Step 1: 
Pre Production 

As we start a media project, it's important to understand the goals of the assignment.

Review your syllabus or grading rubric, and ask yourself the following questions:

Who is the intended audience of this video?

Do you have any examples to reference? 

Do you know what equipment you will need in order to capture this media?

What is the deadline for this assignment?

We recommend you set a "soft deadline" 2 days before the actual deadline for your project


How to prepare for your video project 

Write a Script

  • The easiest way to get an idea of how your video will look is to write a script for it. The script should include the types of locations the scenes take place in, the actions the characters take, and anything they have to say.

    There are a number of ways to write out a script but the most important thing is to write it  in a way that will be easiest for you to understand. Some people work better with a bulleted list and some find it best to follow the formatting of a screenplay.

    Here is an example of how to write a script .


  • Once you have your script written out and you have a better idea of what will be happening, it is time to make a storyboard. A storyboard allows you to use both images and text to visualize your video shot by shot, scene by scene. The best way to explain how a storyboard works is to see one, so we have included an example here. We also have a printable template for you to use.

PDF icon sms_storyboard_template.pdf


Build a Shot List

  • With your script, storyboard, and locations figured out, you are going to want to build your shot list next. This is a guide to all the minute details of each shot in the order that you want to shoot it. The shot list is usually based on location and time of day rather than story order. We have included an example of a short shot list and a blank template for you to use.

PDF icon sms_shot_list_template.pdf


Building and Writing a Script 


Building and Writing a Storyboard



Additional Pre-production steps

Your project will always be made of many different parts. These parts are your “assets.”

These may include pictures, logos, graphs, or videos that you already have.  Before you start making and gathering additional assets, you will want to check if there is anything that already exists.

Once you have a collection of assets, gather them together in one place before you start getting more. 

Before you just jump into shooting, you will want to go around and look for the places that either fit the settings in your script, or can be transformed to fit your script.

When looking at these locations, it is good to make note of things like the:
Acoustics: How does the space sound? Is there background noise? Is there an echo? 
Lighting: Does the space have enough light? What kind of light? Is more light needed? 

The environment could change your choice in audio equipment, and you might need to find ways to either darken or brighten a location.

Knowing what your location will be like ahead of time will help you understand what the restrictions of the space are.

Once you have all of this done, it is time to schedule out your shoot.

When scheduling, you want to focus on shooting what you can as each location and anyone else in the shoot is available.

You will want to set what parts of the shot list you want to focus on each day and set the times that everyone should gather.

Always plan to be there earlier than when you expect to start shooting. For simpler shoots, you will want to give yourself between a half-hour to an hour to set up.

Get Your Gear


  • Once you have your shoot scheduled, you will want to figure out exactly what gear you want to use and get them gathered before your first day of shooting.
    • Need help finding the right equipment? Come to our front desk and we'll help you find what you need.
  • Think carefully about everything you will need.
    • Cameras, tripods, audio recorders, microphones, and lights are essential to any kind of shoot.
  • Make sure to visit the Media Hub front desk and chat with our staff to make sure you have the right equipment needed for the job. 
  •  Before you head out; make sure you check that your devices have full batteries, and recording storage (SD cards) before you head to your recording location.