Thanks to the internet, we see videos of various kinds all the time nowadays on social media, but all that watching hardly gives us any real insight into how those videos were made. If we are talking about marketing videos for a business, it’s best to look at professional online video production services for implementing your ideas through video and conveying your message, but if you want to get to know more about the process itself, read on.
What is Video Production?
Video production is a broad term that basically encompasses the entire act of creating a video. This video in question could be a film, a documentary, a music video, a YouTube video for a channel, a marketing video, or just about any other form of video that has been produced methodically. A properly made video differs from a clip because the former is the finished, final product while the latter is only the raw content created for that product. There are three video production stages involved in producing all manner of video content and we are going to discuss them next.
The 3 Stages of Video Production
Every video production project is usually divided into three broad stages and they are the Pre-Production Stage, the Production Stage, and the Post-Production Stage. At times, the pre-production stage is referred to as the planning stage, while the post-production stage is simply called Editing. In order for a shoot to be successfully converted into a finished video, all the stages of video production must work in perfect harmony with each other and each segment has to be completed with professionalism and dedication. There needs to be a sense of continuity among the three phases because that’s one of the big factors which separate a good video from decent footage that has been ill-managed and poorly put together.
Pre-Production Stage (Planning)
The pre-production stage is where you plan the whole thing. This could involve a ridiculous amount of details if your project is a big one and you don’t have too much experience in film-making. Your first job would be to find out everything that is necessary for completing the entire production process and then write it all down. Once that’s done, you need to arrange for those resources, shooting equipment, tools, actors, etc. before you can begin with the actual production process. As you can guess, one of the toughest parts of the planning stage is setting a budget. Unlike big budget Hollywood movies, you don’t have millions of pounds at your disposal, so you will have to make do with what you have and that’s something which will take a lot of careful planning. Check out a few tips below to help you with the planning stage.
- Decide on how long your video is going to be
- Decide who your target audience is and work accordingly
- Concentrate on the intro, as that’s what will draw your audience in
- Revise your script as necessary
- If various locations are involved, visit them early and set up shop before time
- Make a list of the equipment you already have to maximise your resources
Production Stage (Shooting)
Now that you have already completed the most difficult of the video production stages, it’s time to get into the actual shoot. By now, you should have everything you need with you so it’s about the direction, the acting, and the camerawork. Although the general instinct is to complete both the camerawork and the direction on your own for small projects, you may need to hire a few professionals or at least get someone with a bit of experience behind the camera for the bigger ones. If you have plans to do the camerawork yourself, then keep the following points in mind for producing the best results
Lighting –When you are not shooting in natural light, you should preferably have at least three sources of light ready; key lights, fill lights, and backlights.
The Rule of Thirds –You are probably familiar with camera guidelines (tic-tac-toe grid) and the rule of thirds, so use those guidelines for ensuring better shots. Focus on placing your subjects of interest for the particular shot on one of the third lines and close to an intersection of two lines. If you are not looking at a screen while shooting, just imagine the guidelines.
Different Shots – Depending on the demands of a scene, you need to make use of long-range, mid-range, and close-up shots. Also, try different angles for different shots; if you can record the same footage from two separate cameras at separate angle simultaneously, that will come in very handy during the editing stage.
Headroom –Your subjects should have ample space above their heads, but not too much. Striking the balance in varying situations is very important, as anything more or less will throw the viewers out of the experience.
Post-Production Stage (Editing)
Post-production is the last of the three stages of video production and this is where all the footage that you have captured so far is brought together and edited to turn it into the final piece of video that you were aiming for from the start. A lot of footage will have to be discarded, while other scenes will need to be cut short or stitched together during the post-production stage. This is also where animations and special effects will be added, as necessary. Assuming that you are new to video editing, the following points should be useful in guiding you.
- Do not exceed the timeframe you decided on during pre-production
- If you have multiple shots of the same footage, compare them side-by-side before selecting one
- Use special effects and digital enhancements sparingly, unless the theme of the content requires that you use them
- Except when it’s intentional, the viewer should at no point feel like they are looking through a camera
Video production is not something that you will learn by reading articles alone, but knowing the basics will definitely help when you start. The best way to learn more is by working with established professionals, but if you don’t have the opportunity to do so right now, watch their work and learn what you can from it, before trying to implement a few tricks in your own projects.