"How do I prepare for production?"
We often work with clients who have not commissioned a professional video production before, and we often wind up telling them some of the following:
KNOW YOUR MESSAGE.
A good video has a strong central idea, with clear arguments, vivid examples, and creative visual treatment. Aristotle's definition of Rhetoric applies: "find all the best means of persuasion."
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Talk to some of the people you are aiming your program at. Find out what they know and don't know, what they think and feel about the subject. Which approach will work best?
AVOID CANNED LECTURES, OBVIOUS PROPAGANDA, AND WALL-TO-WALL NARRATION.
You are making television, not delivering a speech or writing a scholarly article. Think in terms of creating something that you would enjoy watching.
HAVE YOUR GROUP VIEW SOME TAPES LIKE THE ONE YOU WANT.
It will help refine your idea of the kind of tape you want, and what you want it to accomplish.
LEARN ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS.
Developing ideas and a script, shooting and gathering graphic elements, music, and talent, and editing it all together is more complex than you might think. Ease and clarity come hard. A moving and well-produced program gracefully hides the long hours which go into every screen minute.
A GOOD PROGRAM TAKES TIME.
By the time everyone in an organization agrees on the need for a video, it is often late in the game and everyone is in a big hurry. But good research and idea development, solid planning, careful shooting, creative yet appropriate music, graphics, and editing -- these all take time and patience.