Pre-Production

Behind the Scenes – Studio Video

Pre-production is essential for an effective video production. Think of it as the when, where, what, why and how of creating a video. While clients are always welcome to provide the pre-production, DTX Media offers a wide range of services to help our clients create the best video possible. We can write the script, create a shot list or story board, cast talent, location scout and more. DTX Media can also provide other video production related services such as the models and actors, a makeup artist, props, and a studio (shown in the behind-the-scenes video above). Scroll down to see the process we follow when creating a video.

Pre-Production Pricing

Pre-Production Services
$700 – Script Writing (1-3 minute video)
$700 – Story Boarding / Shot List (1-3 minute video)
$700 – Location Scouting (1-3 minute video)

Pre-Production Add-On
$500 – Models / Actors Day Rate
$500 – Makeup Artist Day Rate
$500 – Studio or Location Fees (if needed)

*We recommend our pre-production crew be on site to direct or assistant direct. This requires a crew day or half-day rate.

The Video Production Process

Often clients want a video but get stuck when it comes to describing what they want to us. While all videos are unique in their own way, here’s a short, generic guide to help move along the pre-production process.

Target Audience

Who will be watching your video?  This is the most important step of the whole video production process. You must know who will watch the video and why you want them to watch it.  You can imagine how the style of a video would be different when targeting employees versus clients or clients versus investors.   Age, gender, and other demographics can also play into what type of video you create.  A video that appeals to middle-aged mothers will differ from a video aimed at teenage boys.  Understanding your audience will help you create a message that relates and appeals to them and grabs their attention from start to finish.

Purpose

What is the purpose of the video, and what message do you want to communicate?  Identify why you want your audience to watch this video and what is the main take-away.  Then list out the key points you want to communicate.  Having a clear and concise message is important for a video to serve its purpose.   In this day in age, attention spans are short.  Having a clear and concise message is important for a video to serve its purpose but also to engage the person watching it.

Script Writing

What do you want said in your video?  This step may seem daunting, but this doesn’t need to be fancy or Pulitzer Prize-worthy. Just write what you want the interviewee or narrator to say. We’ve found that a scripted interview makes for a substantially better video. Interviewees are less nervous when they don’t feel like they need to come up with their own answers on the spot.  A prepared script lessens the amount of ‘ums’ or stutters and other imperfections that come with speaking off the cuff. The subject can read a prompter off-screen to look much more like they are sitting with a real interviewer.  With client testimonials, we’ll have the client approve the script first, but it’s always best to have them say exactly what you want!

It is best to keep most videos under 2.5 minutes.  Typically anything longer than that will lose the viewer’s attention. Once your script is written, time yourself reading through it.  Simplify and cut out anything that is not necessary. Still feeling like it isn’t good enough?  Send it to us, and we will read through and provide feedback.

Shot List / Story Board

What do we need to capture?  It is helpful to write a brief layout of how you would like the video to play out.  Sometimes messages can be communicated in video with a simple shot.  Sometimes it needs to be explained with words.  Often times it is a mixture of both.  Writing out a shot list ensures that we capture everything during the shoot for us to visually portray your message.  Our crew can and will take creative freedoms during the shoot to capture additional footage that they feel is relevant or beneficial to the story, but you know your message better than we do.   Again, nothing needs to be fancy, and we can provide our feedback on what you put together.

A story board is sometimes optional for the preproduction process, but is an effective way for creative directors to verbally and / or visually portray their vision for the final video.  It is helpful with any video with a detailed process or specific visual requests or requirements. Here’s an example of a story board for a company profile video. Here’s an example of a story board for a training video.

Casting

Who will be in your video?  This could be anyone from a sales person, to a designer, the CEO, or a customer. This may be an actor. This may also be a narrator / voice over that will not be on camera. Sometimes we need extras.. people who will not be speaking at all, but just having a fake phone conversation or driving a fork lift.  It’s always good to let people know in advance that they will be filmed in case they want to look their best on camera.

Location Management

Where do you want to shoot? Always aim for a location that’s visually appealing. It is important to ensure that the location has adequate space for our equipment.  Many times b-roll is necessary in restricted or secure locations, so advanced planning and clearance is required. If there are any safety protocols like steel toe boots, hard hards, goggles, etc., please let us know.  If you do not have a location to shoot, we work with a variety of studios throughout the DFW area that are available for rent depending on your video’s specific needs.

