Every project starts with a great foundation, and Big Sky knows that details matter.  We’re as thorough and professional before the cameras come out of the cases as we are during shooting, handling everything  from location scouting and budget development to production coordination and permits.

Pre-Production Essentials

Pre-production is the most important phase and is likely where the outcome is truly decided.  To get a better understanding of what happens in the critical pre-production phase and why, here’s a list of the key steps and purpose.

Planning:  The goal here is to establish goals, funny as that sounds.  What is this video supposed to achieve?  The more simple and singular, the more likely you are to have a good outcome.  It’s when there are several purposes that things become convoluted.

Story-boarding:  If you take the time to plan out what the audience should see for each shot, you can plan time/cost-effectively so that you get everything you need.  This step also helps reveal any holes in your script – places where it’s not clear how to visually represent what’s being said in the audio.

Revisions:  It’s wise to build in at least two rounds of revisions into your scripting process.  It can take time to develop a script but the pay-off is well worth it.  These decisions are the one’s that make all the difference in the final product and where its fate is decided.

Budgeting:  For some reason, many clients seem to want to know how much a video will cost before anything about what is in it has been decided.  This, of course, is impossible to answer in any but the most general of terms.  The best way to work is to hire a producer and/or writer to develop the core concept, then and only then can you determine what it will take to get there.

Scheduling:  Just as budgets are determined by concept, so is the schedule.  Most projects will require a wide array of people and equipment, which all needs to be scheduled.  While you might not have the luxury, the best results are achieved when you start the production process well in advance.  If you aren’t able to plan ahead, you should be prepared for your production to be more expensive and encounter more problems along the way.