Lazy humans want nothing more than to be able to digest new information quickly. The most effortless way to do this is by watching a video, which is why marketing companies should invest in video production services in order to deliver unique and impactful messages to a massive audience.

Five billion videos are consumed on YouTube every single day, but don’t let that seemingly competitive content volume make you sweat. Instead, think to all of the excruciatingly bad, poorly produced YouTube videos you’ve watched in your lifetime. Your brand or company’s video content won’t be one of them if you work with an experienced video production company that ensures visual quality, entertainment factor, and a beneficial ROI.

True professionals will help you avoid expensive production mistakes by breaking the process down into three stages, whether you’re filming a multi-episode web series or tiny promotional video productions. Learn and internalize these steps before you get to planning so you won’t break your budget by miscalculating shoot days (or boxes of pizza for the crew).

Stage 1: Pre Production

What Is Pre-Production?: Reading the recipe and buying the right ingredients before you make the cake

Pre-Production is the initial step where you and your team sort out the logistics before the cameras start rolling. These aspects include:

  • Budgeting
  • Research
  • Story development
  • Scriptwriting
  • Storyboarding
  • Casting
  • Hiring crew
  • Renting equipment
  • Location scouting
  • Obtaining permits
  • Sourcing props and wardrobe
  • Scheduling for production and post-production

Carefully deciding on the 5W elements of your production (who, what, where, when, why) will set the entire process up for success in terms of budget and overall video quality. With the infinite amount of crews, cameras, video equipment, and production tools available these days, it’s imperative to be choosy based on your production’s needs.

Stage 2: Production

What Is Production?: Making the cake!

The second stage, Production, starts as soon as filming begins and can last one day or an entire year depending on the breadth of your production. This step requires constant and clear communication from the production crew, including producers, directors of photography, camera operators, sound production experts, gaffers and grips (electric and lighting specialists), hair and makeup artists, set designers, production assistants, and caterers. After all, a well-fed crew is a happy and motivated crew!

There’s usually a production manager who sends a “call sheet” or “production memo” to the crew that details the day’s filming location, schedule, and individual start times for everyone who needs to be on set. Preparing for a shot (setting up lighting and camera equipment, set styling, getting the cast ready with wardrobe, hair and makeup, etc.) can be a time-consuming process, so filming often begins hours after the crew has already started their day.

Once the cameras start rolling, the team works together to make sure the day moves smoothly and according to schedule. Meticulous observation of the agenda and constant communication within teams and between teams safeguards a production from obstacles created by poor planning and allows everyone to focus on capturing incredible content.

Stage 3: Post-Production

What Is Post-Production?: Decorating the cake and serving it to guests

Once filming is complete, post-production companies will edit the footage so the vision for the video can start to take shape. An assistant editor prepares the footage for the editor by importing, logging, and organizing it in the computer. Guided by the script and direction from a producer, the editor works on the “rough cut,” which is basically a first draft of the video. As the name suggests, a rough cut can look a bit…rough—like a naked wedding cake.

After the producer and client review the rough cut and provide notes on changes that need to be made, the video enters the “fine cut” stage, where edits are implemented and the video is polished as a whole. The cake gets the icing (so to speak), in the form of music, graphics, voiceovers, special effects, sound effects, etc.

Composers and graphic artists may compose custom music and animate eye-popping graphics for expensive and complex film productions in Post-Production. In the case of low-cost media productions, an editor will use simple-but-effective graphics and use stock music libraries to supplement the mood and feel of the video. Whatever the budget may be, a good editor will have the creativity and experience to add pizazz to your video to naturally make it stand out to your target audience.

Once the fine cut is approved by the client, the video enters color correction and audio post-production (aka “sweetening”), which is when audio levels are mixed and smoothed out. After these elements are perfected, it’s time to share your video with the world!

Now that you’ve been primed to create effective and exciting video content, do yourself (and your company) a favor by making this promise: Commit to working with a solid, experienced production studio that has proven their ability to bring a brand’s vision to life in a timely and cost-effective manner. The right team will use tried-and-true planning strategies to amplify your messaging through video. Simply put, choose your bakers wisely and your customers will keep eating the cake.

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