Help! I have to make a video. What should I do first?
If you are NEW to a marketing or training role and you need to make a professional video, then this blog post is for you. This is part one in a four-part series designed to help you make your first video production.
“Help! I Have to Make a Video” Series
Part 1 – What Should I Do First?
Write a creative brief, identify roles, and understand the phases of production
Part 2 – Pro-Tips for Pre-production
A checklist for successful video pre-production
Part 3 – Pro-Tips for Production
A checklist to help you on the day of your video shoot
Part 4 – Pro-Tips for Post-production
A checklist to ensure your edited video is on-message and looks great too
Part 1: What should I do first?
Before you jump right into making a video, I suggest you do three things: write a creative brief, identify the roles people will play in the process, and understand the three phases of production (pre-production, production, post-production).
Write a Creative Brief
The creative brief is a document that summarizes the project’s business need and explains how the video will address that need. The brief should contain the answers to these questions:
What is the business problem we are trying to solve?
Who is our target audience?
What solution are we presenting?
Why should the target audience care?
What is the key message?
What is the call to action?
How will we know that people have answered the call to action?
What type of video will we use to convey our message?
Where and how will we distribute the video?
What is our preliminary budget?
What tasks need to be completed? Who will do it? When should it be done?
If your creative brief answers these questions, you will be ready to identify the roles that people will play in the production process.
Writing My First Creative Brief – Template – coming soon
The functional roles, such as actor, producer, editor, should be clearly defined during the pre-production phase (more on pre-production below). It’s important to identify who will fill each role so that tasks can be assigned and managed efficiently.
Start by establishing what role or roles you will play, then plan out the roles you’ll staff with internal people and what roles you’ll need to hire a vendor to fulfill. For example, you will play a producer role, since you will need to organize the production like a project manager. You may also play other roles such as scriptwriter or director.
Every video has a budget, and I’m sure your project is no different. By identifying roles early, you will be ready to take action instead of squandering valuable time and money that could be used to create content.
I’ve created a video pro guide that identifies 18 types of roles that people play during a production. The guide provides a short definition of roles, aliases, whether they work in pre/pro/post-production (see below for definitions), and a range of rates you can expect to pay (based on the Cleveland area). Keep in mind, some people may play more than one role; for example, a camera operator may also edit video, or a producer may also excel at scriptwriting.
Understand the Phases of Production
The main phases of the production process are pre-production, production, and post-production. Pre-production consists of tasks that need to be completed before recording any video. Production is where you will create content such as video, audio, photographs, or even illustrations. In post-production you will assemble all of the content you created during the previous phases into a final video.
Up next, Part 2: Pro-tips for pre-production with an annotated checklist for a successful video production.
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