Every project is different, but most will be better, faster, easier and cheaper with lots of planning in advance! Think carefully about your goals, the message, the audience, and the treatment. The more specific and detailed you are early, the better the rest of the process will be. Script the piece if you can, otherwise at least build an outline. Include details like video and audio for each shot.
Proper equipment usually includes a good camera, tripod, lights, and microphone. Always check your exposure, focus, white balance and audio levels. Record a mix of wide, medium and close shots. Record each take longer than you think you'll need. Avoid lots of pans and zooms; plan ahead for what you want seen. Don't forget cutaways and b-roll. Label your tapes, and flip the record lock when finished recording.
Most of the time you start with the tedious but necessary logging process. Take careful notes of the best clips, including reel number and timecode. Sort the material into bins and begin to lay the shots out on your timeline. If you have narration, include that too so you can adjust pacing. Music can help a lot, but don't use any copyrighted works without permission! Remember, the author rights are separate from the performance rights.
The most common delivery methods today are DVD and web video. Consider the capabilities of your audience. You might want to provide both. Either can have interactive element. DVD will probably look best, but web delivery is easier to update later.
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