Props and Set Design.

What will be in your video? Props can be anything from a product you are trying to sell to furniture that you are sitting on to details to help make your actor seem more authentic to a solid color background. It is important to make note and plan out any items that you will need at the shoot, big or small, to help share the message of your video.

Even if you aren’t shooting on a “set,” making sure that the location that we are shooting is visually appealing is important. You don’t have to be a set designer or interior decorator for this. Simple things like straightening and organizing the office of a CEO when he’s giving an address or cleaning up soda cans and trash around your facility when we are capturing b-roll can make a huge difference in the appearance of your company as well as the quality of the video.

Equipment

Some clients know exactly what they want to use. Some don’t. We can accommodate requests for a RED, ARRI or FS7, or for no-charge we can shoot with in-house gear of full-frame and super 35 mirrorless SLRs. We offer basic and advanced audio and lighting. Depending on the assignment, clients may need add-ons such as a teleprompter, a drone or live steaming equipment.

Scheduling

Once we know what, who, and where we are shooting, the final question to answer is when. Usually, the hardest part is getting everyone in the same place at the same time. Exterior shoots usually revolve around the sun. The “golden hour” is about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, for aerials add an extra hour or two. With exterior shoots, always have a contingency plan for inclimate weather. We recommend never filming on a Monday as too many things can change over the weekend when it is harder to get ahold of people.

Crew

Providing crew is primarily our job to recommend and schedule the necessary crew members to turn your vision and ideas into a captivating and engaging video.  Along with our videographers and production assistants, this can include DP, director, makeup artists, food designers, drone pilots, visual observers, gaffers, interviewers, or any other crew member specific to your project.

Filming

The pre-production is over!  This is where we come in and expertly capture your vision while adding our own creative touch, cinematic effects and visual expertise to capture the best video possible for you within your budget.

Post Production

This is where our editors take the raw footage that we captured at the shoot and turn it into a captivating and engaging video.  Whether it be adding music, text, effects, or animation, our talented post-production team uses your guidance and vision along with their creativity to put together a high-quality, professional video.

Video Samples with Pre-Production by DTX Media

Sample 1 | Blackhawk Explainer Animation “Numbers”

Blackhawk

We created a 2D text animation video for blackhawk network. The design was created on a storyboard, which we animated the graphics from. The video is a combination of stock content and originally captured video at a flagship grocery locations. DTX Media casted and supplied the actors/ talents used in the original content. DTX Media also hired a voiceover artist to read the script.

Story Board

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Script Writing

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Casting

credit card blackhawk

hand model

Sample 2 | BeFlex Abs Product Video

DTX Media, Designed this video from top to bottom on a very tight budget. Our services included Script Writing, Story Boarding
Location Scouting (office building, parking lot, school) and Prop Scouting (cars), Casting / Models, Shooting Original Content, sourcing and integrating stock footage sourcing, Video Editing, Licensed Music Tracks and an in-house Voiceover.

DTX Media provide a two-man crew, and shot for a full day capturing both photography and videography. Deliverables included edited product photos for the client’s website and Amazon, this sample video as well as several short social media clips and testimonials. Turnaround time for edited videos was approximately 2 weeks.

Script & Story Board

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DTX Media wrote the script from scratch and created the story board for the main video. We also wrote customer mini-testimonies for the models to recite for a separate video.

Model Casting

model casting

The Beflex Abs video and photo shoot required specifically fitness / bodybuilding models males with six-packs and a female with a flat toned stomach. DTX Media supplied three non-union models / actors for the shoot, as well as two children.

Supplying Props

beflex props

DTX Media both scouted and reserved locations for the shoot, and we also supplied the props. In this video, the biggest props were the vehicles. We secured two SUVs, one with a light interior and one with a dark interior.

Sample 3 | Flip Phone Squad – Rap Music Video Parody

Flip Phone – Music Video Parody

Flip Phone “Making Of” – Behind the Scenes

Above is a flip phone parody video that DTX Media created for comedian Donnie Stoupa with a cameo by Michael Jr in 2014. This is another example of a video we created from the ground up, and created a BTS video of some of the process. The video features talent from a stunt double to a grandma, and props from baseball gloves to scuba gear props.