has brought us another helpful video tutorial on film production prep. Failure to prepare adequately before you walk on set can lead to wasted hours, money, and professional relationships. These tips will ensure you get the most of your time when it really matters.


Step 1. Choose the Song First

5 Tips for Preparing Your Next Shoot — Music

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Before you begin shooting (or editing), it’s important to determine what type of video you’re trying to make. If you’re working on a commercial, corporate, or product video, you need to know what dialogue (if any) you’ll need to get and what type of energy and pacing the video needs. All this is to say that music plays a big (if not the most important) role in your video. A song can make or break your final product, and understanding the rhythm and style are crucial for the editing process. If you need music for your next project, check out our genre-spanning library here.

Step 2. Rehearse Everything

5 Tips for Preparing Your Next Shoot — Rehearse

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An obvious way to prepare for a shoot is to run your actors through their lines and block out their actions and staging. However, you should also rehearse camera movements, lighting setups, and even audio levels. If you know you’re going to have to get a complicated shot, it’s worth your time to try out the camera movement or shot prior to the day of shooting. In Jordy’s example, figuring out the lighting beforehand will save you hours of setup time.

Step 3. Plan your Shots

5 Tips for Preparing Your Next Shoot — Shot Planning

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This next tip mainly applies to content creators producing vlogs or tutorial-type videos. These videos mainly involve talking to the camera or giving instructions. This genre is specific in form and style, but it’s important to note that planning a scenario or outline before shooting (even if it’s a daily vlog) will help you in the long run. Any major shoot relies on a shooting schedule, storyboard, and outline. YouTube creators need structure, too, so preparing an outline will save hours of production time.

Step 4. Create an Equipment Checklist

5 Tips for Preparing Your Next Shoot — Equipment Checklist

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One production mistake I’ve been guilty of in the past is both over- and under-packing. Once you have a shot list and know exactly what you need to shoot, take that information over to your equipment closet/truck/room and only bring the essentials. You can waste so much time and energy looking through piles of equipment or sifting through heavy gear to find one little light. Bringing the bare minimum will speed up production and lighten the load for you and your crew.

Step 5. Take Note of New Tips

5 Tips for Preparing Your Next Shoot — New Tips

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Anytime you watch a YouTube tutorial, movie, or new on-set experience, take note. With so much content appearing on a daily basis, we’re always learning about new filmmaking hacks from the pros. However, when it actually comes time to shoot something, production has already sunk its claws into you, and you won’t have the foresight or time to work out these new techniques. Taking notes anytime you learn a new filmmaking tip will make it easier to try something new on set.

Cover image via Shutterstock.