Pre-Production 101: Setting up for a Successful Shoot — WistiaFest 2017

June 13, 2017

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Alyssa Morley


Alyssa Morley, who runs a three person video team for The Grommet, discusses the anatomy of pre-production. Investing time in your pre-production process will save you all kinds of hassles with your budget and timelines. Here she outlines steps in her process for achieving successful projects and maintaining quality.

As a video producer, her pre-production process consists of identifying a goal, knowing your audience and platforms, forming a clear message, following a budget, creating a format and story, planning, and problem solving.

Your goal should guide decision-making throughout your process. Think about your audience relative to your goal, and break it down into demographics and personas. Knowing your audience will inform which platforms you use to reach them. Format is the result of having a goal and the platform on which your audience is consuming content.

When thinking about your budget, being realistic about production costs and time will prove to be beneficial. Prioritize where resources should be allotted and areas you can get by without. Remember small budgets don’t have to ruin your vision.

Morley notes things helping to elevate a story. You should make things relatable and give people a reason to care. Evoking an emotion is a powerful tool, and you can do this subtly with audio and aesthetic choices. Take advantage of opportunities to teach your audience something valuable. Encourage people to think on their own. Choose language carefully. Lastly, have a strong introduction.

With all of the above in mind, you can finally start planning out your shoot by storyboarding or creating a shot list. Make choices with aesthetics reinforcing your decisions through elements like color, lighting, and character composition. If you face roadblocks with production, put your problem solving skills to good use for overcoming weather, location challenges, and any other troubles.

Watch Morley’s presentation to learn more about how to set yourself up for a successful shoot during pre-production.

Alyssa Morley


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