Video isn’t just for TV and movies anymore. It’s become a key marketing strategy for corporate brands and advertising agencies who want to use the power of storytelling to compel and connect with their audiences.
Good video content requires careful planning and intention at every stage of the production process. There are simply too many moving parts to just wing it. One misstep along the way can quickly throw your budget and timeline off course. That’s why you should always start with a plan—no matter how big or small your video production may be.
Our free video production schedule template and video series planning template make it easy to build a timeline quickly and share it with anyone involved in the project. Clearly communicating your plan will inspire confidence in stakeholders and lead to a more engaged and productive crew.
Rather watch than read? Check out our video tutorial on how to plan a video production using our free templates.
A video production schedule is a high-level plan that shows how the entire production process tracks over time. This enables you to ensure cast, crew, props, and equipment are in the right place at the right time, major deadlines don’t get missed, and final creative meets stakeholder expectations.
While a video shooting schedule establishes a detailed timeline for filming scenes, a video production schedule focuses on the tasks and resources needed to produce the video at all stages of the process—from pre- to post-production. It can be used to manage any type of video project—from TV and film to corporate marketing and commercial advertising—and is a valuable tool for communicating with stakeholders.
A video series requires you to plan a little differently because you have multiple episodes to produce. You’ll also want to coordinate marketing efforts to ensure everyone’s on the same page about launch dates and promotion strategies. This free video series planning template can help you scope out a solid plan for video production without overlooking important details.
Want to see how Wistia plans video projects? Check out What’s the Plan? for a behind-the-scenes look at their hit video series Brandwagon.
The video production process consists of 3 key phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect at each stage so you have a starting point for scheduling your own video production tasks.
Pre-production is all about creative development and logistical planning. Think of the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into pre-production as the necessary ingredients for a successful video shoot and smooth stakeholder approval. Be sure to account for these pre-production steps in your schedule.
Any video you produce—whether it’s a video series, documentary, or another piece of content—should have a goal. So before you put pen to paper, think about what you want to accomplish. These questions are a great place to start:
With clear goals in mind, you can form a solid creative concept that’s centered around your audience and objectives. Work closely with stakeholders to get their input and buy-in early in the process to avoid costly surprises down the road.
A creative brief can be a helpful tool for documenting goals for your video project, as well as other key details, like scope, requirements, and tone.
Next, carve out time in your video project production schedule to move into script writing. Your script should be conversational, concise, and clearly formatted with characters, scenes, and stage actions noted. Practice reading your script out loud to be sure the dialogue flows naturally and fits within the video’s intended time frame.
Filming a documentary? Prepare for interviews by drafting a list of questions and sharing them with guests or featured experts ahead of time. This helps ensure conversations stay on track so you don’t miss important points of discussion.
You’ve got your concept and written your script. Now bring your creative vision to life by sketching out storyboards. This will help you identify all the different shots that go into each scene and ultimately weed out shots that won’t work. Once your storyboards are solid, outline a shot list with specific details on who and what each shot needs to capture.
Finally, get down to business and lock down all of the logistical details so things go smoothly the day of your video shoot. This is a great time to bring budget into the equation so you know how much money you can spend on talent, equipment, and locations.
Consider the following tasks as you plan and prepare for your video shoot:
Now that you’ve got a detailed roadmap for your video production, it’s go time!
The production phase is where “Lights, camera, action!” happens. It often includes studio or location setup, such as getting staging, lighting, and audio just right.
Once actors have been brought in, block scenes to determine the movement of the actors in relation to the camera. Then, rehearse with your actors, make any necessary adjustments, and roll the film.
Just because you call a wrap on filming doesn’t mean the hard work is done. This final phase of the process is where all your raw footage is edited into the final product.
Here are a few key steps that take place in post-production:
Be sure to get approval from your stakeholders before optimizing and exporting the final cut. Look for opportunities to streamline feedback in a centralized place so it’s easier to wade through edits and avoid getting stuck in an endless loop of revisions.
Once you get the green light to launch, you’re ready to post and promote your video across your digital marketing channels—but that’s a plan for another day. Our digital marketing campaign template can help you map out a promotional strategy for your awesome new video.
Ready to kick off your next video project? We created 2 free templates to help you plan, update, and communicate your production schedule quickly and easily—whether you’re shooting a single video or an episodic series. Use these templates to build a timeline for pre-production, filming, and editing so you can release videos on time every time.
This template is perfect for planning and producing one-off video projects, like documentaries, advertisements, corporate videos, and more.
Stay on top of all the details that go into a multi-episode video series with this template—from concept development and production to marketing and promotion.
Now that you understand the video production process, let’s look at a few examples of how you can build and use a video production schedule in TeamGantt.
A gantt chart is a useful way to view the full scope of your video production timeline. Not only does a gantt chart provide an overall view of how your project is progressing, it allows you to see how any changes to the plan affect the timeline and important delivery dates.
Tasks in each phase of video production typically have to be completed in a particular order. For instance, you most likely can’t develop an accurate shot list before you have a script to work with. Ensure work gets done in the right order with dependencies.
Call out key dates, deadlines, approvals, or deliverables in a project by using milestones. Hit your launch date, or hold that important approval meeting right on schedule!
Collaboration is essential to the momentum, and ultimate success, of your video project. Make sure there’s no confusion about who’s doing what by assigning people to tasks.
Keep everyone in the loop on the progress of the project by updating the percent complete as you work through tasks and milestones.
Use List view to review to-dos in each phase of your video project. Consider it a helpful guide for knocking out that post-production tasklist.
Use Calendar view to get a clearer picture of the timing of activities and see how tasks are stacking up.
Customizing the video production schedule or video series project plan templates is quick and easy, thanks to TeamGantt’s drag and drop simplicity. And since everything’s online, your whole team can collaborate on activities in real time.
Sign up for a free TeamGantt account today, and save time on project setup with this free video production schedule template!