7 Pre-Production Tips For Making Better Videos

As Benjamin Franklin said, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. When it comes to making videos, good preparing happens in the pre-production stage. Before you start shooting and editing, you should plan everything you’re going to do.

Here are seven pre-production tips to help you make better YouTube videos.

1. Start with a budget.

Your budget will determine the parameters of everything else, from what equipment you can rent to the schedule you must follow. By starting with a budget, you’ll know how big of a production your video can be.

Factor in the budget for your personal finances as well. What bills are coming up? How many views does this video need to get to help you pay rent this month?

How the video performs will affect your personal finances. For example, if you have a car payment coming up, then making a video you know will perform well would be a wiser decision than experimenting with a new kind of content this week.

2. Predetermine your video length.

The length of your video will determine your schedule, so establish this early on. A longer video will of course take more time to shoot than a shorter video, but the complexity of the video also factors in. If you want to make a complex video, consider making it shorter as well.

Write down the lengths of your most popular videos and average them together. This will help you find the ideal video length for your channel.

3. Write a basic video script.

Imagine you were giving a speech in front of a lot of people. Would you rather make the entire speech up on the spot or have note cards to guide you?

Odds are the speech would be much better if you wrote out note cards to help you beforehand. A video script works in the same way.

Before you start filming, write out a basic script for your video. It can be note cards, an outline, or a full screenplay. Remember, one page of script is about one minute onscreen.

4. Make a schedule and stick to it.

To keep yourself on track, create a production schedule. Determine which days and times you will be filming and editing. Always pad in extra time as a precaution.

Keeping your schedule is just as important as making it. Print it out and keep it with you as you make your video. Check it often to make sure you’re staying on track.

5. Check your equipment.

If you sit down to film only to discover your camera battery is dead, you could lose an entire work day waiting for it to charge. To avoid mishaps like this, check your equipment at least a day prior to filming.

Start with your equipment. Make sure all cameras, lights, etc. are fully charged. If they need to be plugged in, make sure you have a power strip on hand. Open your equipment bags and cases and make sure all lenses, microphones, and other accessories are in the proper places.

Next, make sure you have plenty of room on your storage devices. Move any files from your SD card to your computer or an external hard drive. If you have a backup SD card, put it in your camera bag.

Finally, check your filming location. Make sure the floor is swept, the background is hanging straight, etc.

6. Create a production binder.

Organize all of the pre-production documents you’ve created into a production binder. This will make it easy to stay on track and keep production running smoothly.

You can either keep the documents for several videos in the binder or change them out with each new production.

7. Take pictures of the camera angles, locations, etc. you plan to use.

Before you shoot, use your camera to take pictures of the framing of each shot you plan to use. Then, use these pictures to create a storyboard for your video.

It may help to create a simple shot list as well.

The more you put into your pre-production, the more you’ll get out of your filming and editing. Follow these tips to make the most of your pre-production.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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