When it comes to both video and audio production, pre-production is what will save you time in the long run (not to mention your sanity!) Any project involving audio or video means pulling an all-nighter to meet your deadline, just isn’t an option. You’re going to have to plan!
Here’s some pre-production pointers for your next project.
Start with your deadline and think backwards to ensure you have a prior plan for these production phases:
Always overestimate the overall time required:
It’s easy to be optimistic about how much you can achieve but production takes time and unforeseen issues can draw this out even longer than you initially envision. When you’re forced to rush, you’re more likely to make mistakes which create future problems when you reach the post-production phase. Consider how much time you think a task will take and at least double it. Worst case, you wind up finishing well before your deadline!
Organise interview talent:
Prepare for people to decline your interview invitation and have back up talent at the ready. When you’ve got talent confirmed, make it your business to build rapport with them from the get go, so they’re comfortable chatting with you on interview day.
Write, rehearse, revise, repeat:
Write your voice over, read it out loud to get a sense of how it sounds and flows. Get input from other team members to ensure it makes sense before you revise, rehearse and record the final version. Your voice over will also help guide what other content you need to collect and how you are hoping to structure your finished piece.
Recording on location? Visit before the day:
Visiting and assessing a location you intend to film video or record audio before the actual shoot day will help you determine any challenges which might be problematic to your recording. Lighting, noise you can’t control and busy locations can wreak havoc on your shoot schedule. Assessing these in advance and actually doing a practice video and sound recording might lead you to record at a different time or on a different day to avoid these things.
Make a shot or sound list:
Planning your shots or sound bites will help you visualise the shoot or imagine the recording before it happens. It ensures you’re thinking about camera or microphone placement, lighting and sounds outside of your control long before you actually hit record. It will help you to better plan your use of locations and time, ensure you pack all the gear you need (and nothing you don’t) to capture the desired shots and sounds and make you less likely to miss capturing audio or video vital to your piece.
Production + Post-Production time:
Don’t forget about your edit and just how long this can take. If you’re new to audio or video editing, ensure you allow yourself lots of time so you can edit and review without the deadline burden weighing heavy on your shoulders. If you skipped over any of the prior planning phases, this is where it will come back to bite you and there’ll be even more work to do in this phase
Export and Upload:
Sometimes technology isn’t your friend. Allow room for error when exporting and uploading, as these processes can take a surprisingly amount of time. Variables such as computer and connection speed can slow you down and are entirely out of your control. Make sure you have time on your side to make these instances less stressful!