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Our team loves a good video project. Once a thoughtful, live action concept has been approved, our production wheels are revving to go go go.

While we’re used to moving fast when we must, we welcome the chance to cruise at a not-breakneck speed to make sure we have ample time for pre-production planning.

Because solid pre-pro = one smooth shoot, which ultimately saves time, money, and that all-important yet hard-to-come-by Brain Fuel (patent pending).

Seriously: we’re passionate about mapping out a road to success. But if we had to narrow down our tips for becoming a pre-pro pro, we’d tell you this:

Make that checklist.

From finalizing the budget, to hiring crew, and most crucially, deciding which bagel shop you’ll get catering from, there’s a lot to remember. Be sure to make a list (or perhaps MANY lists) so you don’t forget a thing.

Remember your concept and audience.

While scouting locations, casting talent, and selecting props, keep in mind the overall tone of the video so it all makes sense together. Of course you want to incorporate that wacky shower curtain printed with Danny DeVito’s face—but does it add anything to this commercial for eczema ointment?

Let unnecessary items take a back seat…and then drive them straight to my house.

Rehearse.

Review your storyboards and discuss each frame’s camera movement and execution ahead of time so you can be decisive on set. But also:

Be flexible.

Despite your best efforts, surprises happen. You may need to consider weather, light conditions, and difficult talent, too. So be ready to tweak your shot list, schedule, or who-knows-what, on the fly.

For the rest of our top speed production tips, just ask us a question the next time you see us, and we’ll be happy to go on about it much longer than anyone else would ever want. Or reach out to plan a shoot, and you can see it all happen firsthand.

Have a revved-up weekend, everybody!

—Your ideal-road-trip-companion friends at Brokaw

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