I always think that a video, when done well can be a master class in visual storytelling. The key to successful execution always starts with a well thought out plan.
The Key To A Good Plan
“Before beginning, plan carefully.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
There are 3 questions to answer before creating your plan for your next video.
1) What Do I Want To Accomplish?
Every plan starts with an objective, video productions are no different. Think carefully about what you are trying to achieve. What exactly is your main objective for your video production? Ask yourself is a video the right way to achieve this objective? Always write down your objective and give it to someone else to review to see if it makes sense. The more focused your objective is the easier it will be to implement.
2) Who Are My Viewers?
When you create video content with a specific audience your video content will always be more relevant for them. Understanding your audience will help you plan content that will resonate better with them. Knowing what your audience’s problems are will help you give them better solutions. Knowing your audience better will help you understand how to create more targeted content for the social media platforms they use.
3) What Have I Got To Say?
The third question to ask yourself is what have you got to say. Be very clear what your message is and how you are going to deliver it. The better you are able to clarify your message to yourself the better you will be able to deliver it to others.
Developing Your Plan
Once you know what you are trying to achieve, what your message is and who your audience is you are ready for the next step. I personally think this is good time to think about the following.
Always know what your budget is. Every plan should be built around actual resources and not the resources you aspire to. With the technology available today even the most limited budgets can provide some impressive video results. Once you set your budget, stick to it and be as creative as possible with the technology and resources available.
Video production is a collaborative process. Even if your team is very small, plan how you can use that to your best advantage. I have often found that even non-technical people can be very helpful when creating a video on a small budget. The key is to involve everyone in the video production process from the start so you get “team buy in” for the project.
Time is the one finite resource we all have. Know your timescale and stick to it. When you plan everything in advance the better your chance of sticking to your timescale. It is critical when using skilled and expensive talent and technicians that you stick to agreed timescales. Any over run will be expensive or cost you goodwill for future projects.
Sorting Out The Basics
It is important to plan everything in advance of starting a video production. The tighter your plan the more chance you have of successful video shoot.
This is a summary of the proposed video project. I use it as a pitch to sell the idea to anyone I need to involve in the video project or sell the concept to. It basically summarises the video concept and objectives, and provides an insight into how I propose doing the video. I typically detail the story the video will tell and journey taken. I give an insight into how I think the various parts of the journey will impact the audience emotionally. When dealing with small projects I keep it short and to the point but include the essential elements of the project.
Writing a script will focus your mind on what is needed on the day. When dealing with small projects with limited dialogue I like to keep it simple, I write out the narrative with accompanying instructions as to the actions on screen. Always read it out loud before committing to a final draft, personally I like to use an easy conversational style. The reason I would create a video script even on the simplest projects is that it helps everyone know what they are supposed to be doing on the day.
Think of a shot list as a checklist for the actual shooting on the day. It lists the shots required, including location, camera angles, shot type (close, medium etc.), subject matter and a brief description. This list is not exhaustive but gives you an idea of what’s involved. The level of detail you will require depends on the level of complexity of your particular project. The important takeaway is the better prepared you are with a suitable shot list the faster you will execute your video shoot on the day.
Planning For Success
“You can never plan the future by the past.”
Every video project is unique, even where the subject matter may be something you have covered before. This means that each video project deserves to be planned on an individual basis. The better the planning the more chance a video project has of coming in on time and on budget.