Pre-Shoot Client Checklist

Five simple steps to ensure a successful video session

By: Peter Gray

By: Peter Gray

The success of a video is largely dependent upon who you hire and how equipped they are with both the expertise and gear to make your project stand apart. However, you, the client, will be just as important to the success of the end product in how you prepare yourself and your team for the shoot. 

An efficient video session is the result of the preparation beforehand. Like GMP, almost every media company charges hourly for time spent on site. For this reason, we make a conscious effort to ensure that an outline and schedule are in place before we arrive so there is no time wasted. 

Fully preparing for the shoot will give you peace of mind, eliminate confusion, and result in a better end product. Below, we will go through a step by step guide on how to best prepare for your video. 

Note that these are practices that we employ on every project we produce and are happy to assist you with. When both parties (GMP and the client) are on the same page, everybody wins! 


Step 1: Define Your Objective

You should start by filling in the blank: “The goal of this video is to ____”. 

We will keep the answer to that question in mind throughout the entire project, from start to finish. This is a critical step that will make your end product that much better. 

Whether it be a flashy promo video for a new product, a customer testimonial, interview, or a mission video, communicating the goal to your entire team will make for a more cohesive viewer experience. 


Step 2: Create Buy-in From Your Team

Your team should understand that video production is an investment of time and money and that the return on that investment is highly dependent upon their buy-in. Communicating the importance of video in achieving the business’ overall goals is one great way to ensure the whole team is on board. Your team’s energy surrounding the project will directly reflect in the video. 


Step 3: Brainstorm Ideas

This is a step that we help with a majority of the time, but no one knows your business, products, or story better than you! What features, standout employees, client successes, or points of differentiation would you like to highlight in your video? Are there any interesting ways you want this message to be conveyed? 

It is also important to consider the tone. What do you want the audience to feel? Educated, happy, serious, playful? This is an important distinction to make as it will inform many of the decisions we make during and post production. Once we have this general idea, we will get to work and make your vision come to life. 


Step 4: Write an outline

Now that we have the buy in and know what the video will be all about, it’s time for an outline. Whether the outline is simple or more complex, it will give us an opportunity to visualize the project beforehand and set up a shooting schedule that matches your needs. It also allows for maximum efficiency and limits any confusion regarding the goals for the shoot. 

The basic format for an outline is an audio/visual (AV) script. This two columned table will communicate what the audience will hear in one column and what the video will display in the other. 

This is an especially helpful format for an interview or voiceover type video. For videos that involve a speaker or personality, it’s best to find someone that is comfortable and confident on camera. However, with a little coaching, anyone can be a compelling subject in a video. 

We are always happy and able to assist with the outline process if you need some more direction.


Step 5: Solidify Schedule and Plan

Going along with securing buy-in for your video, you should ensure that everyone is in the loop far in advance so there are no surprises when the video team shows up. Remind all participants of their role in the video and when they should be available. We will help you allocate an appropriate amount of time for each video element. 

Be aware of potential limitations such as weather or unexpected scheduling conflicts, and have a backup plan. For example, if the plan was to shoot an interview in the courtyard, and some unexpected rainfall occurs, (not uncommon in the PNW) have the conference room reserved!


It’s Time for the Shoot!

Following these simple, yet crucial steps will provide the confidence you need to have an excellent shoot. When working with a videographer, you should always make sure that they have also done their preparation and that all of these elements are in place. 

After your shoot is over and we begin editing your project, here are a few things we need to complete the project. 

  • Company logo, color palette, and fonts
  • Any messaging you want in text on the video. This includes call to actions (CTAs), lower thirds, etc. 
  • Any other additional media (video/pictures) you would like us to include

If you don’t have a very specific vision for your project, we will walk with you step by step, ensuring that your video is a success. 

Thanks for reading!