Video is one of the most useful tools for an L&D organization when creating instructional content for asynchronous delivery. Video production can be complex and for all but the simplest of productions, video creation may require coordination of work by individuals who possess a variety of skill sets. Even a basic video production, involving only the instructional designer, will call for an appropriate workflow. Without a way to keep track of all the tasks, the video creation process is very likely to suffer from inefficiency and increased cost. Video production follows a specific process and it uses software that does as much of the heavy lifting as possible.
Video creation is one of the most detailed work flows that we deal with in instructional development, along with virtual reality (which itself may be a special case of video creation). Software selection for planning and execution is critical to successful video creation.
In this article, the focus is the pre-production phase of video creation. In video creation, the pre-production activity is the most critical step: If pre-production not done carefully and appropriately, the project is likely to fail. Think of pre-production as the "needs assessment" phase of the video creation. You would not expect successful results if you made a training program without the needs assessment.
In selecting the software for video creation, planning mainly happens in the pre-production phase, and execution is mainly done in the editing and post-production phases; post-production could involve a mixture of software types.
All of these selection activities can be facilitated by thoughtful use of online software reviews. Let’s begin with planning in this article. Production will be the subject of a different article.
Selection of software for video pre-production planning
Pre-production activity includes tasks around scriptwriting, scheduling, logistics, casting, obtaining props and software, and administrative details including getting permission as needed for shooting on location, releases from the on-camera cast, forming the team, and budgeting. Without a way to keep track of all the tasks, the video creation process is very likely to suffer from inefficiency and increased cost.
The three essential planning activities that need to happen in video preproduction are, in order:
- Development of a creative brief: audience, objective(s), and outcomes
- Writing the first script and storyboard
- Planning and scheduling the production
The creative brief
This document sets the direction of the production and ensures that the sponsors, clients, and the creative team are all on the same page. As mentioned above, in classic instructional development this would be definition of the needs assessment and the scope of work. The key parties involved in the project must agree on the details of the brief in order to budget and to perform other details.
Write the first script and storyboard
The script and storyboard are needed in order to identify essential elements of casting, locations, shot lists and B roll, and the essential props, costumes, etc.
Plan and schedule the production
These details provide what all departments or groups included in the development plan require in order to execute and coordinate the production.
Workflow and tools
Even a basic video production involving only the instructional designer will call for an appropriate workflow. Without a way to keep track of all the tasks, the video creation process is very likely to suffer from inefficiency and increased cost.
Video pre-production software can provide tools and collaborative capabilities that are better matched to the workflow. More recently, some “all in one” and specialist apps have appeared that cost less and may be more suited to less complex projects and smaller teams. Some may have the flexibility to address other types of collaborative work.
Searching for video planning software
As with many complex tasks, using online review search sites can present problems due to overly broad search terms. Using Capterra, G2, Software Advice and other sites, your efforts may be more productive if you use these search terms (and it will still take effort and patience).
- Creative operations and creative management platforms (there will be relatively few "hits" in the results, but read the platform descriptions carefully)
- Scripting templates
- Storyboard templates