The Video Pre-Production Checklist for B2B SaaS

Whether you’re creating a promotional video, a corporate video, or a social media clip, the key to a seamless production lies in the preparation. This is where a comprehensive video pre production checklist comes into play.

Pre-production lays the groundwork for your entire video project. It’s the time when you transform your creative vision into a concrete plan of action. With a well-crafted pre production checklist by your side, the process becomes efficient and stress-free.

Now you might be wondering –

  • What role does audience analysis play in shaping the pre-production checklist for your video?
  • How do you balance artistic vision with practical considerations while creating a pre production video checklist?
  • How can you effectively manage and communicate a video pre-production checklist with stakeholders?

In this blog, we’ll dive into the steps needed before hitting the record button. It will help ensure your project starts on the right foot and avoids common pitfalls. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a roadmap to navigate the pre-production phase.

Contents

Video Pre-Production Checklist

The pre-production phase is the first step in the video production process. This comprehensive video pre production checklist will guide you through the essential categories of video pre-production, ensuring that everything is well-planned and prepared for.

1. Concept Development

The first step of your video pre-production checklist is concept development. Let’s have a look at the breakdown of this step –

a. Ideation

Every great video starts with an idea. Brainstorm ideas with your team that align. with your marketing goals. Consider your target audience, the purpose of the video, and the message you want to convey.

Ask yourself:

  • What problem do we solve for our clients?
  • What unique value do we provide?
  • What common questions do prospects have?
  • Could we highlight customer success stories?

b. Scriptwriting

Once you have your concept, it’s time to write the video script. Your script should detail the dialogue, narration, and any necessary cues for the visual and sound elements.

  • Focus on clear, concise language tailored to your B2B audience.
  • Highlight benefits, not just features.
  • Include a compelling call to action.

Here is a video script example by HubSpot –

c. Storyboarding

Translate your script into a visual storyboard. This frame-by-frame visual representation of your video will –

  • Illustrate the sequence of scenes,
  • Camera angles and shot composition
  • Transitions between scenes
  • Text overlays or graphics.
  • Video style, visual elements, and other effects

Storyboarding will help you plan out the flow of your video and visualize the composition of each shot. It will also help to identify potential issues before they arise during production.

Making a video for B2B & SaaS products needs a different mindset.

We have a full playlist dedicated to such videos on Content Beta’s YouTube page. You can check it out here.

d. Shot Planning

Based on your storyboard, develop a detailed shot list that outlines each shot required for your video. This step helps in organizing your shooting schedule.

Specify –

  • framing and composition,
  • shot type (wide, medium, close-up),
  • camera movement (pan, tilt, zoom).
  • any special equipment or techniques needed

2. Budget Planning and Finances

The second step of the video pre production checklist is budgeting and finances. This is considered one of the most important steps in the process. Let’s look into the details of this step –

a. Budgeting

Establish a realistic budget for your video project. Itemize every expense you anticipate.

Consider:

  • Talent (actors, presenters, voiceover artists)
  • Crew (videographers, sound engineers, editors)
  • Equipment rental (if needed)
  • Location fees or studio rental
  • Post-production (editing, animation, music)

b. Allocate Funds

Break down your budget into specific categories and allocate funds accordingly. Always prioritize essential expenses. Try to identify areas where you can save costs without compromising the quality of your video.

c. Financing

Identify your sources of funding (sponsorship, marketing budget, specific department, etc.) and secure it early on for a smooth production process.

d. Contingency Planning

Unexpected things happen. Set aside a portion of your budget as a contingency fund to cover such unexpected expenses. This will provide a financial buffer and help you navigate any unforeseen challenges.

3. Team and Cast Selection

The next step in the pre-production checklist is the selection of cast and crew. Let’s take a closer look at this segment –

a. Crew Assembly

Assess your project’s scope to determine:

  • Will you handle production in-house?
  • Do you need to hire a freelance videographer or a production company?
  • What specialized roles are needed?

Identify the key roles and positions needed for your video production crew and assemble a skilled team. This may include a director, cinematographer, sound technician, lighting specialist, editor, and other essential personnel.

b. Casting

If your video requires on-screen talent, begin the casting process early in pre-production. Develop character descriptions and casting breakdowns, and conduct auditions to find the right talents for your project.

Consider factors such as:

  • acting ability,
  • appearance,
  • chemistry with other cast members.

4. Location Scouting and Permits

The fourth step in a video pre production checklist is location scouting and gathering permits. Let’s explore this step more closely –

a. Scouting

Compile a list of potential locations based on your script and shot list. Conduct visits to determine the suitability of each location for your project. Consider factors such as –

  • visual aesthetics,
  • accessibility,
  • lighting conditions,
  • sound environment,
  • space limitations, etc.

b. Permits

Research and obtain any necessary permits for filming at your chosen locations. This may include permits from local authorities, property owner permissions, and signed releases from anyone appearing on camera.

This can be a time-consuming process, so start early to avoid delays in your production schedule.

5. Equipment and Technical Planning

The fifth step in the pre production video checklist is planning out the technical aspects of video production and post-production. It includes making a list of equipment and other technical details.

