Planning Your Next Video Shoot: 7 Video Production Steps for Success

09.11.2019 Video Marketing
Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

With the dramatic rise in online video consumption in recent years, video marketing should form one of the key strands of any brand’s content strategy. Staggering statistics from recent reports further emphasise just why completing all video production steps are so important: 

So, why isn’t every business out there producing fresh video content regularly? 

Here’s why: 

Video creation isn’t the easiest task for a business without production experience. Of course, you can hire a company that has the skills and training to provide video services and video production for businesses. However, many businesses attempt production themselves without following the required video production steps. 

video production steps

To maximise your chances of a seamless shoot and a strong piece of content, there are a number of steps that need to be carried out pre-production. These planning steps are also crucial to ensure that your production doesn’t go over budget (or over schedule!). 

Any professional video production agency you hire should be well-versed in how to plan a video shoot. Regardless, it helps to familiarise yourself with the multiple steps involved in the planning stage so you can get a better idea of what happens behind the scenes. 

Read on for our mini video production guide to help you understand the process, with the 7 essential planning steps to follow:

1. Create a production brief 

The very first stage of any video production process should be creating a brief to share with your producers. This is vital as it ensures that all those involved in the production have the information they need to deliver. The brief should include: 

  • Relevant information about your target audience: Share buyer personas if you have these. These can be a huge help for producers to develop a concept that will resonate with your target group. 
  • Content objectives: Are you looking for engagement in the form of likes and shares or would you like audiences to click through and subscribe to your database? Is the aim to raise brand awareness or drive traffic? Sharing clear objectives before production begins will put everyone on the same page and help ensure that your content delivers strong results.
  • Key messages you’d like to include: If the aim of your content is to inform or educate viewers about a product or service, include all relevant information and key messages in your brief.

2. Set a defined budget 

A simple step, but one that’s often overlooked. Many companies are unsure of how much they need to spend on video content production. We’d recommend developing a brief and getting quotes from a few companies to get an idea of roughly how much your project should cost. 

video production budget

Ask for a detailed breakdown of any estimates for a clear idea of how many rounds of edits are included etc. Once you’ve set the budget, share this with your chosen production team. Any confusion or vague language in this area could likely result in going over budget. 

3. Finalise the script

Whether you decide to get the script written in-house or hire a production company to do it, having a fully fleshed script is a key part of the pre-production process. Make sure all relevant stakeholders have approved the script before filming starts, as it would be tricky (and possibly costly) to make changes once filming starts. 

Remember to schedule in ample time for scriptwriting — you may need to go through several drafts of a script before it is finalised. 

4. Create a storyboard

Storyboarding is a key video production step that any good production company will offer as part of their range of video services. A storyboard comprises of a series of drawings that show the sequence of shots for your content. This helps offer relevant stakeholders (as well as all those involved in the production process) a clear idea of how the content needs to look. You can also double check this to make sure all your key messages are included. 

Finalising your storyboard ahead of a shoot is just as important as finalising your script. A good storyboard offers a clearer picture of what the final outcome will look like. You’ll also get a better idea of whether the end result will meet objectives, and the production team can use it to decide key filming elements such as locations, lighting, and equipment. 

5. Prepare a shot list

Time to get further into the detail. A shot list breaks down each scene of a video and includes specific filming details, such as where the camera is to be placed and where lighting is needed. Other details could include location, framing, dialogue, talent involved, props, etc. 

Trust us, creating a shot list along with a script and storyboard saves valuable time during production. If you’re unsure, reach out to a professional production company with experienced videographers to guide you.

6. Develop a schedule for production 

As with any creative project that involves multiple stakeholders, staying on schedule can be tricky if timelines aren’t clearly defined from the start. Create a production schedule well before filming starts to manage expectations on all sides and ensure your content is ready when you need it. 

A production schedule will also be a valuable document that everyone involved can use to check the status of the project. It should include details about the locations, scenes being filmed on each day, relevant contact information of those involved, and date and times of shoots. 

Keep a close eye on this schedule throughout production. Make sure that it’s updated regularly and shared with relevant members of your team. We’d recommend overestimating the total time needed for production, especially if there are multiple stakeholders involved or if this is one of your first productions. 

Remember, a tight timeline could result in a rushed piece of content that may not be as effective at driving results. You also want a little extra time to deal with any unforeseen issues.

7. Pick the location/s and visit them ahead of time

An obvious (but integral) part of pre-production planning is location scouting. The locations you choose will impact the budget and schedule so it’s best to work on this as early as possible. We’d also recommend visiting all locations ahead of time, even if you’ve settled upon a well-known production studio. You’ll get a better idea of the space you’re going to be working with, and it’s a good chance to ask questions and look out for any potential logistical issues. 


While different companies may use slightly different approaches for their pre-production phase, the seven video production steps listed above are essential for filming to run smoothly. Hopefully, these give you a better understanding of what’s required for the planning process as you start your next video marketing project. 

At Kartoffel Films, we’ve created thousands of video productions that have driven results for our clients. Take a look at our showreel for some examples of the kind of content we have produced for a diverse range of sectors. Get in touch to find out how we can help you with video production for your business.

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