What is pre-production?

What is pre-production? The simplest answer is that it’s all of the prep work that has to happen before we ever even think about getting out a video camera.

Like it is with many things, the preparation that goes into a video shoot is potentially the most important work a video production company will do. It is, certainly, the most important step we take at Hamil Bros Studios.

“Great. It’s important…. What is it?”

Let’s get into it. Where does it start?

It always starts with first contact

For Hamil Bros Studios, it always starts with our first contact with a client (client being a business owner/manager, marketing agent, or the person in charge of a nonprofit organization’s marketing). This typically comes to us in one of three ways: an email, a text, or a phone call.

You’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking “duh” but, for the sake of being thorough, I’m going to include all the steps (even if you think they’re obvious). With new or potential clients, we typically get variations of two questions: 1) How much will it cost me for you to shoot a commercial/promotional video? or 2) Can we have schedule a time to talk to discuss some video production for my business/organization?

Ask the right questions

While neither one of those is the wrong question, we will, inevitably steer the client into question number 2. “How much will it cost” is never the wrong question, but, it’s not the right question to ask first, simply because, we have no idea what their needs are. So, we always request a meeting. Our preference is always to meet in person, however, we realize that this isn’t always an option given that our home region reaches nearly 2 hours away from where we are located in Lubbock Texas. If that’s the case, it’s either a webcam meeting (i.e. Skype or Google Hangouts)  or a phone call.

Next step, the meeting!?! Nope. Haha! Tricked you. That would seem like a good next step, but, we add a few extra steps in between the initial contact and the meeting.

We start digging deeper – research!

The next thing we do, is we seek out the client’s web presence. Do they have a website? Can I easily find out what this company or organization does? How current is it? How current does it look? Do they have a Facebook or social media presence? If they do, do they currently have any video content online? If yes, how does it look and what does it tell me?

If we can find any insight to answer any one of those questions, then we can easily start coming up with some concepts to discuss during our first meeting.

It all boils down to research. The more we can know about a client going into a meeting, the better prepared we are.

Ask yourself this question, if you reached out to Hamil Bros Studios and set a meeting, how does it make you feel to sit down with us and we already know a little bit about your business or organization and we already have some ideas or concepts to share? So far, we’ve not had anyone be upset with our level of preparation at a meeting.

When the meeting does happen, we do some qualifying to find out what their needs are. Depending on the outcome of that conversation, we will proceed to the script writing stage, or, if it’s primarily interview based, the interview questions.

In the next post, we will continue our discussion on pre-production.

You can read last week’s post here  and next week’s here, available on 10/17/16.

If, at any point, you have any questions, please email us at [email protected] 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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