Hurry, grab the camera! I have something I want to film! It is going to be GREAT on YouTube! I hear this often, but the results are somewhat disappointing. There is something to say about candid shooting, but that requires always being ready. Desiring to do a video project requires more than just picking up a camera, shooting, and then uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo.
In the production process for filming there are three stages. Planning, Shooting, and Editing. If you hang around any filming crew you will notice quick that one of the three is vastly dominant over the other two. Can you guess which one it is? Many people say it is the editing. This is a common misconception because most people spend the greatest amount of time in this area. The correct answer is planning. Actually planning accommodates for 90% of the work in a production. Planning consists of all of the preliminaries. It includes the preparation, the rehearsals, the organization, and the storyboarding. The type of production will determine what is included in the planning stage.
The other two elements, filming and editing, will happen naturally and without much discussion during the process if the planning stage was done correctly. For example, the filming crew will know that they need to include shots of a water glass if it plays an important part in the evidence of a crime. The audience can see there may be evidence on a glass while none of the actors noticed the story-changing element. Remember we can tell a story with video and not use actor scripts to convey all of the message. A single look between two people can have far greater impact on how two people feel about each other than if they vocalized their feelings.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is true. So remember that one second of video has approximately 30 pictures contained within it. Use it to your advantage. Plan your productions.