At a recent business event, I was chatting with various people from various industries. Inevitably we’d reach a point in conversation where someone would ask what I do. I’d say, “I work for a video production company!”
As the conversations continued I noticed a repeated pattern: While many professionals are aware that video content is a major asset to their businesses, they are still mystified about the process of creating a video, and why working with a professional video production company is so important.
Obviously, these were all folks who have yet to create a video, and are sadly “behind the eight-ball” when it comes to modern marketing and creative representation. This post is for them, and you, to give you a better idea of what it’s like to work with a video production company.
Why Professional is Better than DIY
Before you get started working with a video production company, it helps to know why this might be a better plan than creating DIY (Do It Yourself) video. Sure, you can use an iPhone or another camera on your own, but:
- Will it look good?
- Will it sound good?
- How much time will it take?
- Will it perform well enough to make DIY worth it?
- Will it reflect well upon your business and enhance your goals?
It’s typical for many people to think they can save some money and just film a video on their own, but frequently these DIY videos are poorly lit, have bad sound, are not edited so they may be too long or boring (hence losing valuable viewer attention).
A video like this can do damage to your business and brand image. Brand image is not a frivolous concern, and too many professionals make the mistake of not taking this seriously. It’s worth it to hire professionals who have experience, a proven process, high-end equipment as well as filming and editing talent.
Starting the Process with Discovery
When you make contact with a video production company, they’ll need to gather a lot of information from you in order to truly understand what it is you wish to achieve with your video, and other particulars you may have in mind.
An experienced team will be able to lead you through this discovery process and talk to you about your goals, your video needs, creative details, timing, plans for using the video (distribution) as well as budget.
They’ll be able to advise on various concepts and how they compare to budget, helping you arrive at a plan that can help accomplish your goals effectively and efficiently. They’ll then be able to move forward with you into the video production process.
The Production Process
The production process has three main phases: pre-production, Production, and post-production. From the beginning (in pre-production), it’s important to have an idea of what will be executed in each phase in order to reach the end goal. However, it’s not uncommon for projects to change as they move forward, and for various details to shift and need to be accommodated for throughout the production and post-production phases.
This is the first phase where all planning and preparation take place. Once you have a creative concept and budget agreed upon, pre-production is when all of the following details will be addressed:
- Scheduling a film date and timeline
- Location scouting or booking studios
- Creation of shot-lists
- Buying, Designing or Building Props
- Scheduling crewmembers
- Reserving rented equipment (if needed)
- Hiring additional staff (stylists, extra assistants, specialists, etc.)
- Anticipated editing styles, techniques, and timeline
- Anticipating assets required in post-production (music, images et al.)
- Anticipating delivery specs for distribution, and much more
As you approach your film date, all of these details will need to be locked into place, and ready for execution.
This is the phase where all filming is executed. The crew, talent and hired specialists arrive and prepare to film all planned scenes and shots. Everyone follows the schedule that was outlined in the pre-production phase to make sure the time is used wisely and every bit of footage needed is captured.
The crew will capture everything they planned on filming, but will also likely capture extra or additional coverage so that they have a range in options to use in the post-production phase.
This is the editing phase in which all footage is watched, sorted, clipped and categorized, and then worked into a first working edit, or first cut. In the post-production phase, and editor will use their skills and talents to assemble the footage and it’s corresponding audio appropriately.
The editor will also apply any other visual or audio assets, such as:
- Sound effects
- Motion effects or templates
- Special effects
- On-screen text or text animation
- On-screen logos or static images
- Transitions, and more
After presenting you with a first cut of the assembled video, the video production company will work with you to make any additional tweaks or updates to arrive at a point where the video is approved. The editor will then save and export all final video files according to the format required for sharing and upload.
For example, a video to be uploaded via mobile to a social platform would need to be a smaller file size, while a larger file size could more easily be uploaded to YouTube. Likewise, video to be used as a background visual built into a website may also need to be a different format than video that is shared on YouTube or various Social Media platforms.
A Long-Lasting Relationship
A professional video production company doesn’t want to just work on one project with you and then bid you farewell. They’ll want to find out how your video is performing and help you tend to adjustments that can help optimize your video for best viewing practices.
Nowadays businesses are benefiting the most from ongoing video content, and a professional video production company can be the most efficient way of producing and re-shaping your video content on a repeat basis. It’s also much more cost-effective to partner with a video production company than to build your own video production team in-house.
All of these insights to the process are valuable toward taking that first step (or next step) with a video production company, and helping your business make the most of this powerful marketing tool.