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Library Research Guides

Resources for Video Creation

Do you want to make a video, but don't know where to begin? This guide will introduce you to basic video concepts and helpful resources available to you at the University of Michigan Libraries.

Planning Your Video

The Importance of Planning

In the world of video production, it is vital that you create a solid plan before doing anything else. There a lot of elements that go into creating a successful video and developing a plan will ensure that you are well prepared and get all of the shots you need. This list provides you with questions that will help develop your production plan.

Questions for Developing a Production Plan:

1. PURPOSE: Why am I creating this video? What should this video achieve? Is a video the best way to achieve this purpose?

2. AUDIENCE: Who should this video target? What are the demographics of my target audience? How should my video appeal to this audience?

3. MESSAGE: What should viewers learn, think, or feel after watching this video? What message am I trying to send? It is appropriate for my target audience?

4. BUDGET: What is my budget? What should this budget cover? 

5. TIMELINE: What is my timeline? How long do I have for shooting? How long for editing and distribution? What are some checkpoints?

6. DISTRIBUTION: How will I share or distribute my video to my target audience? Will I burn DVDs or share online like on YouTube?

7. CONCEPT: What is the concept, subject, or theme of this video? How will I portray my message to my audience with my allotted budget and timeline? How long should the video be?

8. LOCATION: In what location(s) will I be shooting my video? When is my location most busy? Do I need to scout these locations or get permits or permission? Have I accounted for the weather? Have I accounted for lighting and time of day for shooting?

9. ACTORS: Who will be featured in my video? Can they work with my timeline? Do they need to be compensated? Do I have their permission to shoot and distribute their image?


10. PROPS: What props will I need for my video? Do I need to rent or purchase any props?

11. EQUIPMENT: What equipment will I need? Will I be recording audio and need a microphone? Will I need a light kit to brighten my location? How many cameras will I be using to shoot? Will I be using different camera lenses? Do I need memory cards, tape, DVDs, or a hard drive for footage?

12. CREW: Who will be assisting with my video? Will I have multiple camera operators? Do I need an assistant for continuity or to keep us on schedule? Do I need someone to hold a mic or adjust a tripod?




Shot Lists and Storyboarding

Creating a Shot List or Storyboard

Once you have developed your production plan, your next step will be to create a shot list or storyboard. The goal of a shot list or storyboard is to help you thoroughally plan out your shots so that they can be executed the way you want them. Since there are so many elements you must consider while shooting - lighting, actors, composition, audio, time, etc. - it's almost necessary to have a shot list or storyboard to successfully shoot a video.

A shot list is a detailed list of all of the shots that will be in your video. A shot list may include a decription of a shot, time, location, actors, props, crew, equipment, or any other important or relevant information. A storyboard is very similar to a shot list, however, the storyboard contains sketches or images of each shot and how it should be composed. Storyboards include a lot of the same information that a shot list may include, but storyboards often provide more direction.

Privacy and Permission

Getting Consent to Shoot

Wherever you shoot video, each location may have specific rules and policies about photography and video recording, so please be aware of these policies before shooting. It is extremely important to scout your shooting locations beforehand and contact any property managers about any recording policies or restrictions.  

You have a right to film in public spaces and objects that are in plain view, but please be respectful of people's privacy. We recommend getting consent from people in public spaces whenever you can. Just let them know who you are, what your doing, and how the footage will be used. Additionally, you can also provide them with your contact info and let them know about your shooting schedule in that location.

Resources for Filmmakers

Beginner's Filming and Video Tutorials 
This is a pin board featuring many helpful links about planning, lighting, software, and more.

Planning Resources