In producing video for broadcast, the preproduction
planning can make or break you. It the critical first
step in a successful production.
Now that you have gone through your Media
Literacy workshop, here is a quick checklist of
procedures and terms to assist you in producing a
Use a concept. A plan helps you shoot less and
use your time and resources more efficiently. The more
time you spend developing your concept, the easier
your production will be.
Identify your audience, message and treatment.
Whom do you want to reach? What do you want to
say? How are you going to say it? And why.
Brainstorm. All ideas are equal no bad ideas.
Pick the best and evaluate. Go with the one that most
effectively and creatively meets your message, audience
and resource criteria (budget, time, experience, etc.)
Storyboards. The storyboard is the visual map of
the action you intend to shoot.
Script. The script is the written portion of your
production. It includes dialogue (what the actors say)
and narration (the voice-over of the narrator).
Determine resources needed to complete shoot:
Study and be aware of all features of the camera
you are using before you take it out on location.
Be especially familiar with these items: tripod,
auto-focus, record button, zoom, battery pack.
It is best to shoot with the light behind you. Put
your subject facing toward the light.
Always charge your battery pack overnight and
have an extra one for backup.
You can use the camera on a tripod, cradle the
camera for a low shot, or steady the camera on
your shoulder. The key is to always stabilize
Overshoot your scenes. Better to have too much
that not enough footage.
Using special effects is fine. They can add to
your production, but be careful not to overuse
them. They can be too gimmicky.
Use zooms with caution! The further you zoom
in, the shakier the shot gets. Take too long, not
Physically moving the camera like humans see
can be an interesting point-of-view shot.
- People (both on camera and behind camera)
- Locations (permissions, transport, light, noise,
Be interesting; shoot film style. Don't just let stuff
happen in front of the camera; use it to tell a story.
Think about editing as you shoot. Always be thinking,
don't go on autopilot.
Types of shots. There are three basic shots to use
in video production. The close-up (CU), the middle
shot (MS) and the long shot (LS).
Keep in mind that these shots can include one
person, two people or a whole group.
- Close-up Face only
- Middle Shot From the waist up
- Long shot The whole body
Variety of angles. A cover shot captures all the
action (safety net). Over the shoulder shots are good
for conversations. Cutaway shots show what's being
talked about. Don't be afraid to get in there.
Point of View. Can be first person (I/me), second
person (you), or third person (they).
Go where it's quiet. Try to have your mike as
close to the source as possible more signal less noise.
Have people speak louder and project their voices. If
you can't get close, you may have to dub in voice/sound
later (tricky to do convincingly).
Music. Sets the mood. Sets the pace. Sets the tone.
Sound Effects. Add impact. Add realism.
Edit video to your audio. Lay down voice-over
track first. Then sound bites. Then "fill holes" with
B-roll (extra footage that you have already shot).
The Six Commandments
- No video or images from copyrighted sources!
This includes just about anything you can think of!
- Get Release Forms From Everyone On Camera!
- You Have 60 Seconds. That's It!
- Follow your plan.
- Keep message simple and focused.
- Have Fun!
- It's just TV, not brain surgery!
- Learn. There's no right or wrong way to do
- Look at how others do it; learn from their work.
- Be creative! Ask, "How else could we do it?"