Ultimate Guide to Pre-Production for Creating a Successful Video

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Video has emerged as a valuable tool for digital marketers in recent years. The popularity is driven by increased consumption of visual content by social media users. Video Consumption Research indicates that the majority of internet users watch video content every week. This trend has triggered interest in video content in the business community. Most businesses in the US use video as part of their marketing strategy because it improves user understanding of their products and increases sales.

Importance of Pre-Production Planning

Pre-production planning helps you save time during the production process. It allows you to gather all the materials and equipment you will need while shooting and producing the video. Planning saves you the costs of hiring equipment and actors for extra hours. Planning also provides direction and clarity for the production team.

Steps for Video Pre-Production Process

Set Goals, Objectives

Setting goals involves determining the objective the video is meant to achieve. The objective can be to educate or increase brand awareness. You should have a clear idea of what you want the viewer to do after watching the video.

Define the Target Audience

Audience identification is a complex process that starts with developing an ideal buyer persona. Developing a buyer persona helps you target more accurately and increases the effectiveness of your video. It helps you sound authentic and relatable when telling your story.

Create A Realistic Project Budget

Set your budget by estimating the financial costs of all the production stages. Setting your costs early will prevent you from going over the budget. It is also an effective way of managing the expectations of your production team. The aim should be to produce a high-quality video without overstretching the budget. Quality is important because a poorly produced video can harm your brand.

Scriptwriting, Editing

A good quality script is critical to the success of video production. Make sure you have a good script writer who can identify with the persona. Collect input from the video marketing team and other customer-facing persons in the organizations. Incorporate their input in the draft and take it through several rounds of editing, critiquing, and reviewing.

Create A Shot List

A shot list is a breakdown of the content that you will include in each scene. It includes items such as the direction of lighting, camera placement, number of scenes and shots, location, shot description, actions, actors involved, framing, props, and extra notes.

Determine Production Needs

Pre-production planning helps you determine the production needs of the video. It helps determine the types of special effects to use and make arrangements in advance. It also helps allocate sufficient time to the production process.

Decide Locations

The location has major implications on your costs and production time. For instance, shooting on location is likely to cost more than shooting in a studio. When shooting on-location, you need to account for costs such as travel and equipment transportation. Visit the location before the day of shooting so that you can make adequate preparations for lighting and obtaining permits.  

Determine Equipment Needs

You should know the type of equipment you need for every shot beforehand. This knowledge will allow you to obtain the right equipment on time. It is during this stage when you know the equipment you can find in-house that needs to be hired.

Tips for Pre-Production Planning

  • Create content that Grabs the viewers' attention within the first eight seconds because that is the attention span of most viewers.
  • Make sure the video leads viewers into seeing your brand as the solution to the problem posed in the video.
  • The video should tell a captivating story that links back to your brand.
  • Connect with your audience by creating an authentic persona.
  • Make sure the video can be viewed on mobile devices.


Pre-production planning is the key to a successful video shoot. It helps you produce a quality video within the budget. It also ensures that your video connects with the audience and achieves its objective. 

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About the Author

Torrey Tayenaka
Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County based video production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations.Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.

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