Top filmmaker and Canon Explorer Simeon Quarrie discusses why pre-production, preparation and planning are vital to help you to get the most from your video shoots

The Video Mode caught up with Canon Explorer Simeon Quarrie – a highly successful filmmaker who is well known for producing creative storytelling in his videos – at one of our recent filmmaking workshops at Pinewood Studios. In this exclusive ‘top tips’ video Simeon discusses the crucial roles that pre-production, preparation and planning play to help to ensure you make the maximum impact when storytelling in your videos.

After working with a group of more experienced filmmakers, during day two of our recent workshop, according to Simeon one of the main areas you should be considering if you want to produce great films is planning…

Preparation & planning
Simeon explains, “It’s been really good to work with [a group of] more advanced individuals who are more involved in video [making] and who wanted to increase their knowledge of filmmaking. We covered a number of things – from camera settings all the way through to lighting – but one thing that kept coming up is preparation and planning – pre-production as we know it.”

The thought process
Simeon continues, “In video you might record for a few hours or for a day but there’s so much work that should, ideally, go in to producing videos before, which is pre-production. [There’s] the thought process – what are you going to shoot? What’s the story and how are you going to capture it? And, then, of course there’s post-production with editing.”

Lens choices
During the workshop Simeon’s more advanced group of filmmakers also examined the use of lenses; comparing Canon’s EF range of lenses for DSLRs and the range of cine lenses that has been developed by Canon for its Cinema EOS System. Simeon recalls, “We played a lot with the photographic Canon EF lenses but we also looked at the benefits of the use of the Canon cine prime [lenses] so that they understood the difference between photographic lenses and lenses that are designed for video and i think that was particularly rewarding.”

Watch and find out more…
To discover more of Simeon Quarrie’s best pre-production advice just click on the play button in the video window at the top of this article to watch the top tips film. To view an exclusive The Video Mode film with Simeon Quarrie delivering his best advice for shooting better videos just click here. To discover and watch all of The Video Mode’s top tuition videos just click on the ‘Film School’ navigation tab at the top of this page or click here. You can also find out more about Simeon Quarrie’s work by visiting his website – to do so just click here.