video production process

Filming in the emergency control room at West Midlands Ambulance Service

The video production process can be a bit daunting – especially if you haven’t been through it before.

Here are three articles on what to expect – and most importantly, how to play an informed part in your video production.

You’ll find my guide to planning and preparation (below). Follow the links for filming on location and the editing process.



Finding Contributors

If you already know who you want to appear in your video, do let your production company re-assure them about what the process will involve. It’s very much part of a director’s job to help contributors relax, enjoy the filming process and come across really well on screen.

If you don’t have contacts for the type of contributor you need – like an expert interviewee for example –  don’t worry. Production company researchers are very used to finding people to meet a brief. And be bold. For example… don’t think it’s impossible to persuade patients or senior clinicians to appear on screen. They will if they’re approached and handled in the right way.

Finding Locations

If you’re hoping to film at locations not controlled by your organisation, the video production company will need to secure proper permissions. This is usually very simple, but filming in some public places may need licenses and sometimes location fees. Your production company will know who to approach and how to nail it all down.

Shooting Script

Before filming, expect to receive a shooting script or a detailed running order form your producer. It’s a paper plan of your video showing its structure and outlining the content and visuals planned for each section. Ideally, it will also incorporate a very early draft of any voiceover script.

Make sure you read it, and make any changes or suggestions. Remember, it is only a plan – and will certainly change in the light of actual events during filming. But it’s always useful to have an agreed blueprint before the cameras roll.

Filming Schedule

You should also receive a detailed schedule for each day of location filming. At Mandrill, we’re utterly retentive about these and take the “under a bus” approach. Ie, if the entire production team went under a bus, someone could still pick up the schedule and carry out the entire day’s filming without a hitch. Well. Almost!

The schedule is a minute-by-minute breakdown of the day’s filming, including addresses, crew and contributor contact numbers, directions to locations, parking arrangements, equipment details and more often than not an outline of what content is to be covered in interviews. Don’t go filming without one.

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