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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
Submission DeadlinesSubmission RequirementsPublishing ProcessProduct TypesWriting TipsDeveloping an E-PubProducing a VideoCopyright & Policy RequirementsHome
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.


  • Define goals. Think about the main message(s) you want to convey to viewers. An effective video has no more than three major points.

  • 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, including shooting, editing, and initial and final reviews.

  • Select a quality production company. An effective video depends on the quality of the production work, not simply on your familiarity with substantive issues. The production company should illustrate its capabilities by giving you references and samples of the videos it has produced. Do not rely solely on a Web site or sample video. Schedule a face-to-face meeting to review your goals and expectations.

  • Draft the script. The script should guide the filming—the filming should never guide the script. 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 will be appropriate for diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural groups.

  • 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 production company usually provides the consent forms.)

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Filming and Editing

  • Choose the narrator, music, and graphics. Inform the production company of 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. 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 changes, which can be costly and require extra time to complete. The production company may have to refilm if changes cannot be made by deleting footage, adding prefilmed footage, or adding text. Because refilming is expensive, suggest changes that do not require additional filming or having the narrator reread the script.

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