Video Production Checklist: Pre-Production


Are videos a part of your marketing strategy yet? Video marketing is a trend that has become increasingly more popular and shows no signs of slowing down. If you’re not convinced that you need to incorporate videos into your marketing strategy, check out these statistics by Hubspot:

  • 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, up from just 63% percent last year.
  • 78% of people watch online videos every week, and 55% view online videos every day.
  • 72% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video

(For more on the important and types of videos you may consider, check out our past blog “Web Video 101.”)

Are you now thinking of the different types of videos you can create to help support your business? Brainstorming is a great first step but taking your vision and turning it into an impactful video is far more difficult than many people expect. There’s more to it than just grabbing a camera and recording your elevator pitch. From pre-production to production to post-production, there are several steps you must take to properly plan for and execute a video.

In this three-part blog series, we will take a look at the production checklists you need for each stage of video production – starting with pre-production.

Video Pre-Production Checklist

Script – A script is a crucial first step to help you clarify and stay on point, as well as secure compliance pre-approval. Start by identifying the goal and purpose of your video. Also, determine if the script will be read entirely by interview subjects or if a voice-over recording will be needed. Be sure to incorporate key messaging and identify a call-to-action as a way to end the video.

Storyboard – This often coincides with script development, but once a script is drafted, you will want to move it into a storyboard format. A common, easy-to-use format consists of two columns: the right side is the script/text while the left side notes graphics, b-roll and any other visual component of the video.

B-roll Brainstorm– This is a crucial pre-production step but is often the most overlooked. B-roll is the imagery that can be layered over the video to build more of a story and provide greater editing flexibility than simply a person talking straight to camera from start to finish. Proactively brainstorming the b-roll you will need for your video will go a long way in your post-production success. A storyboard can help identify missing footage you may need to capture during your shoot so as you create it. Keep in mind, you always want more b-roll than you think you will need. You may also consider including generic stock footage; you can get ideas using sites like for how stock footage may be used in your video.

Equipment/Vendor Coordination – If you are booking a vendor to shoot your video, you will want to determine:

  • How many cameras will be required for the shoot – typically 1-2 are needed for most videos. Depending on the vendor you choose to work with, this will impact crew members as well.
  • How many mics will be needed for the shoot? Is there more than one speaker/interview subject at a given time? If you’re recording a presentation rather than an interview, you may need to work with the venue to find out the options available for a/v equipment and plug-ins.
  • Once the location of the shoot is determined, work with the vendor to identify audio and lighting needs. If possible, it may be smart to visit the site of the shoot to help determine these needs in advance. Some vendors will join you for an on-site planning visit, so be sure to ask before you book someone.
  • Confirm tripods are included and clarify if they need any additional equipment your end. This could be a stand for them to set up on, audio jacks, etc.
  • Create a shot sheet – Typically you will be able to share your storyboard as a shot sheet from our previous step, and this will suffice for most vendors. If you are recording an event or presentation, you likely won’t have a script or storyboard, so you’ll want to break down specific needs for the presentation. Be sure to go over b-roll needs and expectations as well. The vendor should understand the final vision just as much as you do so they can capture the necessary footage to the best of their ability.

If you have video production experience, you may consider renting or using your own equipment yourself. The bullets above can still be useful as a checklist to ensure you cover your bases since you won’t have the help of a hired professional to walk you through this.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog where we’ll review the checklist for production day!

For more help with your video production needs for your financial services firm, contact AdvisorPR today.

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