Planning your production - Part One
Planning your production - Part Three

Planning your production - Part Two

Planning your production is a four-part series to help you better understand the video production process by breaking down each element involved in producing a video. By understanding the process, it's our hope you'll ultimately benefit from a better video by knowing what's going to happen and when.

Part One of this series can be found at:

In part two of this four part series, we exam the planning portion of your production.

With more than 20 years experience in the broadcast and corporate video production arena, we can often generate estimates with just one phone call. We listen to our clients, their needs and follow up with questions allowing us to prepare an estimated cost for the production.

In estimating a cost, our goal is to maximize the production value for the budget. Some clients know how much they have budgeted for a production, others do not. I'll be honest and say it's much easier to know the price range so we can deliver a budget that's suitable.

You can compare it to purchasing a car. Cars basically do one thing: move you from point A to point B. How you move, though, is another matter. You can spend $15,000 or you can spend $50,000 (or more) to achieve the same goal. Video is similar. You can spend $4000 or $15,000 (or more), but instead of leather seating and satellite radio, we're determining days of shooting, narration options, graphics and editing - even camera options - that make the most of the budget available for the production.

I'm simplifying the budget process somewhat, but it's important to know that just like cars, not all videos are created equal. Your budget determines how much time we have to work on your project.

I should mention that I really like to deliver a realistic budget that won't change - unless you alter the scope of the project. Some companies provide a lower estimate with the idea of getting you in the door, then adding costs once the shoot is over, knowing it's too late for you to walk away. So let me say this again - unless you alter the scope of the project, the estimate we provide is the final cost of the video.

Budgeting and pre-production start the collaborative process on your production, so let's look at what we do during the first phase of the project.

Pre-production is your least expensive part of the project and what I believe to be the most important part of the production process. What you do during this phase can avoid problems later. Similarly - what you don't do during this phase can result in problems later.

If we were building a house, this would be the design phase. We haven't started building as we need a blueprint first. We need to know your objectives and desired results for the video. What do you want viewers to do after watching?

What interviews, locations or graphics need to be included in the production? Do we have access to all those people and places that will aid in making the video a success?

If applicable, we develop a script or outline to guide us through the video so we have a chance to make sure we've covered all the important elements.

We’ll ask questions and offer suggestions and tips to make the video more effective. Our years of experience in corporate and broadcast productions are put to use in each of our projects, regardless of size or budget.

A project kick-off meeting is a great time to determine the key elements and sort through the items mentioned above. Even if you have a completed script, it’s best to allow input from the producer so refinements and streamlining can be made.


Taking time to refine the script and the accompanying shot list are two of the most important items in your production. These two items determine much of the production (shooting) schedule and post-production (editing) time.

We will also determine deadlines, including shooting dates and locations, personnel involved and other logistics relating to the production along with the delivery date.

Some clients like to rush through this section, but just like building a house, it's best to have a good plan and solid foundation before building

Don't get me wrong, I don't like paralysis by analysis, but working carefully and thoughtfully during this phase almost always results in a better production.

It's our job to guide you and make this a pleasant experience. No two productions are identical, but this overview covers the majority of our corporate marketing, promotional and training videos.

Next week, we'll discuss the filming of your video, also known as the production process.

As always, we're here to answer your questions and provide a free estimate for your video. You can visit our website at Forrester Media or call us at 770-226-9250.


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