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Take the time: the value of pre-production


Starting a video project can be exciting, but diving in too fast could be a mistake. When deadlines are looming, it's tempting to rush the planning process and head right into production. Resist the urge! Not only will pre-production lead to a higher quality product but you may find yourself with some additional content to repurpose as well. The key to pre-production planning can be summed up in a single word: Focus!

Focus: Define your audience

The very first thing to do when starting any video project is to define your audience – or maybe audiences. It's critical to know who you are trying to reach so you can craft your message to best accomplish that. For example, you may have one primary audience for a customer-facing corporate image piece, but with a little bit of editing you might also be able to repurpose that video as a tool to re-energize your sales force or your employees. Think about who your audience and potential audiences are at the very outset to ensure that the production team can capture the necessary content in an engaging and professional way.

Focus: Define your objectives

The second important aspect of any video production is to really think about what it is you want this video to accomplish -- define your objectives. Is your video a fundraising piece? Is it a friend-raising piece? Is it a corporate image piece or a sales piece centered around a new product launch? Having a clearly defined objective from the outset will keep your video's message on point and avoid a product that tries to be everything to everyone.

Focus: Maximize your production

Brainstorm with your producer and with your own team to focus on how you want your video to look and sound, as well as what bonus material your video production could deliver for you. For example, if you're already interviewing your top salespeople for a corporate image piece, take a few extra minutes and interview them about their best practices or sales tips they could offer to a newbie. You might also consider asking, "what's the best thing about working for this company?" Those little nuggets can be repurposed for your company's intranet or emailed to employees as engaging "tips of the week." You've already got the video crew and key players in place for your production, so why not maximize the use of their time and the crew's and get more bang for your buck?


The bottom line is taking the time up front to plan for your video production will pay off in multiple ways. Not only will you have a clear idea of what you hope the video will accomplish, but you'll have a great plan for meeting those goals. And to top it off, you can brainstorm ways to get even more out of your production dollar!


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