What Should the Video Production Process Look Like?
Video production can look like a daunting process if you are unfamiliar with it. This is understandable as there are several steps and elements to take into consideration as you create your video. Whether you choose to work on a simplistic video on your own or hire video production professionals to help you along the way for more complex projects, you should familiarize yourself with the production process to make sure all your video needs get met.
If choosing to hire external help, it is important that the video production company you work with has a proven process for their pre-production, production, and post-production efforts. This will help ensure that your video creation process runs smoothly and that there is good communication between you and the hired company.
Pre-production includes all of the steps that need to be taken before a video shoot can begin. There are many actions that need to occur, so the pre-production process can look daunting to those who aren’t familiar with it. Below, we will break down each different step to help you understand what each one is for and why it’s important. Keep in mind, however, that these aren’t step-by-step instructions, rather just steps to keep in mind. The pre-production process likely won’t look the exact same for every video.
Decide on Your Message
The first thing you will want to do is figure out what you want your video to do. What is the purpose of the video? What is the message you are trying to convey? Having answers to these questions can help you figure out what type of video you should be making, which will likely influence the remainder of the pre-production process.
If you are uncertain about what your video needs to say or the type of video you want to make, that is a conversation you can have with your video production company. With their knowledge, they will likely be able to help sort out your messaging and the style of video that will work best to accomplish your goals.
The below image lays out the key things to consider when working out the messaging for your video. This is the information you will need to provide your video production company with so they can understand the intent of your video and yield the best results.
Set Your Budget
Before making your video, it is important to know what your budget is, as it will help determine the resources you have available to make your video, and it will help ensure that you don’t overspend on the project, potentially missing out on ROI. While the video will be an investment, a quality video does not have to break the bank.
Write Your Script & Create a Storyboard
Once you’ve got an idea of what you want your video to say, it’s time to start drafting the script. The script can include everything that is going to happen into the video, including certain shots, locations, dialogue, where b-roll footage should be included, graphics to be added in post, and so on.
The first script doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should at least outline the main points you want your video to cover. After that, you can spend some time workshopping it with the specifics and nail down the messaging. You’ll likely want your dialogue to sound natural and conversational. Try reading the script out loud by yourself or with a group of people as you work on it to make sure it flows.
Once you have your script completed, it can be beneficial to create a storyboard for your video and map out the key points of your narrative. This process can be a little bit more complicated for more involved projects that require a larger quantity of shots, so make sure you set aside the appropriate amount of time to do so.
Set Your Timeline
Establishing a timeline will help make sure the project is moving forward in an efficient manner, and can also help manage everybody’s expectations for what the production and post-production process will look like and what the turnaround time for the final video will be. It is also important to include some wiggle room in the schedule to account for any issues that may arise. For example, if you have a goal of the final video going live on the 15th of the month, consider having a goal of the video being completed by the 10th in your scheduled timeline.
If the video project is bigger and requires multiple days of shooting, have a set plan for what you want to be accomplished each day. This will help ensure that you’ve granted yourself enough time for the scope of the project and everybody is familiar with the set of goals they are expected to meet on a given day.
Decide on Talent
Depending on your video, the talent might just be people within your organization or you may want to outsource actors. This decision can be based on several factors, including whether hiring outside talent fits in your schedule and budget, if people within your organization are comfortable and capable of reading out the script and performing any necessary actions on camera, and generally what will best fit with your messaging goals.
Talent isn’t limited just to people appearing on screen. If your video relies on voiceover narration or is animated, you can hire actors who specialize in voice work. There are online resources for this, so these actors wouldn’t necessarily need to be local. This grants you more flexibility with your talent pool and helps ensure that you find somebody who fits your time, budget, and skill requirements.
Choose Your Location
You might want to film your video at your office, at some sort of location relevant to your organization, or in a studio. When choosing a location, keep in mind any costs or needed permits that may arise. If you are choosing somewhere outside of your organization and are able, try to tour your location prior to filming to get a feel for the space.
If you think or know that your chosen location is going to require certain permissions, do your best to get that process started early to ensure that you stay on schedule and production goes smoothly.
Acquire Necessary Equipment & Materials
If you’re working with a video production company, it’s likely that they will already have the necessary equipment for your video available. This includes things such as cameras, lighting, and sound equipment, all of which will allow your video to come across as professional and high quality.
Another thing to consider is wardrobe. Depending on the style and intent of your video, you may want to pull clothing pieces specifically for the video to ensure a cohesive look. Any wardrobe choices should be appropriate to the video content and shouldn’t distract from the message.
