Just like any project you take on, having a good plan of action prior to actually starting is a good idea.  This week on the Reel Rebel, Stephen Schweickart briefly covers just a few reasons why pre-production planning and creating checklists is so important to ensure you have a successful video shoot.

When you are planning to shoot a video you need to have some basic things in place prior to picking up the camera to start shooting.  If you don't, not only will you likely waste a lot of time and money, but you run the risk of not having any sort of backup plan or schedule in the event things don't go as smoothly as you'd want.

Basics of Pre-Production Planning for Video

Here are the a few of the main things you want to make sure you have prior to scheduling your shoot:

Have a script.  This is the most obvious since you need the script to know what it is you are going to film and how you are going to deliver what you film into a clean, concise message.

Create a storyboard.  Even if you don't have a full storyboard written out, you at least want a shot list to avoid finding out later that you forgot a major piece of what you need for your video.

Make a checklist.  If you don't have a checklist of supplies you need for a shoot you can guarantee you'll forget something crucial like extra batteries or film and will end up spending time that should be spent capturing your shots, running around finding supplies.  Check out this comprehensive example pre-production checklist from UCSC.

Obtain your permits.  This may seem like a tiny detail but if you don't have a permit from your local film office and you start shooting at a public location, you run the risk of the police coming to put an end to your shoot - most likely at a time that is most crucial to capturing the shot.

Provide food and drinks.  Even shooting a short clip takes time and you need to make sure you have provided something to eat and drink for your cast and crew.

Make sure you have power.  Obviously without some kind of power your lights, camera and other equipment will not work.  Be sure you know what your power supply options are for a location you are shooting at and be prepared with additional options in case of outages.

This is just a short list of items you want to ensure are in place prior to production.  As with anything, the better your pre-production planning the more smoothly filming will go on the schedule day of the shoot.