What are the 4 stages of video production | VM Digital

What are the 4 stages of video production

Ana working on Video Production

Video is the most engaging type of content people like to consume these days, but creating good content takes more than simply pressing the record button on your video camera or phone. 

The process of creating a video should consist of 4 different steps: Pre-Planning, Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.

What are the 4 stages of video production

1. Pre-Planning

The first step in our production process is the Pre-Planning, where we agree on the strategy and goals for the project. To help understand the full brief, we usually ask some questions during this stage:

  1. What is the purpose of the video?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What are the top 3-5 key messages to convey?
  4. What Budget is available?
  5. Is the video part of a specific campaign/ overall strategy?
  6. Where will the final video be hosted and how will it be distributed?
  7. Which locations or footage should be featured?
  8. Does it require a voice-over and/or Interviews?
  9. Which Calls to Action (CTA’s) should be included?
  10. Is on-screen animation or messaging required? And if so, please specify.

These answers will be important to achieve the planning, research and problem-solving, in order to have an organised and successful video project.

2. Pre-Production

During this phase, we meet with the client to clarify the budget, set timelines for the production, identify if there is a need for a cast, a voice over (VO) or interviews, discuss shoot locations and specific ideas the client wishes to see included in the final video. Once agreed, we start our pre-production stage that includes:

Site Visit (recce) 

It’s a pre-filming visit to locations to give us a clear idea of the space we will be filming in, allowing us to consider things like the access, the light, reflections, and background noise (if interviewing on-site) for example.

Storyboard Creation

This is an important part of the pre-production process because it enables you to visualise how your video will be shot, highlighting any potential problems early on. It also helps to develop the shoot plan, instructions for the director,  videographer and crew, editing instructions such as after-effects or specific graphics that will be needed.

Shoot Plan

It’s important to create a shoot plan 2-3 days prior to the shooting day to share with the client and all crew involved. This shoot plan will include all the details of that day’s shoot such as the location, time the crew will arrive to set-up, length of the shoot, cast required,  interviewees & times, props or requirements from the client etc. This is to ensure that the filming day runs smoothly and efficiently for all on site.

Cast Talent

Next to consider is whether your video requires a cast or actors to play out the scenes or help tell the story? Do you want to include colleagues in this or hire professional actors? If the video requires a voice-over we will discuss points to consider like the tone and personality you have in mind, male or female voice preference, and plan who will write the script.

Scripting

The script is the most important part of a voiceover-led or explainer video, as it drives the overall flow and engages the audience from the onset. At the initial planning stage we will ask the client who the audience are and what are the key messages they want to convey to that audience. Having a clear script agreed and planned helps clients to visualise the end product and when on paper you can see if anything is missing, gather feedback from your team and discuss corrections ahead of the shoot day.

Crew

Depending on the style of the video and the size of the production, we will have the appropriate crew on site for the shoot day. Our team includes:

  • Videographers
  • Director
  • Assistant Producer (AP) 
  • Audio Technician
  • Interviewer
  • Drone Videographer/Photographer

3. Production Phase

Now that all the planning and pre-production is complete it’s time to have some fun and bring the story to life! The production phase is where we capture all of the footage and record interviews and voice-overs for your video. 

1. Filming /Shoot days

The filming day typically includes:

  • Setting up the video equipment 
  • Setting up the Lighting (if required)
  • Choosing Interview locations (if happening on site)
  • Audio Technician to set up the audio equipment
  • Interviewer to chat with the interviewee to ensure they are made comfortable
  • Filming the location (Internals/Externals/Cast in action)
  • Capturing b-roll (extra footage to support the overall story)

2. Interviews

Before the camera turns on, we always have a chat with the interviewee to put them at ease and to get the conversation flowing in a natural way. We want to make the interviewee feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We recommend to the interviewee to be prepared before the shoot day by making  written notes and a clear idea of the points they want to say to the camera, and sharing this with us ahead of the shoot. This allows our interviewer to familiarise themselves and to have prompts and questions prepared for the interview, ensuring the interviewee does not sound too rehearsed or robotic,  as we are looking for natural, thoughtful answers. We always opt to organise the interviews in a controlled setting, with a nice background and where we can eliminate distractions, keeping the number the room to a minimum and all phones, laptops and electronic devices turned to silent/off. For nervous interviewees, we can arrange cue cards or rolling autocue, to help with line learning.

 

4. Post Production 

With all elements recorded, now it’s time to start the post production process, where the VM team will begin organising, selecting, planning and editing the video content to create your bespoke video. We will carefully review all the footage, listen and transcribe the interviews, select music in line with the style of video and begin the process of piecing it all together to bring the story to life.

The post production phase typically includes:

  • Scene Selection
  • Syncing/Editing the Interviews
  • Record Voice over (if required)
  • Creating Intro and Outros 
  • After effects and animation of text/logos on screen (if required)
  • Music selection
  • Producing the final story for review

We will send the first draft to the client to review and provide feedback. It’s important to wait for when all amends are gathered and sent back in one email to avoid additional edit fees. One round of edits is always included in our fees.

Once the video is finalised and approved, we will render and export the video to its final format and share it with the client. Once approved we make it available or post to pre-agreed channels for broadcasting.

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