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Pre-production is where you create the concept of the video; where you and the client determine what the end goal of the video is, think about ways to present the information that may determine the type of video, i.e. graphic, live action, scripted, unscripted, etc… Research is part of pre-production, as is creating the budget for the video.

Every video starts with an idea.

What is the purpose of the video?

Video does somethings very well – better than any other medium, but it cannot do all things equally as well, so what is the purpose?


  1. To inform

  2. To entertain

  3. To sell a product

  4. To stroke the president

  5. How the product works

  6. What the product does

  7. Convince the viewer to take action

  8. To touch their heart

  9. To warn

  10. To scare

  11. To celebrate

  12. To raise money


Obviously, many videos can be more than one thing, but the goal should really be centered on the main idea. It can be entertaining, and also move a viewer to action.

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What Does A Video Cost? PRE PRODUCTION

What Does A Video Cost? PRE PRODUCTION

What Does A Video Cost? PRE PRODUCTION
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How Much does a video cost  Intro 2020

How Much does a video cost Intro 2020

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WDAVC Pre Production Intro

WDAVC Pre Production Intro

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WDAVC pre production Scope & Subject

WDAVC pre production Scope & Subject

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The additional videos cover the various points contained in this pre-production worksheet.
Click the button to load sheet and you can print or download the form.

Reel Life Experience

I was approached by a Hospice company that wanted to do a “Disney” quality video piece about their business. In my first meeting I asked them if they knew what a 3 or 5 minute video at that quality would cost Disney. They had no idea. $250k to a million. The videos they had described as the model where all shot on a set created to look like a home. There are issues in shooting on location in the fact that you can’t raise a ceiling height. You might notice that many commercials in “homes” you don’t actually see the ceiling… because it is just a set with walls… the lighting is in the ceiling. They also wanted actors for the patients and the aides. Well, they needed about 5 different people and in my area actors hired through an agency that didn’t speak… [speakers cost more] where $750 a day. They didn’t want a script… they were just going to use a brochure they had created as a “guide”. At the end of the meeting, they said they would spend up to $10,000. I happened – at that particular time – to have access to a vacant house and even some hospice beds and supplies. All in, it was going to be extremely tight to hit $10,000. Plus they wanted tracking shots of their ambulances down the freeway and one or two other locations. It was clear that something had to give. I created a script outline from the brochure, and met with them again to tell them $10,000 was going to be very tight, but I might be able to do it by saving money with my vacant home and some other tricks.

They put in a DVD they had received a day or two earlier from a company that offered pre-made videos about Hospice care. They wanted $500 to put their logo on it. It was done using a preset in iPhoto I think… that was what it looked like. It wasn’t Disney, and it wasn’t even video… it was a sequence of still images and a sweet female voice over elevator music.

I said, “Well that isn’t Disney, and it isn’t customized for your company other than your logo… customers could get this video from any other Hospice company.” They agreed, but it was only $500.00. That was our last meeting.

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