Machine Press Video Productions

Utility Link | Utility Link | Utility Link





Pre-Production Text



Pre-Production is about the time and effort that goes into planning and preparing for a Video.
Pre-Prod starts at $25 an hour, Production starts at $45 an hour

The time to think about which shot looks best, should be done before the video capture day,
not on the capture day.

No one works for free.
If you want good video opinions, you need to pay for it.

There are good videos and bad videos.
Great videos, occur when you plan for it.
Poor videos look poor because there was not enough preparation.

If a video does not look good, it is probably because there was not enough planning.

Bad videos are usually done on the fly.
We don’t do run and gun videos

Planning involves client and provider discussion.
Some times in person
Sometimes on the phone,
Sometimes in an email

Good Preparation means deciding in advance, what you are going to do.
Good Preparation means having a written plan on paper, that both parties agree upon

Bad Preparation means having only an idea in your head.

Pre-Production is about 1/3 of the total budget for a video.
Pre-Production involves the client telling or showing the producer what they want on the video.
Requires answering key questions, and making them available to the producer.

Pre-Production requires a certain amount of incubation, after the plan is prepared.
Pre-Production requires a review of the printed plan.
All this takes time.

Knowing the goals and objectives are the most important items

Last minute changes are usually a disaster
Can we make last minute changes, yes, but we don’t advise it.

Printed plans have many different formats.
A good start is a simple audio script. What do you intend to say?
But that is not enough
You also need to know what image will be on the screen
at the time you are speaking from the script

Music videos are an exception to this axiom
Second by second matching of video with audio often is not used.

However even with a music video, you do need to identify what images
Will be shown at some or any point in the video.
What is shown at what point in the video
This is usually left up to the editor during Post-Production.

What does a Script look like
What does a Storyboard look like
What does a Treatment look like
What does a rough outline look like
What does a animatic look like

Pre-Production does not come free.

Clients generally approach video producers under one of the following circumstances
1 They have only an idea for a video, nothing in a fixed format, no audio, no image
2 They have a printed audio script (more than an just idea)
3 They have a still pictures, but no storyboard
4 They have a storyboard
5 They have a CD with music and voice already recorded
6 They have some video recorded already, they want included

The hardest one to work with are those who only have an idea, and want to start shooting video tomorrow.

The easiest one to work with are those who have either print, storyboard, CD dvd, or Some video.

The reason they are easier, is they have already gone to some effort to prepare.
They recognize they need to put it in a fixed format, outside of their head, where someone else can look at or listen to their idea for a video

You can do all of it, or we can do most and prepare one for you.
Or we can work together and prepare one

However, it does require that both of us review the plan.
And we need to agree that this is the plan that will be followed on capture day.

This Pre-Production Text is about what is involved.
It will not explain everything, just some of the main key points
The idea is to start a conversation about Pre-Production.
It is not my objective to answer all the questions, just key issues

The goal is to educate the potential client about Pre-Production
What is involved, what it looks like,
This is how MPVP does business.

This Pre-Production Text is about the major points or details of Pre-Production.
It is not intended as a persuasion sales piece.

If you don’t know why you want a video
This Storyboard Pre-Production is not for you.

I do not intend to persuade a non-believer that he should believe
This comic book is for the believer who wants to know
what is required to get started with MPVP?

Production of a Video requires Pre-Production.
Making a Video requires Pre-Production.

You can do most of it on your own time,
Or pay us to help you.

We do not do production without pre-production and consulting for first time clients
If the format is such, when we do the second video for you it should require less time.

You don’t want your Video Producer making choices and decisions at $45 an hour
You want them made at $25 an hour
And you want those choices and decisions made at a time of low pressure

Meaning you don’t need the answer in seconds or minutes.
Some things you need to sleep on and wake up with a fresh outlook.
You can do that if you do pre-production. You can’t do that on capture day.

Why do we do pre-production?
We do it so we have a plan, and we have time to adapt to the plan.
We can get comfortable with the plan.
We incubate the plan
If we discover a problem, we have time to change it before the video capture starts.

Once we capture video on tape, if we need to make a change
It might mean taking another $450 day or at least a $250 half day.
To make this change

Pre-Prod is designed to make the most and best of the capture day.