If there are any props required for the video, you will also want to go about getting those in the pre-production process so everything is ready for the first day of your shoot.
The production phase of the video creation process is where your video will start to come together. It is when you will set up all of your equipment, bring in your cast and creative team, and capture your footage.
Before you can start filming your video, you’ll need to set up your equipment. This includes lighting, sound, and cameras. The location of your shoot will impact what kind of lighting and how much of it you need in order to have a properly lit video. The video production company you are working with should be knowledgeable regarding the best setup for your video.
Since you created a storyboard for your video prior to starting production, you should have an idea of what types of cameras and shots you’ll need. For simple videos you can create yourself, you might just need an iPhone and a tripod, with one or two different angles. For more complex videos, you might need several professional video cameras, with numerous angles. You may even need a drone for ariel shots, depending on your industry and video message.
If you are working with a video production company, they should be able to take care of the setup process, ensuring that everything is as it needs to be for your video to come out as you want it and look good.
If a hair and makeup team has been brought on to the project, this is also the time that they will get to work on the actors, getting them camera ready.
Filming & Audio
Now that it’s time to film your video, you’ll have your actors and creative team altogether on set. This likely includes a director, who may be outsourced or a member of the hired video production team. The director is in charge of helping the actors along as they deliver the script, providing direction and insight as to what will make the video work the best. Any interviews required for the video will also be filmed at this time.
Filming isn’t limited to capturing the people in the video. Your project may also require b-roll footage, which are shots that can be cut away to in the final video, adding interesting visual elements to the video. Some examples of this can be shots captured from other angles, interesting footage from around your shooting location, or additional footage of the product or service you are promoting.
If the video you’re creating requires voiceovers, this is also the time that you will record those. You will want to make sure you have a decent quality microphone for any voiceover work, as clear audio is important to audiences.
Once you’ve captured all of your footage and audio that you need, it’s time to bring everything together in post-production, which will leave you with a fantastic new video.
The biggest element of the post-production process is the editing of the video. Depending on the complexity of your video and what your agreement is with your video production company and/or editor, this process can take different amounts of time. When you are planning your video, ensure that you discuss with your production and editing team how many rounds of edits you are allotted within your budget and time frame.
Once the video has been pieced together to tell the story you outlined in the pre-production process, you can start to spruce it up. One way to do this is through the use of graphics. Some examples of how you can use graphics are titles to emphasize key points of the message or to introduce any staff members appearing in the video, adding arrows or other symbols to point out specific movements or elements that are significant, or including subtitles in the video so people can enjoy it without needing audio.
Something else to consider when editing is the inclusion of background music. If you choose to use music in your video, you will want something that matches the tone and mood of your content, and that doesn’t distract from the message of the video. Depending on the purpose of your video, it may be important that you choose music that is royalty-free to ensure that you don’t run into any copyright issues. Luckily, there are a number of resources online that can grant you access to royalty-free music libraries with a large selection of tracks to choose from.
Post-production is also where you will make any necessary corrections to the project. This can include aesthetic changes, such as colour correction, as well as any audio corrections. For example, if the editor realizes that the audio of someone reciting the script is muffled, you can have the actor re-record the line as a voiceover and replace the original audio with a new clip.
Once you are happy with your final video, it’s time to distribute it. If you’re planning on using the video across platforms, such as having it on your website and posting it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and/or LinkedIn, you will want to ensure that it is optimized for each platform. This means making sure that the file format is appropriate for the platform, that the aspect ratio is correct for the platform, and that the video fits within the given time restraints of the platform.
To promote your video beyond your social media accounts and your website, explore how you can utilize your company contacts to expand your audience. For example, if you have an email newsletter that you send out, consider including your video there if it would be of interest to your audience. Another option to consider would be reaching out to businesses and associations in your industry or niche that might be interested in your video to see if they want to share it with their audience, as well.
You will also want to ensure that you have your analytics set up, so you can see how the videos are performing across platforms and see what is and isn’t working. For example, if video content is working particularly well on your website and your LinkedIn page, then you know what it might be worth pursuing video specifically for these platforms in the future to ensure the best return on investment.
When done properly, the video production process shouldn’t be overly strenuous. If you are working within your company, without the help of a video production company, ensure that you familiarize yourself with the production process as to not miss any steps and unintentionally make the process more stressful than it needs to be. If you are working with a video production company, make sure you discuss what their production process looks like in your initial conversations.
Overall, the important thing to do is to familiarize yourself as best you can with how video production works so you can set yourself up for as smooth of a process as possible.