Contrary to common belief, making a video is not as easy as pressing record and sending out the end clip to Netflix, YouTube or any other platform. A good video production professional that’s keen on creating something worth watching usually has a plan in place. Whether you want a simple explanation video or the largest blockbuster in town, you have to follow a guide through the course of the project and ultimately convey your message to the end-user as intended.
Whether you want to produce a video yourself or seek the services of a video production freelancer, here are the 5 phases that are tried, tested, and proven to deliver results.
The first and possibly, the most fundamental phase in video production is the strategy development phase. Here is where you create the ultimate goals for your project. Basically, the aim is to create a clear image of what you intend to achieve so you can work towards it.
When establishing goals, good practice dictates that you stick to the SMART technique. To break it down, your objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
If you have any trouble making goals, try and think about the issues you intend to solve with the video, and then create your objectives around them. Ask yourself questions like: What is the reason for making the video? Who will be featured? What story do you want to tell? What action do you want your viewers to take? Which platform do you want the video to be published in? And finally, what budget have you set aside for the making of the video?
Just like the strategy development phase above, pre-production is yet another form of planning. The difference is that it is less abstract, taking on a more concrete form. Everything to do with the video shoot is done here, including storyboarding, scriptwriting, and assembling the assets needed. This is when you get to cast actors, scout locations, employ crew members, amend shoot schedules, match and fit costumes, and even hire equipment.
Since it involves a lot of activities, pre-production can run from a few days to months before the cameras get to roll (depending on the size of the project). The more you put into the planning, the less likely you will miss deadlines or go over the budget with the shoot. Before starting production, it is important that you also acquire all the permissions and licenses needed in the shooting locations.
The production stage is now where the wheels get into motion. This is when the creative minds get to see their ideas projected on film a day at a time. It is also where most of the budget is going to go. To avoid unnecessary costs, you need to create a reasonable and efficient shooting schedule. The schedule should be followed with utmost discipline by all crew members.
Also, consider any issues that may likely happen, like sudden changes in weather or equipment malfunction. Then you can create contingency plans around them to ensure that it goes without interruption. In most cases, you might have to handle them on the fly.
Production typically involves taking multiple shots at any one set, with live actors and a lot of props. The sound is mainly isolated on location, but you might need to add sound effects later on. The length of production will depend on the complexity of the video. While a simple how-to tutorial video may take an afternoon, movies tend to stretch out to months on end.
The post-production is when all the shots are brought together. The footage is edited as the post-production crew pieces the scenes together systematically. They also mix the sound and add appropriate visual effects. Post-production is also where the soundtrack is composed and integrated into the visuals. The titles are then made, and ultimately, the project is packaged, ready for distribution.
In order to get the project out on time, post-production should begin as soon as the shooting starts. This way, you get to identify any problems as you go and do any re-shoots before the crew and cast go home. The key is to do so without necessarily interfering with the shooting schedule.
From a business perspective, distribution may very well be the most important phase of video production. This is when producers seek to make a return on their investment. This can involve anything from distributing to cinemas and releasing DVDs to selling on a streaming service or TV network.
The aim of distribution is to make sure that the project gets as wide an audience as possible and garner the biggest return. Simply put, to gain profit, a substantial number of people have to view the content, enough to cover the cost of production.
Thanks to the digital age, there are a variety of platforms where viewers can access the content. The most popular of these are streaming services like Netflix, and Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Naturally, the distribution process today has also evolved to adapt to these changes. Besides television advertising, you can now market your project by sharing it on social media platforms like Instagram and youtube.
Although it is the last stage of video production, distribution and marketing strategies need to be planned in advance, preferably in the pre-production stage. Proper planning will ensure that your project actually gets to the target audience so that all that production won’t go to waste.
While each of those five stages is essential to create an appealing end product, ultimately, proper planning and preparation are key. Also, your video’s success is heavily influenced by the quality of filming and the level of professionalism involved. In short, your video will have a higher chance of going viral if it is of high quality.
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