Pre-Prod is a time to discuss options, and different approaches.
Capture day is not the time to be second guessing the plan.
It is Triple guessing, quadruple guessing, and Pentuple guessing

Pre-Prod is all about second guessing the plan.
And the client can do most of this, all on his own time,
without taking up the time of the MPVP producer.

Once you arrive at a conclusion or reduced it to 2 or more possibilities
You can discuss this with the producer.

Give the producer time to think this over, and live with it for a few days.
Pre-Prod takes time and effort, followed by incubation, then looking at the plan from a fresh perspective.

Clients come to MPVP at different points of progress.
Some have only an idea of what they want
Some have neither Audio script, nor Still photos
Some know what they want to say, but have not put it in print
Some have a written script, they want some video to support it
Some know what they want to show, but not what to they need to say

If you have an audio script already written, then a 2 or 3 column storyboard might help
Words that will be spoken, and drawings or still photos that will be shown
If you have an audio script already written, then a 2 or 3 column text outline might work
Words that will be spoken, and words that only describe what will be shown

If you do not have an audio script written, then a 2 or 3 column storyboard outline might work
If you do a $99 site survey, you can get still frames, print them, then cork board storyB
If you have an audio script already written, and you have performed and recorded the Music
But you do not have written preparation, describing the Video
then a 2 or 3 column storyboard will help

It all depends on what Type Pre-Production we are preparing for?

Types of Pre-Production
Interview Pre-Production
30 Second commercial Pre-Production
2 Minute product demo Pre-Production
14 Minute training video Pre-Production
4 Minute Music Video Pre-Production
28:30 Technology Program Pre-Production
28:30 Financial Pre-Production
28:30 Filmmaker Interview Pre-Production
28:30 Program series 6, 13, 26 week Pre-Production
unknown duration - Document Event
unknown duration - Meeting
unknown duration - 2D Animation Pre-Production
unknown duration - 3D Animation Pre-Production
unknown duration - High Museum exhibit PSA
unknown duration - Atlanta Botanical Gardens PSA

Degree of Preparation. Are you Prepared, or Not prepared?
During our first meeting you should be able to:
Open a folder, and show me the printed Lyrics on paper.
Place a CD or DVD in a player, and play the music for me to listen.
Show me one of the following:

Open a folder and show me written notes
Open a folder and show me printed notes
Open a folder and show me printed still photos
Open a folder and show me a Single column audio Script
Open a folder and show me a 2 column audio/video Script
Open a folder and show me a 3 column audio/video/Graphics Script
Open a folder and show me a audio/video Storyboard
Open a folder and show me a Treatment
Open a folder and show me a text rough outline
Place a CD or DVD in a player, and show me an animatic

If all you have are thoughts in your head,
Or words you are prepared to say,
You are not sufficiently ready to start Production. Or video capture
You are ready to start Pre-Production

This Treatment is written for people who contact me
Who have mostly never done a video before
They are first time Video Clients

Clients who have already done a video, and did participate in pre-production understand this.
Clients who have already done a video, but did it run and gun, think pre-production is not required.

Some people are audio predominate
They work and think mostly in spoken words and prefer to listen.

Some people are visual predominate
They work and think mostly in pictures and prefer to see.

Other people are tactile predominate
They work and think mostly within feelings and prefer to touch and be touched.

OK how much Preparation is required, before Production begins?

Client and Producer MPVP need to have a written plan
A producer can not just show up and have client say
Ok point over here, then there and then zoom out.
This is a plan that may work for a client that have worked with many times
And the project is a cookie cutter format they are familiar with.

But First time clients require a mutual understanding by both Client and a Producer
So these comments are for the First Time a Client works with MPVP

More Degree of Preparation
Ok how do you know you have done enough preparation?
Not sure of that answer, but I can answer when you have not done enough.

If you don’t have a written plan, you have not done enough preparation

At a minimum you need to present a written or printed plan on paper.
Then the producer needs to read the plan.
Producer needs to see if they understand what the client wants.
Producer and client need to talk and clarify what the Producer thinks you want.
There needs to be a shared vision, not a hidden vision, that only the client see’s.
Client needs to listen to Producer suggestions, and revisions.
Client does not need to accept all his suggestions, but client does need to consider them.