Let’s break down the components of this step –

a. Equipment List

Based on your storyboard and shot plan, create a comprehensive list of all the equipment needed for your video production. This includes –

  • cameras,
  • lenses,
  • lighting,
  • audio equipment,
  • Video editing software and computers, etc

b. Technical Testing and Preparation

Schedule time for your crew to test and plan the technical details before the shoot. It includes –

  • ensuring all gear is in proper working condition
  • lighting setups,
  • microphone placement,
  • camera settings and angles, etc.
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6. Scheduling and Logistics

The next step of the video pre production checklist is scheduling different aspects of the production phase and planning out logistics accordingly. Let’s analyze this step more thoroughly.

a. Production Schedule

Create a detailed shooting schedule that outlines the timeline for each day of filming. Break down the schedule into

  • allocating time for each scene,
  • shot sequences,
  • locations

Include time for setup, rehearsals, breaks, and contingencies. Consider the best times of day for natural lighting and factor in the availability of your cast and key crew members.

b. Cast and Crew Scheduling

Coordinate the availability and shooting schedule with your cast and crew members. Ensure that everyone is aware of their call times, shooting dates, and any specific requirements.

c. Transportation and Accommodation

Plan for the transportation needs of your team and equipment to and from locations. Arrange accommodations to ensure everyone is comfortable.

d. Catering Services

Arrange for catering services to keep your cast and crew well-fed and hydrated throughout the shoot. Consider dietary restrictions and preferences, and plan for snacks, meals, and beverages accordingly.

7. Legal Considerations

The seventh step of the video pre production checklist is taking care of all the legal aspects. Let’s take a closer look at this step –

a. Contracts and Agreements

Draft and execute contracts and agreements for all cast and crew members, detailing their roles, compensation, and obligations. This includes crew contracts, cast agreements, location releases, and any other legal documents necessary.

b. Release Forms and Permissions

Obtain signed release forms from everyone appearing in your video. It includes actors, extras, and any bystanders in public spaces who may be captured in the footage. For copyrighted materials such as music or footage, ensure you have the appropriate licenses.

c. Copyrights

Gather the necessary rights and permissions for any copyrighted material used in your video, such as music, stock footage, or images. Obtain licenses or clearances as required to avoid any legal issues.

8. Final Preparations and Contingency Planning

The final step of this video pre production checklist is wrapping up the final preparations. It also includes contingency planning in case of any emergency. Let’s examine the different aspects of this step –

a. Rehearsals

Conduct rehearsals with your actors and crew to refine performances. This is also an opportunity to test different interpretations of the script. Verify that props and costumes are ready and in line with your vision.

Conduct a final check of all equipment and supplies needed for the shoot as well. Double-check that cameras, lights, microphones, batteries, and memory cards are fully functional.

b. Communication and Coordination

Ensure clear communication channels are established among all team members. Distribute contact lists, shooting schedules, and any relevant documents to keep everyone informed and on the same page.

c. Contingency Planning

Develop contingency plans for potential setbacks that may arise during the shoot. This could involve –

  • Weather delays – consider an alternate indoor location
  • Equipment malfunction – have backups or know rental options
  • Talent no-shows – have understudies or plan B-roll shots

Let’s revisit all the above-discussed points of a video pre-production planning checklist in a proper format:

No. Elements
1. Concept Development:




2. Budget Planning and Finances:




3. Team and Cast Selection:


4. Location Scouting and Permits:


5. Equipment and Technical Planning:


6. Scheduling and Logistics:




7. Legal Considerations:



8. Final Preparations and Contingency Planning:



Conclusion

Video pre production checklist ensures that every step of your video project is well-planned. Every element of this pre production checklist contributes to the overall quality of your final video. It minimizes potential obstacles and ensures a seamless workflow.

Remember, the success of your video project’s production is based on the pre-production stage. A video pre production checklist not only saves time and resources but also opens up creative possibilities.

So, for your next video project, keep this video pre production checklist close at hand. Use it as a guide to navigate the video production process with thorough planning and preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A pre-production checklist is a list of tasks to do before filming a video. It helps plan everything like budget, storyline, actors, locations, equipment, etc to make sure filming goes smoothly.

Video pre-production involves planning your video before filming. The planning includes writing a script, creating a storyboard, setting a budget, choosing locations, picking actors, and planning the shooting schedule.

The four elements of pre-production are:

  • Scriptwriting: Writing the story or message.
  • Storyboarding: Visual planning of scenes.
  • Scheduling: Planning when and where to film.
  • Budgeting: Calculating costs and managing finances.

To make a video checklist:

  • Define Your Goals: Decide what you want to achieve.
  • Write a Script: Outline your story or message.
  • Plan Your Shots: Create a storyboard or shot list.
  • Organize Your Team: Decide who does what.
  • Choose Locations: Pick where you’ll film.
  • Gather Equipment: List cameras, lights, and audio gear needed.
  • Schedule Shoots: Set dates and times for filming.
  • Prepare Props and Wardrobe: List and gather any special items or clothing.
  • Check Legal Requirements: Permissions for locations, music rights, etc.
  • Review and Adjust: Go over your checklist to make sure everything’s covered.
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