Filmmaking Blog Posts by Indie Film Factory

Mastering Production Planning: A Guide for Video and Film Projects

production planning

Introduction of Production Planning:

Embarking on a video or film project requires meticulous production planning to ensure the experience doesn’t blow up in your face! Okay, I am being a bit dramatic, but good planning is the key to every project, guiding ideas to what we see on screen. In this blog, we’ll cover a handful of important aspects of production planning, empowering filmmakers and videographers to effectively navigate the complexities of their projects.

Understanding Your Goals:

Before jumping into the stoic topic of production planning, it’s important to clearly understand your goals. Define the purpose of your video or film project – whether it’s to entertain, educate, inspire, or promote a product or idea. Understanding your objectives will shape every aspect of your production plan, from concept development to post-production.

Pinpointing Your Audience:

Identifying your target audience is fundamental for creating content that resonates. Conduct thorough research to understand your audience’s demographics, preferences, and interests. You can use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to see the audience base most relevant to your topic, theme, or genre. Tailor your production plan to cater to their needs, ensuring your message is effectively communicated to the right people. The big thing is to know your audience before you start filming!

Preproduction Planning the heck out of your Production:

In my humble opinion, preproduction is where the magic of the production is born. Preproduction sets the stage for a successful production. This phase involves detailed planning, including scriptwriting, storyboarding, location scouting, casting, and scheduling. Create a comprehensive preproduction checklist to cover all tasks and ensure nothing is overlooked. A well-executed preproduction plan lays a solid foundation for a smooth production process.

Picking the Right Team for the Project:

The success of any video or film project relies heavily on the expertise and dedication of the team involved. Choose individuals who possess the necessary skills and experience and share your vision and passion for the project. Most importantly, pick people with good energy. Sometimes, the most skillful artists are not the right ones for your project. Look at the temperament and energy of people when building your roster. Whether it’s directors, cinematographers, editors, or production assistants, assemble a team that complements each other’s strengths and works cohesively towards a common goal.

Having Backups and Contingencies:

No matter how much you plan, unexpected issues will arise during production. Be sure to have backups and contingencies to mitigate risks and ensure continuity. This includes having backup equipment (and batteries for things), alternative shooting locations, contingency plans for crumby weather conditions, and backup personnel in emergencies. Anticipating potential disasters and having contingency measures ready will help keep your production on track even in challenging circumstances.

Allowing for Change and Being Flexible:

In filmmaking and video production, change is the only certainty. Flexibility is key in not making yourself crazy. Despite your careful planning, situations that necessitate adjustments to the original plan will arise. Embrace change as serendipity and lean into it. Be open to improvisation when needed. Maintain open communication channels with your team and clients to adapt quickly to shenanigans. Remember that flexibility doesn’t mean compromising on quality; instead, it allows for creative solutions to emerge organically, enhancing the overall outcome of your project.

Conclusion on Production Planning:

The big takeaway from this post is to be as prepared as you can. Trust me when I say things will breakdown and go wrong sometimes in production. However, if you take time to plan regardless, it will minimize the pain point you feel when things don’t go exactly according to plan. I hope this is useful. Enjoy your week, and peace out!


Need help with your production planning? Contact Indie Film Factory, and let’s see how we can help!

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