The 3 Stages of the Video Production Process: Pre-Production

  • March 28, 2014
  • News

The 3 Stages of the Video Production Process-Pre-Production

In this series of three videos, you’re going to learn the steps involved in creating your next video production. If this is the first time you’ll be commissioning a video, or the first time you’ve worked with Dream Engine, some of this will be a little new. But by the time you’ve watched these videos you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Let’s start with phase 1: Pre-Production.

Topic Summary

  • Steps taken before filming begins
  • Video Producer’s role
  • The Script, Shotlist and Schedule

Pre-production involves all of the steps we take before we actually film your video. We start with Concept Development, or identifying the type of video we’ll be creating for you. This can vary from documentary video, to training video or face-to-camera addresses. We also answer questions like, “will it contain animation?”, and “what will the tone and style of the video be?”

How we decide on the Concept is by analysing your goals, and the needs of your audience. What is the most important challenge that your target market is facing? What style of video will they best resonate with? And what will drive them to take action?

Don’t worry. This is not something you need to work out alone. My role is to work with you to come up with the best concept for your video. And over the years I’ve developed a pretty good system to do this.

Create a Script

Now that we’ve got the Concept nailed, the next step is to create a script. The format of the script can vary: from an exact word-for-word document for something like a dramatised video, to more of a general description for a documentary. Importantly, we now have a clear plan, like an architects blueprint of a house.

If we’re making a documentary, we’ll then create a list of interview questions. The interview questions are designed to elicit the answers that will propel the video forward, and drive the audience to take action.

We’re now getting close to filming time, and to prepare for that, we create a schedule and shotlist.


Schedule & Shotlist

The schedule sets out the times and locations that filming will take place. And set this up so we can use our time in the most efficient way possible.

The shotlist is the list of shots that out camera operator MUST get on the day so that we can tell the story in the most visual way.

Sometimes production companies can have a tendency to gloss over preproduction and rush to the excitement of getting on set and filming. But pre-production is actually the most important phase in making your video.

The thing I love about pre-production is that it’s where your idea starts to come alive. It’s the time where I, as the video producer, can make sure that I really understand your needs, get to know who your audience is and identify what they want.

Good pre-production basically means that your film now exists in our minds. We can both picture exactly how it will look. And we’ve got a clear plan to bring it to life in the next phase: Production… which is exactly what I’ll talk about in the next video.

If this video has raised questions for you, let me know, and I’ll answer them. Put your comment in the box below, or just contact me directly.


 Ryan Spanger


Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-profit sector to connect with their audience by using video.

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Based in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Dream Engine is comprised of a small, close-knit team of energetic video production professionals.

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