If you have an idea for the next viral video, planning your shoot makes all the difference. Having a plan in place helps keep your team on the same page and ensures your vision comes to life exactly how you expected. Planning also keeps you within your budget and timeline. Without a plan, you may have to reshoot takes or, even worse, start the entire project over.
The best action plan for a video shoot is to start with the end in mind. Whether your video is for a personal or business vlog, having a clear vision helps set the tone. You’ll also need to gather the right equipment and take detailed notes throughout the shoot, which makes the editing process run smoothly. Finally, having a marketing plan in place helps you get your video in front of the right audience.
A video shoot plan has a lot of moving parts. Fortunately, we’ve captured all of the critical elements for you here. Keep reading to learn how to plan and execute a successful shoot for your vlog.
Before the Shoot
Every excellent video shoot starts with a plan. Before getting started:
- Get clear on your goals.
- Map out your vision on a storyboard.
- Gather all necessary equipment.
Define Your Goals
The first part of your video shoot planning process should be to determine the outcome. Come up with the actions you’d like your audience to take after watching your video and work backward. The purpose of your video should be top of mind as you go through the rest of the steps in the shoot.
Some common purposes of videos include:
- Motivating customers to buy your product or service
- Educating your audience through a demonstration
- Teasing an upcoming event or product launch
- Driving traffic to a website for lead generation
- Attracting potential business investors
Once you settle on a goal, make sure it’s clear, and everyone working on your shoot is aware of it.
Create a Storyboard
Storyboards help you visualize and think through your video from start to finish. Creating a solid storyboard doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. You can draft a cohesive storyboard with a simple whiteboard and a few markers. If you’re working with a script, you can use it as the foundation of your storyboard. Make sure your outline of the video is clear and follows a logical progression. Storyboards also help after the shoot throughout the editing process.
To help the rest of your team grasp your vision, consider gathering a few online videos similar to what you have in mind for your own. Take note of what you love most in each example video and how you’d like to incorporate various elements into the shoot.
Get the Right Equipment
Having the right equipment is a significant factor in a successful video shoot. In addition to cameras, microphones, and lighting, bring all accompanying gear, like power cords, batteries, and stands. It’s a good idea to gather all the necessary equipment a day or two before the shoot and test it to ensure it’s in working order.
If you’re sticking to an exact script, having teleprompters on set is a must. Make sure the teleprompter is in the proper position, so the actor looks as natural as possible. If your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of a standard teleprompter, consider using a free option like CuePrompter or ZaCue.
Consider making a checklist to ensure you have everything ready to go. Remember to include any backdrops, costumes, makeup, and props.
During the Shoot
Now that you have the perfect plan, the next step is to shoot your video.
Track Your Takes
Depending on the length and complexity of your video, you may have several takes. To keep things organized, make detailed notes to go with each take, even if it’s small or seems insignificant. The more notes you have to go with each take, the easier your video editor will be able to piece everything together into the finished product. You can also use your notes to determine whether you need to reshoot anything.
To track your takes, consider using a spreadsheet. You can set the spreadsheet up to include timestamps and other relevant details. Google Sheets is a great place to store your information and share it with the rest of your team.
Consistency is Key
Staying consistent is essential whether you’re shooting a series of short clips or long-form videos. Camera angles should remain in the same position throughout each segment. Actors should always stand in the same places, as well. Consider using tape to mark the ground where you’d like your actors to stand and use it to place cameras, microphones, and lighting.
If you’re shooting your video over multiple days, keep everything in the same place until the shoot is over. Maintaining strict consistency ensures your finished video looks cohesive and professional.
Now that all shooting is complete, it’s time to get all footage to your editor and share your video with your audience.
Edit Your Content
To set your editor up for success, ensure they have everything they need upfront. This includes your initial plan, storyboard, script, and notes from your takes. If you have to reshoot any content, make sure the editor has all of the final versions, and they’re clearly marked.
To cut down on back and forth throughout the editing process, consider having your editor show you a sample before they begin working on the entire project. Doing so streamlines the process and saves you from more extensive edits at the end. Once you confirm it’s in line with your overall vision, the editor can work on the rest of the video.
Share Your Video!
Once the editing process is complete, you’re ready to share the final video! Create a marketing plan to help focus your efforts and get your content in front of the right audience. Determine which social media platforms best suit your video and consider using hashtags to attract the right viewers.
In addition to sharing on social media, consider uploading your video on your personal or company website and include it in a blog post. You can also break your video into smaller parts and use them for targeted marketing strategies, like lead magnets and email challenges.