A period of time needs to occur between Pre-Production and Production.
This is useful, because problems that did not come to light during pre-production
Often come to both the Client and Producer, after a few nights to sleep on the Idea.
It is called incubation. You let the ideas cook in your mind.
Things that at first looked good, may have problems you did not foresee.
Things that at first looked bad, may not have problems you imagined.

Pre-Production is about second guessing, revising, and improving.
The goal is to make sure that everything that needs to be considered, have been thought through.

Good Pre-Production includes incubation.
This period of time, does not cost either the Client nor the Producer.
But it does serve them both. Because they don’t have to pay for it.

Use incubation to your advantage.
Without it, you end up paying for thinking at the starting rate of $45 and hour during Production time.

If you do sufficient Pre-Production, your video will benefit from the planning and preparation.

So how do you decide you have sufficient or not sufficient pre-Production?
You reach a point where you over do pre-prod.

There are some things you just don’t discover until you actually get there and start production.
Opps we did not think about that, OK now what do we do?
This happens all the time.

Even with lots of planning, something happens that could not have been known
Is advance of getting to the site and start production on that particular day.

I had no idea that my neighbors would have the school band over for there back yard party.
So pre-production only goes so far, and cannot protect or provide for every possibility

OK when do you discover that you have too much Pre-Production time.
If you continually change the script

OK when do you discover that you do not have enough Pre-Production time.
If you have big doubts about the script
If you cant decide if it should be male or female.
If you cant decide which location
If you cant decide what to wear

The first 8 pages are what I want ready for first Potential Client meeting.
The text at the full page back section, is for later if needed. Or client wants to see it now.

This is the beginning of a treatment for a video on pre-production.

When I started that Storyboard, I only had Ideas in my head
Words I knew I wanted to say, but going back and looking at it
I discovered that I had a lot of panels that I had no idea of how to show an image of that idea.

Some scripts are good for radio or pod casts, but just don’t cut it when it comes to video.
Well I could put that script on a teleprompter, then point a camera at myself and then read from the script.

Required Steps
Client and MPVP Producer start a conversation about Pre-Production.
Client and MPVP Producer have a written plan
MPVP Producer has read the plan
MPVP Producer makes written notes about the plan
MPVP Producer has time to incubate the plan and notes
Client and MPVP Producer take time to discuss the plan and notes
Client and MPVP Producer accept, revise or improve the plan.
Client and MPVP Producer agree to use this plan to produce a video.

MPVP Producer can now come up with a production budget estimate
½ day or full day, or multiple days
Client and MPVP Producer review the production budget estimate
Client signs a Production agreement
Client and MPVP Producer incubate the Production agreement, plan, and notes

Note ( you don’t pay for incubation ) but incubation is required

My goal is to get Storyboards in front of potential new clients. This is what I did for myself. If you want my help, I give help by preparing Storyboards for you.

Pre-Production Axioms
There are certain axioms used in video production.

Axiom 1
A rough outline using only words in 2 columns for audio and video may work just fine.
The idea is just to make sure that both client and producer are seeing or sharing a similar or same target vision or final goal. When both the client and producer believe they have enough on paper to out line the goal, then it is ready. The problem comes when the client says ok I am done, but the producer thinks this is way to little of preparation. A problem also comes when the producer says ok I am done, but the client thinks this is way to little of preparation. Why is it a problem? Well if the Pre-production time limit has been exceeded, and the client wants more, but they are not willing to pay more, then there is a problem. If the Client is willing to pay for more, then MPVP will spend more time.

Axiom 2
An audio script is not enough for a cable TV video. The images to be shown must be identified. Well if this is an interview the client video, and the client only wants a Host, asking him these questions, and he wants to answer them with only words and no supporting visuals OK then this is what the client wants, this is what the client gets.

Axiom 3
An audio script only for a Interview video is enough. The host ask the questions, the guests answer the questions. No images or B-Roll will be provided.

Axiom 4
An audio script only for a video on DVD is not enough. The images to be shown must be identified.

There are many more I do not intend to identify here, but needless to say, the client probably does not know the Axioms, and even if made aware of them, may still decide to not follow the axiom

(C) Copyright 2009 - John W Gutmann



Home | About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | (C) 2009 Machine Press Video Productions