Our Video Production Process
Often clients want a video but get stuck when it comes to describing what they want to us. While all videos are unique in their own way, here’s a short, generic guide to help move along the pre-production process.
Who will be watching your video? This is the most important step of the whole video production process. You must know who will watch the video and why you want them to watch it. You can imagine how the style of a video would be different when targeting employees versus clients or clients versus investors. Age, gender, and other demographics can also play into what type of video you create. A video that appeals to middle-aged mothers will differ from a video aimed at teenage boys. Understanding your audience will help you create a message that relates and appeals to them and grabs their attention from start to finish.
What is the purpose of the video, and what message do you want to communicate? Identify why you want your audience to watch this video and what is the main take-away. Then list out the key points you want to communicate. Having a clear and concise message is important for a video to serve its purpose. In this day in age, attention spans are short. Having a clear and concise message is important for a video to serve its purpose but also to engage the person watching it.
What do you want said in your video? This step may seem daunting, but this doesn’t need to be fancy or Pulitzer Prize-worthy. Just write what you want the interviewee or narrator to say. We’ve found that a scripted interview makes for a substantially better video. Interviewees are less nervous when they don’t feel like they need to come up with their own answers on the spot. A prepared script lessens the amount of ‘ums’ or stutters and other imperfections that come with speaking off the cuff. The subject can read a prompter off-screen to look much more like they are sitting with a real interviewer. With client testimonials, we’ll have the client approve the script first, but it’s always best to have them say exactly what you want!
It is best to keep most videos under 2.5 minutes. Typically anything longer than that will lose the viewer’s attention. Once your script is written, time yourself reading through it. Simplify and cut out anything that is not necessary. Still feeling like it isn’t good enough? Send it to us, and we will read through and provide feedback.
Shot List / Story Board
What do we need to capture? It is helpful to write a brief layout of how you would like the video to play out. Sometimes messages can be communicated in video with a simple shot. Sometimes it needs to be explained with words. Often times it is a mixture of both. Writing out a shot list ensures that we capture everything during the shoot for us to visually portray your message. Our crew can and will take creative freedoms during the shoot to capture additional footage that they feel is relevant or beneficial to the story, but you know your message better than we do. Again, nothing needs to be fancy, and we can provide our feedback on what you put together. A story board is sometimes optional for the pre–production process, but is an effective way for creative directors to verbally and / or visually portray their vision for the final video. It is helpful with any video with a detailed process or specific visual requests or requirements.
Who will be in your video? This could be anyone from a sales person, to a designer, the CEO, or a customer. This may be an actor. This may also be a narrator / voice over that will not be on camera. Sometimes we need extras.. people who will not be speaking at all, but just having a fake phone conversation or driving a fork lift. It’s always good to let people know in advance that they will be filmed in case they want to look their best on camera.
Location Management Where do you want to shoot? Always aim for a location that’s visually appealing. It is important to ensure that the location has adequate space for our equipment. Many times b-roll is necessary in restricted or secure locations, so advanced planning and clearance is required. If there are any safety protocols like steel toe boots, hard hats, goggles, etc., please let us know. If you do not have a location to shoot, we can shoot in our studio.
Props and Set Design
What will be in your video? Props can be anything from a product you are trying to sell to furniture that you are sitting on to details to help make your actor seem more authentic to a solid color background. It is important to make note and plan out any items that you will need at the shoot, big or small, to help share the message of your video.
Even if you aren’t shooting on a “set,” making sure that the location that we are shooting is visually appealing is important. You don’t have to be a set designer or interior decorator for this. Simple things like straightening and organizing the office of a CEO when he’s giving an address or cleaning up soda cans and trash around your facility when we are capturing b-roll can make a huge difference in the appearance of your company as well as the quality of the video.
Some clients know exactly what they want to use. Some don’t. We can accommodate requests.. We offer basic and advanced audio and lighting. Depending on the assignment, clients may need add-ons such as a teleprompter, a drone or live steaming equipment.
Once we know what, who, and where we are shooting, the final question to answer is when. Usually, the hardest part is getting everyone in the same place at the same time. Exterior shoots usually revolve around the sun. The “golden hour” is about an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset, for aerials add an extra hour or two. With exterior shoots, always have a contingency plan for inclemate weather. We recommend never filming on a Monday as too many things can change over the weekend when it is harder to get ahold of people.
Providing crew is primarily our job to recommend and schedule the necessary crew members to turn your vision and ideas into a captivating and engaging video. Along with our videographers and production assistants, this can include DP, director, makeup artists, food designers, drone pilots, visual observers, gaffers, interviewers, or any other crew member specific to your project.
The pre-production is over! This is where we come in and expertly capture your vision while adding our own creative touch, cinematic effects and visual expertise to capture the best video possible for you within your budget.
This is where our editors take the raw footage that we captured at the shoot and turn it into a captivating and engaging video. Whether it be adding music, text, effects, or animation, our talented post-production team uses your guidance and vision along with their creativity to put together a high-quality, professional video.
Formal ‘Sit Down’ Interviews
Formal interviews are the type where we have a reserved space / room and the interviewee sits or stands. These two-camera set ups include professional LED lighting and professional audio capture with a wireless lavaliere microphone and a boom mic as a backup.
Run and Gun’ Interviews
While formal interviews are scheduled and set up in advance, run-and-gun interviews are done on the fly with a single camera. Run-and-gun interviews are typically shot at events and red carpets with a handheld microphone. These types of interviews will often have activity in the background. We do not set up lights on run-and-guns, but in dark settings, we provide adequate lighting.
Talking Head’ Interviews
A ‘talking head’ is not a term we coined. It describes a person on video who addresses the camera and is viewed in close-up. The above clip shot for ISMG in Dallas, Texas is the perfect example. Often times teleprompters can be used to ensure lines are delivered perfectly. Talking head videos can be short or long. For long videos we like to be able to make cuts, either to a zoomed in angle or a side / off camera angle. We can also cut to b-roll like in this company profile video we created for the Marriage Place.
Multi-Person ‘interactive’ Interviews The typical formal interview has two people, but the one asking the questions is off camera. A multi-person interview is anytime two or more people are interacting on camera. This can be as simple as a two-person discussion like the example above or a 4-person panel / round table discussion. While our videographers can handle a lot independently, interviews with more than one person on camera require a film team / crew of two or more.