We understand that corporate video production may be an intimidating proposition for many of our prospective clients. Our goal here is to give you a general introduction to how it all works and also to some of the terminology you might be encountering for the first time.
Every creative production – video or otherwise – tracks through three distinct phases. In the first phase, called PRE-PRODUCTION, we develop the framework and timeline for the entire project. In the second phase, called PRODUCTION, we actually shoot and record all of the content that was mapped out during pre-production. In the final phase, called POST-PRODUCTION, we synthesize the raw production footage into a final, polished video.
In many ways, it’s just like building a house. First, you do a lot of planning – picking a location, drawing up plans and blueprints, securing permits, etc. Then, you obtain all of the materials and have them delivered to the construction site. And finally, the construction crew assembles the house according to your planned specifications.
What the analogy hopefully makes obvious is that the middle stage – the acquisition of the raw building materials (or video, in our case) – is often the shortest portion of the project. That is not to say that it is easy per se, but it is to say that with good planning it should be relatively straightforward. Keep that in mind as you read further.
Pre-production is really just another word for planning. The more specific and detailed you can be in this initial stage, the better your project will stay on the rails as it travels towards completion.
Almost all of the projects that our clients bring to us fall into one of two general categories. Knowing what category your project is in will help you gain a much better idea of it’s projected trajectory, timeline, and overall cost. For more information on these two categories, please read our Creative vs. Technical Projects blog post.
With very few exceptions, every project needs some kind of a script or creative treatment (for now, we’ll just call it a script). Depending on the nature of your video, that script could take many forms. Usually, it will be a relatively detailed document – complete with the narrative text, references for on-screen text and/or graphics, and general shooting instructions. And of course, the more detailed the script is, the more likely the project is to sail through the following two stages with no headaches or unwanted surprises.
The script is the basis of your entire project, so it is extremely important to give it due consideration. Who is your target audience? How do you plan to hold their attention? What is your message? It is easy to understand? Does it properly reflect your brand? The answers to these questions can sometimes be more complex than you might expect. For those who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of doing all of this planning from scratch, we offer extensive creative and scriptwriting services that will give your project the substance and direction that it needs to be successful.
Production is where the rubber meets the road. After the script has been approved, the production team is assembled and sets out to capture all of the necessary components to create a complete video.
Video production can be quite straightforward or measurably complex depending on the nature of the project. For example, if the project requires on-screen talent, the amount of equipment, setup time, and production time each increases exponentially. Being psychologically prepared for the amount of time required for a high-quality production is important, and we always strive to give our clients accurate, non-sugar coated estimates of how long they can expect a shoot to take.
It is a common misconception to think that the post-production phase is the “home stretch” of making a video. Recall the home-building analogy; post-production is when the builders unpack, organize, and assemble all of the raw material into a final form. In video creation, this is a time-consuming task. A single minute of video can require a full week of post-production time in certain cases (such as when heavy effects or motion graphics work is required). And since this is the phase when the “story” is finally crafted, it is imperative that no corners are cut.
If time is of the essence, it is equally critical that our clients be ready to proof and offer detailed feedback in a timely manner; even seemingly small changes can require a few days to complete.
Ready to start your project? Get in touch with us via our Contact page!