Ok, so this is a cliched, romanticized notion of what actually happens on set. There’s a lot more to making a film or video than this. It’s a process. An involved one that includes a lot of people and a lot of moving parts.
Regardless of genre, budget and timeline of a production, or whether it’s a movie, a car commercial or a corporate video, there are 3 clear stages of the video production process: pre-production, production and post-production.
I’m sure you’ve heard these terms before, but what do they actually mean and what specifically happens in each of these phases?
We are pulling back the curtain and showing you behind the scenes.
Pre-production – setting the scene
Basically this is the part in the process where all the planning and coordination happens. It’s the period of time for strategizing and working with the client to determine goals, scope of work, budgets and timelines.
A creative video production agency will want to know a number of things before they can begin, but most importantly: What’s the brand personality, target audience, key messaging and where is the video or videos to be used? Website, TV ad campaign, social media, or for corporate purposes?
Once you’ve established those things through a creative brief and agreed on a budget, creative development can begin.
The script is the foundation for the entire production. It’s important to have a great script that hits all the right notes. Specifically in advertising, the script needs to be clear and concise; there isn’t much time to get the message across. The tone needs to be right too, and understanding the audience is key to this. The script should include messaging that’s on brand and doesn’t contradict with existing material, while also standing apart from competitors. Finally, a clear call to action. What do you want the viewer to do after watching the video?
Once the script is complete and approved, the director will write a treatment to talk about their approach to the video. This will include their vision for lighting, camera movement, art direction, pacing, casting, performance, music, etc. Then all the department heads will follow that treatment to accomplish their tasks.
Scouting for location and talent also happens during pre-production. It’s a good idea to do site visits early on to ensure that the location feels right and to determine if custom sets need to be built.
Casting is another important part of pre-production. The producer and director will be busy finding the perfect actors, screen testing them and selecting their wardrobe.
They will also be busy putting together an experienced production team that includes but is not limited to an assistant director, a director of photography, assistant camera, a gaffer, grips, production designer, props master, wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup artist, and sound recordist.
The director and director of photography will also plan their shots at this time and the director and assistant director will put together the shooting schedule.
Production – everyone’s favorite part of the process.
The meetings are over and the planning is done, the budget is approved and the production team is ready to go. This is when the excitement and the magic happens. This is where the story starts to come to life.
The goal of the production phase is to ensure all of the video content is recorded and collected, including everything on the storyboard if it is a scripted piece and all the interviews and b-roll if it is unscripted.
It’s the responsibility of the director and producer to ensure the crew captures all of the necessary footage on the scheduled production day or days. It’s not ideal, either financially or from a time perspective, to have to go back out to shoot more footage, so having an experienced producer and director is crucial.
Post Production – It’s all about the edit
Now that you have the footage, it’s time to put it together. This is post-production – the final stage, where video and sound are combined, graphics, animation or visual effects added and color touched up or corrected. This is also when you would record any voiceover for your video.
There may be different edits created depending on the end usage and audience. Shorter videos for social media advertising and a longer one for use on a website or YouTube for example.
The first thing you are likely to see in this phase is the rough cut. The rough cut is a crucial part of the post-production phase. It’s the first, early version of the entire piece. It may be lacking finesse and detail but provides a useful overview for the director and the team. The rough cut gives a sense of the general shape and flow of the final video, its feel, and how well the actors have performed.
Once the rough cut is approved, the fine detail will be addressed and the video edited to its final perfected version.
Editing is one of the most important parts of the process. It can make or break a film.
Philip Seymour Hoffman said it best,
“The film is made in the editing room. The shooting of the film is about shopping, almost. It’s like going to get all the ingredients together, and you’ve got to make sure before you leave the store that you got all the ingredients. And then you take those ingredients and you can make a good cake – or not.”
K&C live the process and can help you navigate it.
You can probably tell by now that video and film production is not just a process but also an art form. That’s why it’s a good idea to engage a professional creative video production agency to partner with. Make sure to check their client list, showreels, and specialties when researching them, too.
K&C have worked with fabulous clients and amazing production teams to create work we are very proud of.
But don’t take our word for it. Here are a couple of client testimonials and examples of work:
“K&C are creative, professional, responsive and operated as real pros. We also just like them and appreciated their enthusiasm for our brand.” Stacy Blackman, Co-founder of Stryke Club
“K&C are very in tune with what makes a company tick and can really bring that to life in a video” Gheorghe Pusta, CEO Epiphany Dermatology
When you’re ready to jump into that process and create a great video for your brand, let us know. We would love to hear more and help you bring that vision to life.