January 13, 2016 \ Geoff Birmingham
4 Steps for Effective Video Pre-Production Scheduling

Video Pre-Production ScheduleJust about everything in life requires a bit of pre-planning and scheduling, so it’s no surprise that solid video pre-production for a film shoot is going to lead to better results. Many clients aren’t sure how to best prepare for their filming days.  In the words of one, more scientifically-inclined client, it comes down to “filling out the matrix.”

A matrix is one accurate way to think of it, though we’ve always just referred to it as a “schedule.”  Whatever you call it, the key point is that you want to be filming uninterrupted from the beginning of the day to the end. This is a slight exaggeration because a short break here and there is good, but planning well during pre-production will ensure that you get the most from out of your day.

Video Pre-Production, Step One – Make an interview and b-roll list

The interviews, of course, are all the people who might effectively communicate your message, and the b-roll is all the images that will be used to illustrate those points.

Video Pre-Production, Step Two – Identify the b-roll that is “must have”

The importance of having great b-roll to help illustrate or reinforce your messages should not be underestimated.  Because the times for capturing b-roll are often fixed (a certain activity only happens at a certain time), we recommend that you start by identifying the “must have” b-roll and inserting that into the schedule first.

Video Pre-Production, Step Three – Schedule the interviews

There’s usually more flexibility with arranging interviews, so schedule them around the must have b-roll.

Video Pre-Production, Step Four – Schedule the b-roll or interviews that are “nice to have”

Look and see what holes remain in your schedule.  Is there an activity that is taking place during those times that could be useful as b-roll? Or perhaps an additional interview? Even if this material doesn’t have tremendous value immediately, it might be of use later (see: creating a video asset library).

Finally, here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you are mapping out your schedule:

  • Allot time for the crew to get from one location to another.
  • Allot time for the crew to set up.
  • Allot time for the crew to complete the interview or capture the appropriate amount of b-roll.