Planning your video project


Pre-production is the first stage of making a film or animation. Planning and preparation is very important in video and animation production because it helps you avoid making mistakes during your film shoot and wasting time and money.

Pre-production involves:

  • working out what your video is going to be about
  • how you are going to tell the story
  • the types of shots your will use, and
  • how the shots will fit together.

Once you know what your story is about, the next stage in pre-production is to make a storyboard and a shot list. This is when you plan how you will tell the story.


There are many different ways to shoot a scene in a video.

The choices you make depend on:

  • the things you include in the shot (framing)
  • the distance the camera is from the action (shot size)
  • the angle you use (camera angle)
  • the way you move the camera during the shot (camera movement)

 All these choices will affect the way the audience will feel when they watch a film.

More details about framing shots, shot sizes, camera angles, and camera movements will follow in the next section Recording Video.


A storyboard is a series of drawings that show the basic actions that will take place in each shot of the film. Storyboarding is an essential part of planning.

It helps you to be clear about:

  • how each shot in your film will fit together to make a logical story.
  • the size of each shot (for example mid-shot, close-up etc).
  • the framing of each shot (for example high angle, low angle etc).
  • it helps you communicate your ideas to the cameraperson and other people who are crewing on your film shoot.
storyboard example
Preparation documents

There are many things, equipment and people, to organise before going on a film shoot.

It is a very good idea to make a shot list using the shots in your storyboard.

It is also a good idea to write up a shooting schedule. This tells you the order that you will film each of the shots. You don’t need to shoot your storyboard in order. You will save time if you film all the shots that are in the same location and same camera position together.

If there are several people involved in your production you will need to make a call sheet that tells everyone where they have to be and what is required for each day of shooting..