Pre-production Aims at Viewer Satisfaction

By Alvin Motilla

When we feel that pre-production is not easy to do...

... and tend to avoid it...

... we need to realize that, it is our first big step to engaging our audience.

What is pre-production in video?

We want to see that our audience love our videos, right? For us, their positive feedback means we’ve done a great job!

But, we’re going against their best interest (and our sense of fulfillment), when we...

  • skip the “seemingly tedious” task of pre-production, and
  • head straight to the “more exciting” world of video shoot.

Why is that? Because...

The goal of this early stage is viewer satisfaction.

Without that kind of preparation, we will hardly engage our audience. Worse, we may fail to connect with them.

The solution, then, is not to avoid the perfectly normal discomfort, that goes with this initial thinking and preparation.

Instead, when you appreciate its value to you and your audience, you’ll be able to tolerate the “minor ache”, of going through this stage.

And it’s more than worth the effort, when you hear comments like, “I like your video!” :-)

How do you feel about doing pre-production first, before shooting videos? Do you think this preparatory thinking is important? Share your thoughts here.

Now, let’s try to answer some of your questions...

Is pre-production for video shoot of a real event needed?

I have two answers for that... a quick answer...and a detailed answer.

  • The quick answer?... Yes!
  • The detailed answer?... The question is saying like, “Does video creation need to start right?”

Well, of course! :-)

We think this initial work is only for movies, serious documentaries, music videos, or short films. Not true.

Think about it... Why do people involved in making those films, do this kind of preparation?

Because there are people who will watch those films.... and they want to give those people, a great viewing experience.

The same is true for events and real life, that you capture and present on video...

Non-fiction videos also have their audience. And satisfying them means,
starting your video right through pre-production.

I know it’s obvious, but sometimes we overlook it. ;-)

I just “go with the flow”, when shooting videos of real life.
Is that enough?


Because you still need to do some initial thought and preparation if... you want to increase your chances of engaging your audience.

Let me share my experience...

When I go out and shoot, I also go with the flow of what’s happening. I love the idea of being open, and receptive to life. :-)

However, I find it more fulfilling, if I also have basic ideas about...

  • where that "flow” is going, and
  • what’s going to “make sense”, to my target viewer.

And how do I know that? By doing some initial thought and preparation.

So, I combine..

  • the joy of discovery, when going with the flow during a shoot, and
  • the sense of direction and order, after doing some early thinking.

This approach helps me in developing a video, that the audience finds satisfying and meaningful.

How can pre-production guide me to make such a video?

It helps you...

  1. Identify and understand your intended viewer.
  2. Develop your idea, for the content of your presentation.
  3. Prepare what you will need, for your video shoot.

1. Helps you identify and understand your intended viewer.

This early thinking allows you to get to know, who will really watch your video--the very person you want to satisfy.

It’s very important, because...

We’re not trying to make a presentation for everyone.
We’re not trying to please everybody.

So, if you do your initial thinking and preparing...

  • You’ll feel the concerns of your target audience.
  • You’ll know possible materials and moments to shoot, that are relevant to those concerns.
  • You’ll sense how to organize, and edit your shots, in ways that your target will find pleasing.

2. Helps you develop your idea for video content.

I want to be clear about this. The “idea” for the content, of your non-fiction video, is not...

  • the actual events that you record,
  • the intimate life moments that you capture,
  • the people that you film, or
  • the sceneries and things that you shoot.

Idea is... how you see and render these subjects, for video.

You think “rendering” happens only in video editing? ;-)

Rendering happens also inside you... when you think about how you will treat your subject.

And initial thinking helps you develop this “idea”... one that suits your target viewer.

3. Helps you prepare what you will need for video shoot.

In this early stage, you also get ideas about...

  • what gear you’ll need, and
  • how you’ll use it in the field, to fulfill your idea for video.

Also, depending on the project, you can consider the output, even before the shoot. For example, will your client need a DVD? A high definition web video? A full-HD file copy? Or a combination of these?

This allows you, to make the needed camera settings earlier, so you can focus more on the content, when filming or shooting... content that your viewers would love to watch.

So, that’s what pre-production thinking can do for you, and your audience!  :-)

Check this out! :-)

Script Writing: Relief For Your Pain About The Idea Of Writing
Here’s some script writing advice, basics and tips to help you feel good about this kind of writing that puts meaning into your videos.

What’s Your Impression of “Doing Video Pre-production”?

Do you also feel the urge to avoid the pain of doing pre-production... but want the audience regard for your work and the fulfillment you’ll get out of doing it?

I’d love to hear about your thoughts. Share them here!