If a video production is to be successful, it must be well-planned and strategic. Most video productions have numerous moving parts and components, including both physical and human assets that must be carefully managed. As a creative and technical endeavour, it's critical that everything is in order well before â€” and even after â€” the cameras start rolling. Here are the five most important stages of video production, as well as how they should be managed for maximum success.
Ideation, Development and Strategy
Choose a video type â€“ There are many different types of video production, including explained videos, commercials, infomercials, company stories, and more. The format of the video and the resources needed will be determined by the type of video.
Identify a core audience â€“ The most important aspect of your production is arguably going to be its core or target audience. The structure and tone of your production are influenced by your audience demographic.
Brainstorm production ideas â€“ Because every production is both an art and a science, it's important to be creative and try to find new and unique ways to present your vision.
Determine the most effective strategy for reaching your target audience â€“ You must not only have a mission for your production, but you must also clearly outline how your production will reach out to these individuals.
Determine a production budget and goal â€“ Every production requires a reasonable budget as well as a metric to measure its success. Metrics such as traffic, increased sales, and engagement are frequently used to measure success.
Pre-production planning is less abstract and more specific than ideation, strategy, and development planning. This is where storyboarding will take place to outline each individual scene, as well as script writing.
From top to bottom, pre-production planning should include every asset that the production requires. This includes equipment rentals, talent, and quotes for all items that will need to be rented or purchased. The more detailed the planning, the less likely it is that the shoot will go over budget or fail to meet deadlines.
Before production begins, all necessary licenses and permissions for any shooting locations should be obtained. If shooting occurs in public places, the state may be required to be notified; this is especially true if the shooting may interfere with traffic or the use of public spaces.
The most intense and time-sensitive phase of any video project is production. A well-managed production must run like a well-oiled machine, as each additional day of production incurs significant costs. Having said that, problems can arise during production, such as weather-related issues. Contingency plans may be required to ensure that production continues.
The shooting schedule will have been planned in the most efficient manner during pre-production. This shooting schedule will be followed as closely as possible by the crew. The production crew will set up equipment, complete the shoot, and then tear it down at each shoot â€” and any on-set issues, such as equipment malfunctions, will have to be dealt with on the fly. Because of the time constraints, everyone on set will be assigned a specific task and will be held accountable for completing it on time.
As needed, multiple takes will be shot with live actors, scenery, or products. On set, the sound will be isolated, but additional sound effects and audio will be added later. A continuity expert may also be hired to ensure that the scenes are consistent between takes and overall.
The length and complexity of production will be determined by the type of video being produced. A simple explainer video could be shot in an afternoon, whereas a full television commercial could require multiple takes over the course of a week. A longer video could take several weeks to complete, especially if multiple locations and sets are desired.
Post-production is the process of putting the shots together. Indeed, this is when the production will begin to take shape. The video and audio will be cleaned up during post-production. Any mistakes will be corrected, and the scenes that have been shot will be added to the final sequence. Before the final video is completed, multiple post-production versions of the video may be cut together.
High-quality video and audio make the post-production process much easier. Even though there is a lot that can be done in post-production, even talented and experienced people cannot improve the content's quality. Video can be brightened or coloured-shifted, but it cannot be made clearer, sharper, or higher in resolution. This is why it is critical to begin with the proper equipment and personnel.
Effects such as visual effects, CGI, and narrative audio may be added during post-production. If audio, such as voice lines, were not clear during the initial shoot, actors may be required to return to re-record their lines. This is quite common. During this time, other effects such as text, titles, and captions will be added, and a final version will be compiled for distribution.
Marketing and Distribution
Once the video has been completed successfully, it must be marketed and distributed. Marketing and distribution are determined by the production's target audience. Younger audiences prefer social media and other online venues; older audiences may prefer more traditional media, such as local television stations. Online platforms, in general, are the most accessible and cost-effective. The following are the major types of distribution:
Television is the most expensive type of distribution, but it also has the largest audience. It's especially useful for products with broad appeal or services aimed at a specific geographic area. Local television advertisements, depending on timing, may be well within the budget of even a small business. However, television advertisements have some drawbacks as well: they must be broadcast in a traditional 'commercial' or 'infomercial' format, they are difficult to interact with, and they are not shareable.
Platforms for video â€“ Platforms for media encourage sharing and 'going viral.' Though a video platform allows for free posting, there are ways to promote posts by paying for them. Video platforms can target videos to specific demographics and help a video go 'viral.' Free video posts may struggle to gain viewers if the company's social media presence is weak, whereas paid video posts will generally gain as much traction as the business is willing to pay for. As a company expands its presence on the platform, it will realize even greater benefits.
Social media platforms â€“ Primarily social media-based platforms are an excellent place to share videos that have already been posted on a video platform, or to directly upload videos. Companies that can establish a social media presence can immediately interact with all of their followers, many of whom are already interested in their product. However, access to customers who aren't interested in the product may be limited, and, as with a video-based platform, work must be put into the overall campaign of the social media platform.
Websites â€“ Businesses can also use their own websites to distribute their videos. 'About us' videos, explainer videos, and product videos are frequently distributed in this manner â€” but only to an audience that is already on the company's website. This is free, but it may only have a small audience. Companies can, however, continue to buy paid advertising for their website and videos in order to increase traffic.
Videos can be distributed to a variety of online venues for free. It is in a company's best interest to publish videos on as many platforms as possible; for maximum exposure, a company can publish a video to a video platform and then link to it on their social media and website. They can then pay for advertising on social media and video platforms to promote their videos.
Regardless, the success of a video will be primarily determined by its content and professionalism. Professional-looking videos and interesting, compelling videos will be shared by a user base, providing the company with free advertising at no additional cost. Though a company cannot always plan for a video to go viral, it can create the best video possible.
Each of the five stages of video production is required to produce a polished and entertaining final product. A professional video company can bring all of these components together at the lowest possible cost, whereas those who are unfamiliar with video production may find the process to be slower or more expensive. In any case, the planning and preparation stages of video production are typically the most important to the final product.