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Video pre-production is like training for a marathon. You know those crazy people who wake up one day and decide to run a marathon, with no training or planning ahead? Maybe you’re even one of those lucky few! For the other 99.9% of us, deciding to complete a marathon starts with a training plan.

As a runner with lots of training for these races, I hear the stories and think, “That’s so ridiculous!” Training for a marathon takes planning and training. You have to take care of your body to run 26.2 miles without catastrophic injuries.

Pre-production is like training for a marathon

You don’t wake up on the day of the shoot and say, “Ok, let’s do this!” without taking the time to make sure that everything you need to succeed is complete. If you do, it's a recipe for chaos. We craft a successful video with an end goal in mind, planning it step by step.

What is your goal?

What is your purpose with this video? Are you telling a story? Trying to sell a product or service? Educating someone about an issue or how to do something? Like going out for a training run, you need to plan your finish line. Will you end where you started, or are you planning to have someone pick you up when you’re done.

Video production works the same way. You can’t begin without knowing where you will end up. Once you know your end goal, we can map a course on how to get there together and achieve success.

Being prepared with the right gear

When running a marathon, we need to prepare with the proper gear to do our best job. When prepping for a race, runners know the course terrain. The weather. What provisions or aid stations are on the course. Runners use these details to know what resources and gear they will need themselves to run well.

The same is true for video production. Production gear completely depends on what type of video we will be making. The type of gear we bring affects the end product. Ranging from the type of cameras and lenses we use, to lighting and audio equipment. When we understand your vision, we arrive prepared with the exact gear we need to be ensure success.

Why do we ask for your budget?

Knowing your budget from the start helps us craft the right solution for your project. When we ask for your budget, we are looking to determine the scale of video you are hoping to achieve. When we know your budget in advance, we can better define the scope of video, and set expectations. Using years of experience, we tailor each project to the scale of the desired outcome and budget.

Script writing

Watching a video on YouTube, you may not realize the time and effort that went into writing the script. You may not even notice a script at all! A script (or sometimes script outline) is the backbone of every video. It provides an outline, a map through the video.

Like running a race, you have a map of your course established ahead of time. You know your distance so that you don’t end up running 28 miles instead of 26.2. (Any runner will tell you that an extra 1.8 miles at the end of 26.2 makes a BIG difference!) The mapped course also keeps runners safe in areas protected from street traffic. It also ensures that there are volunteers and race officials to help if someone gets injured. Like running a race, a script keeps your video from falling apart.

The same type of work goes into unscripted videos like interviews. We design specific questions to ask the person interviewed. Intentionality and purpose are behind each question we ask on camera. As professionals, we know the best questions to draw out the soundbites we want for the final video.


Storyboarding helps us visualize together what the shoot will look like. Do you want a darker more moody or dramatic look, or do you want a lighter and brighter look? What do we want the audience to feel when they watch your video? What types of shots do we need? Mentally visualizing the video offers a better path to success.

Scheduling the shoot

A brand new runner usually can’t tell you how long it would take them to run 26.2 miles. Yet a veteran marathoner can tell you their expected finish time down to the minute, or even seconds.

As video professionals, we operate as veteran runners. We are familiar with the ins and outs of production. We know how long it takes us to set up our gear for a scene. How long we need to capture the right content. The time needed for on-camera talent to become stress-free and comfortable. Creating an accurate schedule of the shoot day (or days) reduces stress. It maintains a successful team environment!

Run your race with a passionate support crew

At Hepburn Creative, we’re your marathon support team. Established in 2008, we have hundreds of shoot days under our belts. Partner with us to create your next video, crafted for success from the start.

Let’s cross that finish line together!