Aside from being creative, cost effective, and likeable, if you want you want to have a great film or commercial video production shoot you have to have a visual plan for clients and crew. Every shoot I’ve coordinated, I start out with an essential part of production: the Pre-Production Book. Your shoot will run smooth like butta!
This is basically your video production bible and it's something I put together for each shoot, small or large, because it's important that everyone is on the same page. It’s your one-stop shop of information and it doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t need special software. You can use Microsoft or Pages, but it is important that you export it as a PDF. It’s professional and compatible for everyone.
Here’s a basic list of things to include:
1. Cover Sheet
- Identify Production Company, Client, & Agency
- Name of Job
- I like to add company logos. It looks legit.
2. Call Sheets
- Addresses & Meeting Area
- PARKING (Seriously saves a lot of time.)
- Location Contact & Representative Info.
- Maps, Directions, Photos
- Weather, Sunrise, Sunset Times
- Call & Wrap Times
- Set Contact
3. Contact Info
- Names, Job Titles, Email, & Phone Numbers
- Client, Crew, & Agency
4. Travel Itinerary
- Hotel Information
- Check In/Out Dates & Times
5. Shooting Schedule
- Call & Wrap Times
- Location Moves
- Wardrobe & Makeup Prep
- Lunch & Breaks
- Shot Breakdown
- We even like to add props & talent needed for each shot.
6. Shot List/Story Boards
- Contact Info
- Call Time
- Height & Sizes (This will help the stylist tremendously!)
- Talent Agency Contact Info
- All 3rd Parties Involved
- Equipment Rentals
Trust me, having this info on hand saves a lot of time looking for that phone number in your phone or trying to figure out what shot your on. It helps everyone and it’s quite professional. You can’t go wrong!
Katlyn Ness is the Production Coordinator for Explore Media, an award-winning digital video production company headquartered in South Bend, Indiana. She blogs about the advertising, film and music industries as they relate to tv ads, web videos, industrial & commercial video, and branded films.