What to Expect Before a Video Shoot

The moments leading up to a video shoot can leave you with all sorts of emotions. Maybe you’re excited because this is going to be your first time around camera equipment, or perhaps you have some butterflies in your stomach because you have to deliver a testimonial on camera. Either way, it’s important to know what you should expect before a video shoot. If you know what’s coming, the process will be smoother, and you will be more at ease.

Whether you’re the marketing manager who hired a local video marketing agency to help bring your vision to life or a happy client/customer who’s going to be featured in a talking head style video, coming to set with some knowledge of what to expect can help you in producing the best video possible.


What Kind of Video Are You Making?

We’re going to make the assumption that you or your company have already gone through the motions of selecting a video production partner and have sketched out your idea during pre-production. This also means knowing what platform (or multiple platforms) this video will live on and what the intended goals are.

Knowing what to expect before a video shoot can be impacted by the type of video you’re going to create. There will be some overlap, but we’ll break it down into a few different categories.

Interview/Talking Head

If you’re shooting an interview or talking head style video, these, for the most part, are pretty “low key” as the kids say. What does this mean? Usually, the goal of a video in this category is to help tell the story of a happy customer/client to prospective people in a particular sales funnel. The person (or people) being interviewed will give insight into a product or service to help others who may be on the fence about making a purchasing decision.

A shoot of this caliber doesn’t need to have a ton of people or a lot of equipment. That’s going to depend on the type of video production or video marketing company you hire. For the most part, you’ll have a small crew, two cameras set up, some lights and a microphone. This can be either a shotgun mic or you may have lavalier microphone. Off camera, someone will be there to ask questions in order to get the appropriate sound bite. The nice thing about having two cameras is that the editor can splice them together to cover up any inconsistencies in statement deliveries.

Product/Demo Video

If you’re making something like a product video, demo or a sales video, things will be a little different. These types of video require a little more planning and specific actions during production. The same underlying ideas of having a camera and lighting set up will apply. However, your script and/or storyboard may call for some unique shots that can require moving the camera with different setups. It’s likely that a decent amount of time during production of these videos will be around getting just the right camera angle and take.

What Role Do You Play?

Client Side

Are you on the client side, part of the video production company or on-camera talent? Different roles will call for different jobs to be had. Ultimately, everyone should want to work in harmony to create the best product they can, but not everyone will be working on the same tasks.

Let’s start by talking about those on the client side of things. Onset or location for the video shoot, the client (which could be you) will usually work alongside the video production team to ensure that the video plan is coming together. If you’re on a larger set, you could be sitting at video village watching each take and giving the thumbs up. For a smaller shoot, you most likely will still be there to make sure your vision is coming to life. Those on the production team will be there to provide the technical and creative experience to achieve your vision.


Now, let’s say you are the talent. This section can double dip a little. Going back to our interview/talking head video example this can be a happy customer/client or it could even be someone from your business. That being said, the video production client can be the talent. That’s usually the case for a sales video used within an inbound marketing strategy or a company video for social media.

On the production side of things, the video production or video marketing company that was hired will be there to get all the camera, lighting and audio gear set up. Once again, depending on the size of your production, this can range anywhere from 1 person up to almost 20 people (if your budget allows). Ultimately, these are the people who have the creative and technical knowledge to bring your vision to life. If there is a certain type of shot you’d like, they will be able to achieve it. They’ll make sure the lighting is solid, that the sound is good and that the video recording is dynamic and interesting.

General Tips

As with many things, make sure to get a good night’s sleep prior to your shoot. Some video shoots may only be a couple of hours, while some can span one or multiple days. Ideally, everyone needs to be on the same page and have enough energy to get through the day.

Some attention to hair and makeup are important in making sure those who are on camera look their best. Some productions will have a dedicated team for this, while other smaller crews may not. Before rolling on a take, try to make sure your hair is in order and that your skin isn’t super oily. This can be as easy a quick check in the mirror. Those who are behind the camera will help to ensure you look your best. We recently did a blog post that goes over some tips for being on camera that you can check out here.

When it comes to video marketing, if you’re delivering a sales pitch or something related to your business, being in front of a camera may make it hard to get the right words out. That’s totally fine, we understand. We like to have our clients feel like they’re just having a conversation. Treat it as if whoever is behind the camera is a potential customer and that the person on camera is just talking about their business like they do every day.



When it comes to making a video for your business, there is typically a lot of moving parts. Your job can vary depending on where you fall in the grand scheme of things – are you the on-camera talent, the client or part of the video production crew? Each plays a vital role in creating a high-quality video that achieves a particular set of goals.

The type of video you’re looking to create will dictate how certain things play out, such as the number of people needed, amount of camera setups and a variety of equipment on set. The video production company should have the skills and creative vision to deliver on what a client is looking for.

We hope you found this information useful. We understand that some people may feel nervous before their first video shoot, but by generally knowing what you’ll be getting into, you can effectively achieve the desired goal.

Neil K Carroll

Neil K Carroll


Experienced creative professional with a love for breakfast sandwiches and a strong disdain for grinders.

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