The Art of The Production Schedule

Creating a production schedule is the foremost step in the video-making process. A well thought-out and detailed production schedule will ensure that your video stays on-budget and meets your deadline. But creating a timeline of events and deliverables can be tricky. There are several variables to consider when making a production schedule that will guarantee a smooth process and avoid costly mistakes.

Before working on your production schedule, consider some factors that can have the greatest impact on your timeline:

  • How many stakeholders should be a part of the decision-making process?
  • Is there a hard deadline?

It’s important to establish early on who will need to review each milestone of your video. There are several steps within each phase of production, so try to avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many people involved in the internal review of each step can delay the project from moving forward. If your video is needed for a specific event, such as an annual meeting, product launch party, etc., then sticking to a regimented review schedule is particularly important.

We have outlined each phase of the production process and important questions to consider when making a video production schedule.

The 3 Phases In The Production Schedule

  1. Pre-Production: The Planning Phase
  2. Production: Lights, Camera, Action
  3. Post-Production: Putting It All Together

We have outlined each phase of the production process, listed the expected timeframe for each phase, and provided a list of important questions to consider in each phase when making a video production schedule.

Pre-Production: The Planning Phase

Expected Time: 2 to 4 weeks

Questions To Consider:

  • What do I want my video to look like? What is my inspiration?
  • In what way do I want to convey my message? Will this be live action, animation, or mixed media? 
  • What type of video does my budget allow for?
  • What is the length of my video?

As the first phase of the video production process, this is when you should establish the goals, vision and purpose of your video. During the pre-production phase, decisions will be made on the creative approach and technical needs. Answering these questions will help determine the scope and style of your video. An agency like LAI Video can help guide you through concept development.

Scripting, storyboards, mood boards, and style frames are all elements in pre-production that will help decide the overall tone, look, and feel of your video. Your video may not require all of these elements, but you will need at least one, if not more.

Working through these elements can take some time. Answering them may not be achieved in one brainstorming session. It might require several meetings to help flesh out all of the details before moving on to production. Be sure to carve out time in your schedule to allow for several rounds of input and review before deciding upon a final video concept.

After working through the scope, other more logistical elements must be planned for.

  • Location scout and securing
  • Identifying characters for onscreen talent: casting or interview subjects
  • Securing props and set dressing
  • Identifying crew and equipment
  • Preparing interview questions/shot list

Gathering all of the elements require some additional thoughts and planning that should be accounted for in the schedule.

Production: Lights, Camera, You know the rest

Expected Time: Varies, depending on the specific project’s requirements

Questions To Consider:

  • How long will it take to film needed elements? What do I want/need to capture for b-roll?
  • What is the availability of interview subjects?
  • Is my shoot local, or will it require travel?

Depending on the scripting and the complexity of the shoot, production can be done in a half-day (four hours or less) or over the course of several full-days (eight hours). Working through these questions before arriving to your shoot location will help to avoid any confusion that could result in the need to reshoot.

Post-Production: Putting It All Together

Expected Time: 2 to 6 weeks

Questions To Consider:

  • How many edit days are needed to create the first draft?
  • How many rounds of revisions and feedback are needed before the final video is completed?
  • What other elements need to be added to filming? – voiceover, music, animation
  • What is the format of the final video?

Post-production can be one of the most labor-intensive and lengthy phases of the video timeline. During this phase, the editor and producer will comb through the captured footage and string together those moments that produce a cohesive and powerful story. Ingesting the footage into an edit system and assembling the best shots takes some time. There isn’t a precise ratio for determining how long the editing process will take, but at least 70%-80% of your budgeted edit days should go toward creating a first draft.

It’s also important to add a day or two in your schedule for color correcting, sound mixing, and adding any animation, all of which can be tweaked and tuned to support your message.

A well-planned production schedule will help avoid stress, keep your team informed at every stage, and ensure the overall success of your video. 

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