Preproduction: The foundation for a successful video shoot

Kathie Zipp, Writer/Producer
15th April 2019

After I started with script writing and then moved into more of a producer role, I’ve only found how critical the preproduction stage is.

After signing your contract, preproduction is the first step in starting to create a your video. Preproduction will ensure a smooth process and videos you’ll be thrilled about because they’ll help you sell to grow your business.

Even after discussing a rough idea of your video plan, we’ll ask you to fill out our Preproduction Form. This is a simple Google Form that shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to fill out, tops. Trust me, we’re not trying to create busy work, but the more thorough you can be on this form, the better we can understand your business and your goals and ensure your video’s in line with what you’re looking for. Some people skip through this form with a few phrases. While I do thoroughly look at your website, social media and other marketing materials to deeply understand your brand and services, spelling things out clearly and thoroughly on the form helps tremendously! So please take your time with it.


After we receive your form, I go through every detail of it and start extracting major concepts. These can be messages you want to get across and who you want to reach. For example, maybe you especially want to convey how your product’s enclosure is suitable for all climates, and you’re trying to reach contracting companies who do government work. Or, maybe you want to share how your tutoring center caters to adults and children, and you want to reach families and professionals.


As script writer and producer, I track these Concepts in a Video Production Outline. From there, I fill in the Audio column. If we’re doing a voice over, this column will contain a script that conveys your concepts to your target audience. If we’re doing interviews, I’ll develop questions probing you to talk about these concepts. If writing a voice over, I try to incorporate words and phrasing with what I see on your website and in marketing documents to ensure the video sounds like an extension of your company.

Lastly, I move onto the Visual column. Though this isn’t a complete shot list, it gives an idea of what kind of footage to expect. As I read through the Audio column, I try to picture what footage would make sense to convey each point.

For most larger projects we also have at least one preproduction meeting in person or on the phone. This ensures our video and production team, along with your team, are all on the same page as to what to expect in the video process and final product.

By the end of preproduction, we should have a thorough understanding of your business and services or product, so much so that we could practically go out and sell it ourselves! That’s important to us because our goal for the video is to help you sell. There are plenty of videos out there that look cool, but do they convey a message? Do they make sense?

After preproduction, we also want to ensure you are completely comfortable, all questions are answered and you know exactly what you can expect. For shoot days, we’ll always provide a schedule, especially if you have people coming in, so everyone’s time is spent efficiently, even ours (which saves you money!). For the final product, we’ll make sure to discuss how revisions will be done and when you can expect to receive the final product.

With your cooperation in preproduction, we can ensure a smooth process and guarantee your video will look great! Most importantly, you’ll get your message out to those you want to hear it.

If you ever have any other questions about scriptwriting, production or other topics, feel free to reach out to me at I’ll be happy to answer, perhaps even in a future blog post or video!

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