For many of us working in corporate videos or advertising, things move pretty quickly. There are times when I’ll have less than two days to put together a high-end video shoot for one of my clients. This means that sometimes I’ll show up on-set or to the edit suite having overlooked a few of the most basic per-production elements that could have saved me tons of time and stress if I had just thought of earlier. That’s why I put together this handy video pre-production checklist of items to think about when producing a corporate video or branded content. Now when a project brief hits my desk, I simply go through this list of items to plan for before we hit record on the camera. It’s important to note that this list deals primiarly with the producing side of things. A thorough creative development process is just as important … but we’ll cover that on another day.

Here is my ever evolving list of things to consider before going into production on an edit.

Production Info

  • Key crew contact info
  • Call times for crew
  • Location map & parking (verify parking prices)
  • Production flow
  • Nearest hospitals

Scheduling

  • Create a schedule of shoot dates and deliverables including your edits
  • Did you allow for enough time for post (add two weeks onto whatever you think is an ideal delivery timeline)
  • Are all talent/crew/locations available for shooting when you need them

Crew:

  • Producer/Director (You)
  • DOP/Camera Operator
  • Location Sound
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Specialists (i.e. food stylist)
  • Camera Assistant
  • Director’s assistant/on-set notes
  • Production Assistant(s)

Talent:

  • Actors/Host
  • Background Actors

Creative and Cinematography:

  • What is the final look of the project?
  • Are there technical moves you need to make? How long will it take?
  • Are there graphics that require special framing considerations
  • What scene transitions will you use? How do you achieve these on a technical level?
  • How long is the video? Is it a hard or soft out? (i.e. can it go longer than originally planned)
  • Are there things in your script that the client could change last minute? (Write alt takes if so)
  • Teleprompter required? Formatted
  • French versioning?
  • Do you have a floor plan with staging concepts
  • Do you have a lighting plan or have you briefed your DOP on what you are looking for?

Location Scout

  • Location/Parking/Special Access
  • Shooting Area pictures
  • Signage/etc. to include/exclude (i.e. TV screens require a logo loaded)
  • Audio considerations (Fans/humming/etc)
  • Load in points and equipment storage
  • Available light?
  • Any furniture need to be moved?
  • Permits or proof of insurance required?

Camera/Sound/Post

  • Setup and filming time for each scene
  • Equipment needed
  • Special considerations
  • Audio considerations
  • Can camera guy do sound or require additional operator?
  • What format will this be edited and delivered in
  • Can your edit suite handle the extra time and money required to edit (4k)
  • Will content be multi-purposed for social. If so – do we need to frame shots in a certain way to accomodate multiple aspect ratios?

Cinematography

  • Slider movement in main shot?
  • Special considerations for talent/product? (i.e. framing product with enough room for lower third graphics)

 

B-Roll

  • Angles and specific shots or angles
  • Special considerations for talent/product? (i.e. framing product with enough room for lower third graphics)
  • Any ‘to avoids’?
  • Do we require a stylist?
  • Any specific product builds

Talent and Background

  • Have they filled out an info form (Scheduling restraints, allergies, special consderations, etc.)
  • Age/gender/ethnicity/height
  • Special considerations (i.e. fingernails manicured)
  • Confirm bookings
  • Age and gender

Clothing options

  • Seasonality of video
  • Multiple options
  • Clothing steamer

Hair and Makeup

  • Schedule processing time
  • Steamer

Food/Catering

  • Total number of people + contingency
  • Any food allergies for staff/crew
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Craft table items (water + light snacks)

Forms

  • Printouts of all related forms
  • Public release forms
  • Release forms

Other

  • Enough seating for crew + talent + background?
    • Log Expense receipts ASAP

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