The Ultimate Video Production Checklist

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A Video Production Checklist that will save you time and money

Planning for video production can be stressful. That’s a fact that every project manager or video producer knows. 

Sublime Media Group’s award-winning video production team has learned many tips over the years for planning a successful shoot. We have created the Ultimate Video Production Checklist to save you time and money on your next video shoot. This checklist is great for any marketer that is planning their next video production.

Video production is constantly changing and evolving. Even though there may be a few tips that are not included, we know that if you follow this checklist, planning and logistics won’t be the reason your boss or client is unhappy with a finished product.

Sublime Media Group's Ultimate Video Production Checklist

  1. Knowing the vision or style of your video project is crucial from the start.
    Are you looking for something skit-based with high-quality video production? Do you want your video to have more of a raw/influencer feel to it? Would a documentary style work better for your messaging and brand? Looking at other video examples online can help you determine the style of video you are going for. Making this decision from the beginning is important for saving time and money.  
  2. Writing a script is the next step of the process.
    A single page in script form is typically 1-minute of completed video. With a quick-paced narration for a commercial or digital ad, keep your script at or under 180 words per minute. If you are looking for a slower-paced voice over, shave off 20-30 words so you have room for more spacing with the voice over when editing the final video. With your script, be sure to include locations, props and your actor age/demo. If you don’t have experience writing a video production script, a video production house (like Sublime Media Group) usually offers that service.
  3. Location scouting.
    Finding the perfect location for your video can take some time. It’s always good to scout a location before securing it for a video. You want to make sure that the area is big enough to host your video production. Also, you want to make sure the location still looks like the photos you found online. A venue, house, or corporate building can look very different when you show up on the day of shooting. With any video production, you don’t want surprises.  
  4. Securing a location.
    Always ask permission before shooting video on private property. This may seem like a no-brainer but often times a video crew will ask for forgiveness and not permission when they  show up at a location on the day of a shoot. If your video shoot gets shut down, the expense for actors and crew can fall on the client due to contracts. Some locations require rental fees but some owners will like having their property featured in a video and won’t charge for the production. 
  5. Casting is arguably the most important step in a video production process. 
    Finding the perfect actor, spokesperson, or person to interview can be challenging but also a lot of fun. When you find the right person to be in your video, it’s very exciting. We find that great casting requires creativity and having a strong network of actors. Asking actors to read lines on camera is a great tip. You don’t want an actor to show up that is ten years older than their “current” headshot. We learned this tip from first-hand experience.
  6. Wardrobe and makeup can take your production to the next level.
    Hiring a makeup artist for your talent will instantly make your production look higher end. Eliminate shine and blemishes on your actors to ensure that they look their best in your video. Planning for wardrobe before hand can save you a lot of time on your day of shooting. If an actor is providing their own wardrobe then ask for a photo of them in the outfit. If you are providing wardrobe, request a date before the shoot for them to try on the garment. You can also use clips on the back of the garment to fit the talent better. 
  7. Craft services can keep a shoot moving and the crew happy. 
    Planning to have food catered is an added expense but it will keep your video production moving along throughout the day. If your actors and video crew have to the leave the production site it can slow down production for the 2nd half of the day. 
  8. Documenting your video shoot can give you great social media content.
    Hiring a videographer or photographer to capture behind the scenes content can be great for social media updates. If you only have one big video shoot a year, make sure to get the most out of your video production with additional content for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
  9. Have a backup plan for bad weather.
    If you have to reshoot due to bad weather then plan for that. Sometimes you can negotiate a lower rate for blocking an additional day on the calendar out of the gate. If you let your production house or actors know up front that the shoot will have to be moved if the weather will not cooperate on that day, they may be more willing to work with you on lower day rates for an additional day. It never hurts to ask. 
  10. Don’t forget your waivers!
    Make sure  that your production house is supplying talent location waivers if you don’t plan to have them created for your video production. Waivers legally grant you permission to use the person’s likeness in your video production. It’s smart to also have a location waiver signed by the owner of the property you are shooting at. 

If you are preparing for your first video production, take a deep breath and know that planning gets easier over time. There is a lot that goes into video production so trusting your video team is very important. Look for a group that has proven experience working on video productions of all kinds. Look for a team like Sublime Media Group. 

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