Step 1:  Planning Videos

Planning VideosWhen creating a video project, begin by planning:

  1. Think about your experience.  What can you achieve?
  2. Consider the gear you have to make your video.  What will you use?  What can you do with it?
  3. Given your experience and gear, how can you make your next video great?
  4. Decide what do you have to share.  What is your video's content.
  5. Organize everything about your video production before you pick up the camera!

Planning includes different skills, tools, and techniques:

  1. Mr. Breitsprecher's "Take 5" Research Process is a tool to gather information, check facts, and document sources.  For informational (nonfiction) videos, we need to begin by researching our topic.
  2. Writing Scripts
    1. Dialog is the speech in a video.  Sometimes, videos feature people talking to each other.  Other times, videos feature people talking to viewers.
    2. Scripts for Book Talks are great ways to learn how to organize and create videos.  These are short 1-minute presentations sharing books we've read and enjoyed.  Here's an example of the script format Mr. B's uses
    3. Scripts are written dialog.  It is also easy to say the wrong thing.  Scripts plan what people will say in a video.  Videos that are shared on the internet should have four parts:  (1). A hook (get attention), (2). Introduction (what video is about), (3) Information, and (4). Call to action (what people should do after watching).
    4. Scripts for movies, plays, and fiction are a little different.  They have 3 parts or a three-act structure (1). Setup, (2), Confrontation/conflict, and (3). Resolution.  This script format works for book trailers, short videos about your favorite books in the style of movie trailers.  Part 3, however, does not give away the ending of the book (the resolution).  Instead, close the video by featuring the book's cover, title, author, and where you can buy it (or invite people to see it at their local library).
    5. Scripts for documentaries and speeches have three parts (1). Introduction - state what you are going to say, (2). Information - what you have to say, (3) Summary - restate what you said. 
  3. Framing Video Scenes
    1. The Rule of Threes is a timeless method of creating designs of all types, including video frame composition.  There is something magical about the number three.  This slideshow will explain how to make visually appealing layouts for our video storyboards and productions.
    2. The Golden Ratio is another way to think of layouts.  It is related to the Rule of Threes.  Take a look at this slideshow.  It will show how to create great looking frames as you plan and shoot your video productions.
    3. Camera shots are part of the planning stage.  We want to plan what our video will look at before we start production.  We can always change our plan as we go, but we should always start with a clear idea of what each scene should look like.
    4. The basics of lighting and camera angles is important to understand.  Cameras is records lights. We will use natural or artificial lights.  We need to know how create the best lighting we can for our video plans that work.
  4. Storyboards help us visualize our video.  Written outlines and scripts are important planning tools.  We also want to imagine what our video scenes will look like.  Using drawings, we can plan each scene and how the camera should record them.
    1. How to Create a Storyboard for Your Video Shoot (Video)
    2. How to Make and Use Storyboards (Video)
    3. Storyboarding (Video)
    4. How to Make and Use Storyboards (Video)
  5. Choosing gear may be easy when getting started with videos.  We may not have more than a simple camera with built-in microphones.  We can learn to use it effectively.  When investing in video equipment, than it is important to carefully review the gear you have, how to best use it, and when different equipment is the best choice for your projects.  Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your gear, lets you select the tools and techniques that will work best.
  6. Audio and lighting techniques that work should be part of any video plan.  Don't start production until after you have a plan to capture audio and light each scene.
  7. Copyright Considerations are important.  Video planning means thinking about all the pictures, music, sounds, and video clips you will use with the video you produce.  Like it or not, the law demands video producers to follow copyright laws.  Planning videos means learning about copyrights and creating plans that will not create misunderstandings or problems.

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