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Multimedia Literacy: [1] pre-production

This research guide will help you to get started on your multimedia project.

reflect. research. prepare.

Multimedia literacy is the set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create multimedia. 


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Student Multimedia Design Center

[1] pre-production = planning

Getting Started: Multimedia Planning Guidelines

Pre-production is the first (and some would argue most important) step in the video creation process.

Plan ahead and start early. Have a focused message. Keep the audience in mind. Think about what you need to record, where you need to record it, and the types of footage you need to get.

Create a storyboard of your project, which is like a graphic outline, with text and/or images. You'll save countless hours if you do (and get the exact shots you'll need, instead of having to go back after the fact and try to recreate particular scenes-- trust us on this one).

If you're creating a dramatic storyline with actors and props, write the first draft of your script. Otherwise, going in without one is like trying to navigate a boat without a clear sense of where you're going.

Likewise, if you're conducting an interview, jot down a list of questions to ask. You'll feel more prepared if you do, and catch yourself if your mind goes blank (sometimes people get interview fright too!).


Research | Storyboard | Script
Photo credit: Horia Varlan, Danny Saadia

Helpful resources for pre-production:

  • The Video Project Calculator is a tool that gives approximate completion dates for the different steps of the video production process. You will need to specify the type of project you are working on, the date the project was assigned, and the due date.
  • Ohio State University's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design provides a good overview of storyboards
  • Virginia Tech’s Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning has a good online tutorial on shooting better video, including helpful suggestions on what to do during the pre-production phase of video production
  • Duke University’s Movie Making Marathon website has excellent resources on directing and screenwriting
  • offers an informative tutorial on how to produce video interviews
  • It may be helpful to do a bit of preliminary research on your topic. Check out the University of Delaware Library’s Research Guides to get you started

Want to purchase your own equipment?

Here are some helpful resources to help you make informed decisions when purchasing multimedia equipment:

  • CNET offers great reviews and information to help you decide what equipment to buy
  • Test Freaks is an aggregate search engine that collects product information and reviews from thousands of sources
  • Digital Photography Review (dpreview) provides news, reviews, and information about digital photography and digital imaging
  • Snap Sort is a site that allows you to compare different digital cameras, depending on the criteria you select

Multimedia Literacy Program Coordinator

Hannah Lee

Subject Librarian

Subject Librarian

John Stevenson
Associate Librarian
Student Mulitmedia Design Center
Multimedia Collections and Services Dept.
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