The realm of media and entertainment are becoming increasingly competitive. Currently, there are thousands of digital video providers, all vying for input and publicity. In this climate, public relations agencies face a colossal struggle to remain relevant, effectively communicating and sharing stories to their clients’ target audiences. As more companies are looking to capitalise on the popularity of video integration, some PR agencies are using their marketing techniques to create campaign videos that encourage consumers to invest.
Video is quickly becoming one of the most influential and effective digital marketing techniques used by both large and small businesses to reach their target audiences. In principle, video production is the art and service of creating content and producing a finalised video product. Video productions will often range in size and most commonly include: film and TV production, TV adverts, online adverts, corporate videos, product videos, customer testimonial videos, marketing videos, event videos, and wedding videos. One factor which remains consistent is the three stages of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production.
Pre-production is the process of planning and the theoretical application of a strategy for each task that must take place before production begins. It lays the foundation from when the concept is brought together and forms it into a coherent plan, establishing the objectives of your video. This includes focussing on your target audience, your budget, and the message that your final video must convey.
Meticulous planning and preparation at the pre-production stage are essential to ensure that you have everything in place to regulate the production process. This stage varies depending on the form of media and the situation. In the case of a small video, pre-production can refer to everything that happens before shooting begins, including customer meetings, research, storyboarding, and location planning. For feature films, pre-production is much more specific and only begins when other milestones have been met, such as budget forecasting, location scouting and wardrobe preparation.
Video Production Checklist
- Video Producer: This is the person who oversees the project. This person’s role is to complete all the components which make up the pre-production, such as bringing together a creative brief, securing talent, scouting the location and scheduling every aspect of the day with a timeline of events and when they must be completed by.
- A Creative Brief: Complete in a brief template of the intention of the video, its tone, target audience, current resources, a rough plan for implementation, and where it falls into your buyer’s journey. This might take the form of a whiteboard brainstorm, but make sure it’s written down.
- Budget: Can you afford to create this video? If it’s for marketing, it’s likely you will already have a figure to work towards. Ensure all aspects are repeatedly checked and fit within the allocated budget using a spreadsheet.
- Storyboard: A storyboard is a graphic depiction of how the video progresses, shot by shot. It’s made up of a series of squares with diagrams or pictures of each shot, details about what’s happening in the scene. Consider it a comic book version of your script. Similarly to a script, your storyboard visually guides you through the entire production process. Through preparing your required footage, you will know which shots you need to produce and how to create them when you start shooting.
The production stage is where all your careful planning in pre-production comes together to create and actually make the film. Throughout this phase, planned video scenes and segments created in the storyboard will be formally captured in real-time. Throughout the production process, the crew will also concentrate on lighting, angles and location to make video or film production as attractive as possible for the intended audience. In some projects, a team of graphic artists may produce visuals and set pieces to represent a movie or news environment. Remember, whilst video cameras are superb at picking up the slightest detail, this also means they’ll pick up any errors. Minimise these whilst in the production stage to reduce complicated corrections in the post-production process which may result in additional hours in editing or costly re-shoots.
Our video production top tips:
- Safety: Watch out for safety on the set. Assess and check the equipment prior to the day of shooting, use tape to cover and hold down the wires, and keep food and drink away from the set equipment.
- Set up and Pack up: Don’t forget to leave time to set up and pack up, particularly if you rent a studio space or venue. You should add this pre and post period to your schedule and let clients know they don’t have to be there for this portion of the production unless they want to be.
- Contact Information: Whilst this might seem simple, you’d be astonished how the simple details can often be overlooked while scheduling a video shoot. To avoid such complications, make sure you send everyone on the set a comprehensive list of contact details and location information, schedule and any other important information, such as weather, food, and filming times.
- Protect the Final Footage: Ensure you back up and protect the final footage in as many ways as you can. Upload it to multiple external hard drives as soon as you can or even send hard drives back to your office to make sure there are no mishaps.
Upon completion of the production of a video or film, the organisation will undergo the concluding stage known as post-production. A production company will evaluate the recorded video and audio footage during the post-production phase, establishing changes and corrections to ensure it suits the intended style and audience.
Editing can be the difference between a successful video or break its tone and impact. This means that your post-production team requires a very clear explanation surrounding the target audience, the message and the intended use of the video. Preferably, they would either be part of the initial pre-production planning process or at least be provided with a detailed brief. The post-production phase of developing a video typically takes longer than the actual shooting to complete as it typically encompasses: video editing, colour grading, sound engineering, overlays, and the start of the airing process.
Key Elements of Post-Production
- The Rough Cut: Before anything else, your visuals will be edited together to produce a rough cut of your video. This is where your footage will be analysed, categorised, and shots you want to use will be selected to put the video together. Once a rough version of your video is assembled, his is called an assembly edit.
- The Picture Lock: Once you achieve a rough cut of your video, the next step will be to the Picture Lock. This is the stage in which all the shots are placed in the proper order, effectively “locked in place.”
- The Sound Mix: Where you edit and combine various audio tracks for your video together. The different sound elements that your video may include are dialogue, sound effects, and voiceover.
- Colour Correction: This is the method of altering the appearance of colour and light in each shot with digital filtering. These adjustments typically involve correcting exposure issues where there is too much brightness in one shot or too little in another; or white balance issues where the hue of the light doesn’t fit the video style.
Video is among the most popular content forms in the world, and the truth is that it’s unlikely to disappear anywhere soon. And it makes sense: in an impersonal digital world, we want to have interaction and personality. We want to see and hear people in a real-life context — it’s meaningful. Video isn’t just entertaining; it’s one of the most reliable ways to connect with your audience and give them a real glimpse of what you and your business or your clients are doing. The objective here is to think beyond profit and product— to teach others something about your ideology, or to share some details about an interesting case, or to provide some valuable information. The more they know about your positive practices, the more likely they are to stick around.
If you would like help producing your next video please feel free to drop us a line.