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OVC Publishing Guidelines for Print and Multimedia About OVCOJP seal: Innovation . Partnerships . Safer Neighborhoods Message From the DirectorOVC Publishing Guidelines for Print and Multimedia NCJ 229712 / March 2010
Home Submission Deadlines Submission Requirements Publishing Process Product Types Writing Tips Developing an E-Pub Producing a Video Copyright & Policy Requirements
Producing a Video

Advance planning is key to successful video production. A detailed preproduction plan can enhance the quality of your video, save time, and prevent escalating costs. As you undertake your video project, use the following planning tips to make your production process more efficient. OVC has also prepared a list of submission requirements for you to keep in mind when finalizing your video (see Submission Requirements).


  • Define purpose. Typically, videos will align with one of four main purpose areas: training, public awareness, vignettes, and social media. Determining the purpose of your video at the outset will help guide the tone of your production.

  • Define goals. Think about the main message(s) you want to convey to viewers and experts that can deliver your key messages.

  • Identify advisors. Develop a list of advisors that can offer guidance during preproduction planning, script-writing, and review of the final product.

  • Define the target audience. The target audience often determines the length of the video, its scope (informational or training), and the most effective methods of depiction (interviews, text, or graphics).

  • Determine the scope of your project and begin developing a project management plan, budget, and timeline. Select a video production company that incorporates thorough planning into its work. Prepare a timeline that includes concept development, script-writing, shooting, editing, and reviews.

  • Select a quality production company. A video's effectiveness depends on the quality of the production work, not simply your familiarity with substantive issues. The production company should illustrate its capabilities by providing references and samples of the videos it has produced. Do not rely solely on a website or sample video. Schedule a face-to-face meeting to review your goals and expectations.

  • Draft a concept outline and/or script. OVC highly recommends that you begin field production only after developing a plan—either a concept outline or a script—to guide the filming. Changes that require additional filming are costly and may be prohibitive under the funding limits of the grant, cooperative agreement, or contract.

  • Review for cultural relevance. Ensure that the video, including b-roll and the cast, will be appropriate for diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups throughout the entire production process.

  • Secure written consent from video participants. Ensure that written consent is obtained before the production company takes footage of a victim discussing his or her victimization. The consent form should specify OVC's nonexclusive worldwide right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the recorded materials or still photography. The release should include permission to use the person's image in packaging and promotional materials. (The production company usually provides the consent forms.)

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Filming and Editing

  • Choose the narrator, music, and graphics. Work with the production company to confirm production values that will enhance the product and that are within budget. If a narrator is within scope and budget, indicate the narrator gender and voice tone that would most effectively convey the video's message. It is industry practice for narrators to provide voice samples; ask to hear samples and select the one that best suits your project. If you use music and graphics, review background music selections and tempo, text types, and selected graphics.

  • Participate in editing. The project should be reviewed at several stages during production. Do not wait until viewing the final edited version to make suggestions and request changes, which can be costly and require extra time to complete. The production company may have to re-film if changes cannot be made by deleting footage, adding pre-filmed footage, or adding text. Because re-filming is expensive, suggest changes that do not require additional filming or suggest having the narrator reread the script.

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Peer Review

There may be an extensive peer review process prior to final production for which there need to be contingencies in your production budget, because you may be asked to makes changes to the production based on peer review comments. For more information, see Publishing Process.

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