Video Production Guiding Questions

Look through the following questions to get a better idea of the process of video production. From Scripting to your Final Cut, these questions will help you formulate a successful product.

Video Pre-Production

Scripting

Context & Structure

  1. What is the context of this work?
  2. What is the historical, cultural, political, and / or conceptual framework?
  3. Does it follow a 3 - act scheme (Set up, Confrontation, Resolution)

Characters & Casting

  1. Who are the main characters (protagonist / antagonist)?
  2. What is each person’s motivation? What does each character want?

Setting

  1. Where is your scene set?
  2. Why and how is this setting significant?
  3. What stands out about the setting?

Storyboarding

Sketching & Detail

  1. Does the storyboard include the following?
  1. Sequence & Duration (i.e. Scene 1, Action 1, MM:SS)
  2. Dialogue (from your script)
  3. Camera Work (Camera Angles, Shot Types & Mounting)
  1. Angle: High angle, Low angle, Eye level, Over the Shoulder
  2. Shot Types: ECU (Extreme Close-Up), CU (Close-Up), MS (Medium Shot), LS (Long Shot), ELS (Extreme Long Shot)
  3. Mounting: Hand-held, Tripod, Dollying, Trucking, Crane, Drone, etc
  1. Production Design Details (Colors, Furniture, Costumes, Blocking / Direction of Movement)
  2. Music / Sound (REMEMBER: credit your songs)
  1. Ambient Sound
  2. Music
  3. Voice-over

Shot List

Who, What, Where, When

  1. Does the shot list include the following?
  1. Shot Order and Location
  2. Duration (how long)
  3. Props required
  4. Actors required
  5. Notes

Video Production

Framing (mise en scène)

  1. What’s in the Shot?
  2. What is centered (Rule of Thirds, headroom, symmetry)?
  3. What is excluded?
  4. How do figures move within the frame?
  5. Is the shot wide, long, or is it a close up?
  6. What’s in focus? Is anything blurred? Is there clear figure-ground contrast?
  7. How is the lighting?
  8. What other details, such as props are important in the film?

Camera work

  1. What camera angles are you using?
  2. What point of view do the camera angles suggest?
  3. Is the camera acting as the eyes of a character, or the audience? (POV)
  4. How does the camera move?
  5. What effect does camera movement have on viewers?
  6. Does the film use slow motion?

Mood & Sound

  1. Is there music?
  2. How and when is it used?
  3. What is this effect?
  4. What mood does it create?
  5. Are there other sound effects?
  6. Does the film make use of voice overs? When? What is their effect?
  7. How is ambient sound used?
  8. How else, besides music, is the mood created?

Video Post-Production

Editing

How is the film edited?

  1. Is the rhythm long, short or clipped?

Effects

  1. How are the transitions between shots? (Cross-dissolve, Fade to Black / white, screen wipe L / R, cut, etc.)
  2. Is there any written text?
  1. Titles?
  2. Subtitles?

3. Are there any Visual Effects?

4. Credits?

  1. Visual FX: Ken Burns, Green Screen, Picture in Picture, etc.
  2. Audio FX: Garage band sound effects