Video Production Checklist

In the age of Youtube, where video images are seemingly abundant, many people don’t realize what a complex craft video production is. Once they engage a new project, however, they soon grow to understand the many moving parts that they need to consider.

So I thought I should put together a checklist of things to think about, if you are considering a video production at all. I’m putting this together for our clients, but I think it can be useful for anyone even thinking about making a video. The more you can consider these issues before beginning, the more smoothly your project will advance.

Concept and Development:

Will your video be scripted, storyboarded, or spontaneous (event-driven)? Do you plan to script it yourself, or will you need technical and creative assistance from us, beyond the initial consultation?

Video Acquisition:

Does your project require need standard definition video, high definition video, or Digital Cinema? Do you prefer cinema-quality images?

Do you prefer a widescreen (16:9 rectangle) image or a standard-def (4:3 square) image format for your video? How will your viewers be viewing your video? New technology or backwards-compatible?

Will your viewers prefer a progressive image (film-like) or an interlaced (video-ish) look? Do you prefer a warmer or a cooler look?

Do you have a site in mind for your shoot? Will you need any additional off-site work (interviews, greenscreen, etc.) that might need to be shot in-studio?

How is the audio set-up in the location you have selected? Is it “live” and reverberant or relatively non-reverberant? Is there competing noise from other nearby rooms or events?

How is the lighting in your location? Are there lots of big windows? Where is the sun positioned relative to the time of day that you have scheduled your shoot? Is there video-unfriendly fluorescent lighting in the location (which can cause video flicker)?

Can we obtain the necessary location releases?

The Talent

This may seem obvious, but do you have talent for your video, or will you need help finding it? Do we have a signed release for every person who will appear in the video?

Have you advised the talent of best video practices? Clothing: Neutral solids and patterns are best. Avoid reds and stripes which send high-vibrational signals that can cause artifacts in your video.

Post-Production and Editing

Do you have a logo or animation or other existing material that you want to incorporate into your video?

What is your deadline for a rough cut?

Sound Design

Will you need voice-over work done in the studio? Do you have someone in mind to do VO, or will you need to include this additionally in your budget?

We own a library of pre-licensed music with hundreds of titles. Will you need any additional, custom audio?

Delivery

What is the primary form of delivery for your project? Will you need multiple edits for multiple systems of delivery?

Will your DVD authoring require multiple, complex menu systems or additional complex graphics?

Will you need multiple compression schemes for your final delivery? (Especially applies to web delivery).

If you are delivering to television, what kind of final master is required? Have you requested producer’s specs?

If you are delivering to DVD, will you need a DVD cover design? How do you plan to package your DVD?

Do you want to carry extra inventory of your DVD or not?

I’ve typed this out in a very linear fashion, from beginning to middle to end, but one thing to consider is that the delivery is probably the most important thing to consider first, and not the last thing to consider! For instance, if you are shooting for the web, then we will want to design your video with more close-up work because long shots don’t translate as well. Et cetera.

The more we know about the final delivery, the better we will be able to advise you and serve you throughout the entire process.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Video Production Checklist

  1. redpinestudios,

    Great tips!

    Voice over is definitely something that should be outsourced for a professional sound. We’d be happy to help out at Voices.com should anyone need to find a voice.

    Thank you for the article and tips for making a video! I found them to be very helpful.

    Best wishes,

    Stephanie

  2. redpinestudios

    Hi Stephanie: We have many instances when the VO work needs to be done by the client or someone in the client’s organization, (documentary, trade show/product demo come immediately to mind), to personalize the project. But we do out-source some of the VO work and are always taking names, thanks.

    Meryem

  3. Pingback: Script Writer’s Guidelines « Red Pine Studios’s Weblog

  4. Celia

    These are great tips. Can I have permission to print these tip with your blog address and contact information at the bottom?

  5. I have needed this information for so long. Where have you been!!! Thanks

  6. Pingback: 5 Great Video Production Checklists | DiY Filmmaking

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