How do I plan a video production

Plan video work

Depending on how complex a video project or a teaching unit with video support is to be, you have to plan the process differently. As a rule, the more careful the planning, the better the result and the less time-consuming shooting and post-production will be.

Of course it would be a shame if the teacher plans everything so precisely that there is hardly any room left for the creativity of the learners. Therefore, in the area of ​​teaching materials, you will primarily find materials that convey background knowledge on the various areas of film production.

Please note: if you later show a video project publicly, submit it to a competition, post it on the Internet or distribute it to the students on data carriers, you should first of all obtain the copyright and data protection consent of the students and, if applicable, their parents. Read more about this under Publishing.

Not all of the work steps described below are necessary for every film project. For example, it would be an exaggeration to write a script for a three-hour video unit unless a student writes the script as a GFS (equivalent assessment of student performance) in German, for example. For the sake of completeness, the “classic” steps in film production are explained here.

Notes for beginners

You have never shot a video with students and you can't imagine anything concrete about it?

Then take a look under the heading "Miniature Exercises", there you will find instructions for smaller film exercises for lessons. Or take a look at the descriptions of video projects that have already been carried out successfully. There you will also find descriptions of the general conditions, progress plans for each project and information on the distribution of tasks among the students.

Despite all the joy of experimentation, it has often been shown that it is advisable to start with small film exercises and then venture step by step into larger projects. Because if you are already a little familiar with the devices and processes, you can better assess the time and organization required and do not run the risk of having to abort a project due to time constraints and perhaps never try again. So here's a tip: do it like you would on TV. There is a binding broadcasting or editing day by which a contribution must be ready. It doesn't matter whether you could have done something differently or better.

Overview: stations in film production1

At the beginning of a film production there is written preparation, in the form of an exposé and a treatment, from which the script is then developed. The storyboard and the shooting schedule help structure and plan the shooting.

After selecting the locations, obtaining the filming permits, casting and hiring the actors, obtaining the necessary technical equipment and props and finding a production team, filming can begin. The filmed material is then viewed, an editing plan is created, and the film is cut, edited and set to music.

All of these steps, albeit in abbreviated form, are also necessary for making a short film or video clip in school. Professional, extensive film productions are based on a division of labor: the director, the screenwriter, the graphic designer for the storyboard - each of them contributes to the creation of the film and has to be able to rely on his colleagues. Since not everyone involved is working on the production at all times, the areas of responsibility for the film must be well organized and divided.

1. The conception

Especially when it comes to video production in the classroom, you should think carefully beforehand which planning steps are worthwhile for the existing time frame. Some of the preparations can also be done as homework by students, such as drawing storyboards or writing scripts. Here is a little glossary:

  • Expose: Rough draft that describes the plot and the content of the film in a few words. The target group (ie the audience whom the film should “reach”) is determined. The locations of the film should already be described here.
  • Treatment: More precise execution of the synopsis, which contains the exact location information for the locations, the time, short descriptions of scenes and the structure of the film.
  • Script: The script contains detailed information about the direction, the composition, the sequence of images, the montage of the images, the duration of the shots, the locations of the camera and the people, the lighting, the gestures and facial expressions of the actors, the background and the plot , the sound, the music, the technical camera image guidance, weather conditions for the recordings and so on in chronological order for each individual setting.
  • Storyboard: Graphic version of the script. It shows scenes divided into images that show the course of the film in the correct order. The essentials of the picture content are outlined. This also includes movements of the camera, which are indicated by arrows. The actors' directions of movement are also marked. Around these “picture stories” space can be left for comments on the dialogue, the sound, the music, the props and further information.

Conceptual step 1: brainstorming and clustering about the following elements:

  • Content of the story / plot / sequence of images
  • target group
  • Design (dark / happy / mysterious ...)
  • places
  • people
  • Procedure (note down in scenes with shorthand procedures!)

Conception step 2: Note down scenes with the following information:

  • General mood, intentions of the scene
  • People - who can be seen? Special features, clothing, props, how is the facial expression / gesture / voice ...
  • Location - background, scene, weather / lighting / time of day, peculiarities ...
  • Dialogue and intonation - who speaks how and with which words?

Conceptual step 3: Draw a storyboard (2)

You now have to subdivide the synopsis with the collection of scenes into settings. Each figure on the storyboard represents one setting.

  • Details / close-up or many people clearly visible? (see sheet “Setting sizes”) What is in the picture?
  • Movements are represented by arrows, as are pans, tracking shots or cross-fades. The individual sketches should be carried out quickly and roughly.

Make sure that the message of the picture follows the purpose.

Sketch: V. Morbe 08 [C] via Isabelle Evers

Example: If the actress is supposed to be frightened in the take, you can either let her make a sentence back in the “half-close” take or you can film her “big” to show her frightened facial expression.

Further information on the conception process can be found on the media manual

2. The shooting schedule

The shooting schedule defines the sequence of the shooting and gives the planning for a film shoot the necessary structure to work as time and cost-efficiently as possible.

Before the shooting of a film begins, it is determined how many days will be available. Cost reasons and organizational factors are weighed up here. The film production management, in cooperation with the first film production manager, director and assistant director, determines which image will be shot on which day. For this, it must be taken into account when which motif is available and whether the respective actors have time on these days.2

3. The twist

Compare shooting and directing.

4. The cut

As with all steps in movie creation, you can save time here by splitting the tasks:

  • Coordination of post-production (post-processing)
  • Title design
  • cut
  • Dubbing (noises)
  • music
  • Off-text / commentary / narrator's voice

For more information on editing, see Post Processing, Comment and the Editing area.

5. The presentation

The chapter Publishing deals with the topic of performing or publishing the results.

1 See, Schroeder2008, Kamp / Rüsel 1998
2 from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,