject matter and what scenes to create as RAW video

-discuss whether B-Roll cameras are needed

-discuss using models or voiceover talent

-discuss the environment of the filming location, safety concerns, lighting, etc.

- if needed, discuss how many on-camera interviews will be conducted; select interviewees and discuss a plan for contacting and coordinating each person.

It is vital for all stakeholders interested in the final outcome of video production to be involved in ALL STAGES of the production. If not, the client will incur significant over-budget costs, and/or one - or more - stakeholders will be displeased with the final outcome. Generally, this happens when executives delegate the project, then decide at the last minute they want to add their opinions and artistic input. This will not only delay production, but it is also a costly overbudget mistake.


Next, Pre-Production Preparations include:


Create any necessary shot lists (based on the concept meeting)

Prepare interview questions (based on the concept meeting), if needed

Determine whether professional audio is needed. For voice-over work, will it be recorded day of filming or recorded at a later time. Who will be the voice-over talent?

Much of the above can be completed by the client and we encourage it. Since the client knows its product and service best. This can be fine tuned with Mark prior to commencing film production.

Mark prepares equipment needed based upon details of the project (checking/testing the camera, lights, media cards, tripod, should pods, stabilizers, sound equipment, etc.)


A professional narrator can enhance the quality of your video significantly by conveying your message in the style you require.

Using a voice-over artist is quite a bit less expensive than hiring a professional model for talent.

There are several sites where actors have posted samples of past work, the actors often have a studio in their home and frequently have the ability to let you listen and coach them through the recording of the voice-over, all for a few hundred dollars, depending on the length of the script. One recent quote: $1 per word. However, the final costs would be slightly lower.


Your video may call for an on-camera host or professional actors in dramatizations. However, to save costs, many non-speaking, on-camera roles can be filled by employees.


Mark will either create the script or will review a client-produced script.


Mark can develop a script for you and if you are extremely busy, this may be a choice to make. You will be paying Mark to put in the time to flush out your ideas and arrange them into a cohesive package. Mark’s experience has found clients are happiest when they develop the script. You know your brand and your products best, you know your consumer and you probably have the best sense of what your message is. Keep in mind a client saves $ 1,000.00 to $ 3,000.00 of the overall cost of developing the script.

As for the script, the video is the audiences guide that will motivate them into action.

There is a simple four-part structure for video marketing. It goes like this:

1. Meet Bob, he’s like you?
2. Bob has a problem that makes him feel bad?
3. Now Bob found a solution and he feels good?
4. Don’t you want to be like Bob?

When a client can get the initial content together in a meaningful way, Mark can help organize it into a compelling video by weaving your facts into a story.

The script is the blueprint that will drive the production.

Often times, the script will become a storyboard which can outline details of what the shot list will look like as well as who and what are needed for each shot.

Generally, each shot lasts only 1-6 seconds.

The finished video will turn out very much like the script.

With a well prepared script, there is a great deal of vetting and approvals that can happen within your company and by your legal team to make sure everyone is on board before the camera starts to roll.

That will save our client headaches and money when we get to the edit stage, knowing that everything that was needed was shot and was on point.

Mark stresses the more detailed script / storyboard equates into highest quality video and lowest overall cost.


Client approves final script.

Three: Video Filming Session | Filming Production | Field Production

Field production is scheduled at clients location. All images are shot according to the pre-approved script.

The day of the video session is the most obvious to the client because Mark is onsite filming.

This is a big part of the "it depends” aspect of things.

How many video sessions will be required to capture what we need for the video?

This is talked about and decided in advance, when the video proposal is being prepared.

Sometimes everything Mark needs for the video session is in a single location and all available on the same day.

On the other hand, sometimes when Mark is filming in a commercial or industrial setting, this requires an abundant of downtime between scenes. Client production / equipment start up comes first. A product run or equipment failure could require unexpected delays or additional sessions. Likewise, there could be are multiple locations involved, someone critical to the video needs to be interviewed on a different day, etc. All of these things add to the final production costs including unexpected delays while Mark is onsite filming.

As far as the video session, here are some of the things Mark does:

He films other raw video relevant or beneficial to the project
He interviews those in charge to fully understand what is being filmed and why.


Most video production Mark provides requires only a single videographer, but there are situations where additional resources are needed. Mark helps coordinate things like additional videographers, commercial lifts, sound technicians, an online streaming coordinator, a teleprompter operator, models, hair and makeup, etc. Adding these professionals when required does increase the production costs.


How much time Mark spends in post-production varies depending on the amount of raw video there is to sift through and how complicated the story is to tell. Were two cameras being used, does b-roll footage need added in several places. The more additions, close up views, etc added, the more post-production needed.

Because clients know exactly what they want to convey in the video, production costs can sometimes be significantly lower when the client sifts through the raw video indicating final edits. The client doesn’t actually make the edit but reviews the raw video clips, and writes down the minute and second where the edit should begin and end. Mark then edits the file to include only the portion of video the client likes best to be used in the packaged video.  Keep in mind, when a client sifts through the raw video, it requires full attention. Being side tracked leads to errors.

Generally, the ball park reference for each one minute of packaged video, it takes eight hours of post-production. This doesn’t include the opening promo or closing credits.

Some of the things Mark does in post-production are:

Logging Raw Video

review all the raw video that was shot
transcribe sound bites from interviews
notes regarding sound bites and raw video are reviewed
video edits are sorted in order to tell the story
sound bites are selected, then arranged into story form to create a script
Changes as requested by client are made

Video Edits

edit video according to pre-approved script, notes or requests of client
relevant pre-approved graphics, music and narration are created/added
preview video is provided to client for viewing
Changes requested by client are made
Client reviews rough cut and additional cuts as applicable before the video is complete.

Media Delivery: Final digital files are created and given to client

Taking into consideration each of those phases, concept planning, pre-production, video filming session, and post-production, most projects planned well for one three-minute packaged video is not something completed with a couple days notice. Of course, concept planning and pre-production are usually piecemealed over many days of a couple weeks or more prior to filming. Likewise, during production, any client delays in responding to edits adds days for final delivery would be added for the completion. When everything goes as planned, generally, the finished video takes about 30 days from start to finish.

Should you have a question, send Mark an email. He will respond within one business day.

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