Video Production Tips
Film and Video Pre-production Notes
by David L. Shank, APR and Marilyn Shank APR
Shank Public Relations Counselors

A wise person once said, “The devil is in the details.” The following points should be considered as you begin planning a film, multimedia video or audio project:

Obviously, many of the same concerns apply equally to websites, computer multimedia or trade show exhibits.

Details, details, details, details.

Know what you’re trying to accomplish — goals, objectives, target audiences.

Know your media — there is a difference between the appearance of videotape vs. film vs. YouTube style video.

If your piece will only be on cable, you can probably economize; if it’s going statewide or to a national network, use the latest and best format/technology. If it’s going to be used only on the web, a hand-held digital camera might work.

Know the technical needs of the media. What could be used on the web shouldn’t be considered for broadcast news, although many stations not accept uploaded amateur video.

Be prepared for nearly any contingency — have a plan for when everything goes wrong including bad weather.

You are responsible for everything (depending on budget) — from paper clips to baby food.

Be flexible — be able to make slight changes in copy, positioning, words, etc. Significant changes should be reviewed with the client.

Be assertive — you are ultimately responsible. Take the advice of your producer but check out every shot. Don’t be afraid to stop if you don’t like the shot or audio or the actor’s delivery.

Stay out of the way of the technicians during set up…the toys and equipment are fascinating, but if you get in the way — you cost money.

Keep good records or have a continuity person track all takes and shots — this will help in editing, eliminating the obvious bad takes.

Have takes converted to window dubs for editing purposes and creating your EDL — edit decision list.