The Importance of Pre-Production Planning


Planning a shoot is exciting.  The beauty of art and the thrill of marketing coincide in one beautiful progression, constantly being worked out and tweaked until you’re satisfied.  However, spending loads of time editing a “finished” product is far more time consuming than getting it right the first time, which is where pre-production planning comes in.


Before starting any shoot, you’ve got to know what you’re trying to accomplish.  In corporate video production, that objective is typically to attract and/or retain an enthusiastic customer base, but who is that customer base?  Who are you trying to reach, what is the best way to reach them, and what do you want them to come away with?  Having a clear objective, or having clear #goals, will increase the possibility that the shoot you conduct does what you want it to do.

The Right Path

Once you’ve set your goals for a project, the next question is how you’re going to get there.  At ASL, we offer full-service video production, meaning that we can assist in making corporate videos for branding purposes, interviews, testimonials, etc.  Interviews and testimonials, or documentary-style filming, convey a sense of trustworthiness and transparency to potential customers, so if your goal is to establish yourself as an upstanding business, this may be the right route to take.  However, if you’re trying to express that your business is fun, new, and exciting, a scripted, even somewhat corny, video can completely change the public’s view of your company.  Choosing the right means of reaching your goals is an imperative part of pre-production planning.

Story Board

This is the essential aspect of virtually any viewable form of media.  Your story board is your plan.  It’s the natural progression of the film and clearly lays out what will be needed and what will be happening for each portion of it.  This part of pre-production planning is your master blueprint, and without it, your project can be easily derailed. 

What We Offer

ASL offers the experience and resourcefulness necessary for planning a successful shoot.  We know the right questions to ask you to produce a final product that fulfills your needs.  Though your limitations in budget will wind up making a lot of your decisions for you, there are still some questions that you’ll have to answer yourself.  The following are some questions that we discuss before every shoot:

  1. Where will your shoot take place? Do you need a studio? Do you need a set dresser or someone with an eye for making sure the smallest background detail comes off clean and professional?
  2. How about a makeup artist?  This small addition can not only avoid shine under the bright lights but can also help subjects feel more confident and assertive on camera.
  3. Where will this video be displayed?  If the video is going to be displayed in a movie theater then we would suggest filming in 4K.  If it is simply going to air on the web then a typical HD 1080P camera will more than suffice.
  4. What are you aiming for in terms of look and feel?  Most corporations want a cinematic, bright and saturated feel.  In order to deliver that, we mostly film in 24 frames.  However, sometimes we have requests for news organizations who have a journalistic approach and 30 or 60 frame recording is more in line with the programming that those news organizations are used to providing and viewers are used to viewing.

At ASL, we pride ourselves on our experience and our resourcefulness.  Not only do we know the questions to ask ahead of time to make your video a success, but we also have top notch resources to deliver whatever it is that you may need.  From makeup to wardrobe, set design to prop creation, we use time during pre-production to identify areas that can serve to distinguish your video from your competitors.  At ASL, we have the right people and network to take you from pre-production to success.


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