Woohoo! The conclusion to pre-production! I bet you’re excited… Or not. I know you may not believe me when I tell you that these articles are, by no means, comprehensive, but, there are a million things to do in preparation for a successful video shoot and nobody wants to read about all of those. Well, maybe a few people, but, I’m sure you don’t.

Time for a schedule

Alright let’s pick a date and slap it on the calendar! WAIT!!! “Oh brother, here he goes again. Getting us all excited just to switch gears…” Okay, maybe I’m enjoying leading you on just to put on the brakes. But, it’s not without reason. This is the thought process we often help coach our clients through.

just when you think we're moving forward.

just when you think we’re moving forward.

All right, enough holding out. Before we pick a date, we have to have a production schedule, and before we have a production schedule, we have to know how much time it’s going to take us, right? Right. Very good.

How do we determine that? This process is different for different production companies, but, we’ll narrow it down to two: shot-listing and storyboarding.

At Hamil Bros Studios, our preferred method of organizing a video shoot is shot listing. Jacob and I will, most often, go through the script and plan the end video, shot by shot. Truthfully, whenever I, Ross, write the script, I do most of the shots and compositions while I’m writing because I visualize things as I write them. Not everyone works that way, it’s just the way my brain is wired.

This is an example of a shot list we did for an ad for Malouf's in Lubbock. Click the photo to see more about that ad

This is an example of a shot list we did for an ad for Malouf’s in Lubbock. Click the photo to see more about that ad

Planning light placement

After the shots are listed, if time allows, we will attempt to diagram a schematic that helps us set up our camera and lighting positions. This doesn’t always happen, but, we find it very useful when it does.

This is a lighting diagram Jacob drew up for our shoot at Pecan Tree Partners in 2015

This is a lighting diagram Jacob drew up for our shoot at Pecan Tree Partners in 2015. Notice he drew out the layout of the room and then, in green, he added the lights as we set them up. [click on the image to see the Pecan Tree Partners project]

Then, to our best abilities, we will estimate how long each shot will take to set up and build a schedule from there. Again, this is educated guess-work. There are too many things that cannot be accounted for in the environments we are often shooting in and we have to make adjustments on the fly, but, that is the nature of video production.

Once we have determined how long a production will take, it’s time to hit the calendar to find a time that everyone involved can make work.

That’s it! That’s our pre-production process in a three-page nutshell!

In part 5, we we dive into the shooting!

You can check out last week’s post here, and next week’s here, available 10/31/16

If, at any point, you have any questions, please email us at info@hamilbrosstudios.com or you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Hamil Bros Studios is a high quality video production company based in Lubbock, TX. Their work spreads throughout West Texas, Eastern New Mexico, and beyond.

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