You’ve got a vision for your next video production. It’s going to be epic, beautiful… to rival any Emmy nomination. But hold on just a moment, there are some important things you should consider before committing to creating a video for broadcast or digital.
Foremost is understanding the most basic steps to producing a video. These include:
- Pre-Production — Includes storyboards or animatics, location(s), props, casting talent, costumes, hiring crew, securing equipment, set or prop construction, permits and creation of a detailed schedule. A good rule of thumb is three days of pre-production for every day of shooting.
- Production — This is the actual shooting and video recording or video capture.
- Post-production — The last step includes video editing, soundtrack, special effects, sound design, graphics and titles.
Script and Concept
One of the biggest reasons a project falls short of expectations is that people aren’t sure what they want. This results in multiple changes during production. These changes add to the cost of production and ultimately diminish the video or project quality. It’s very important to have a clear message and know what you’re trying to accomplish from the start. Remember, it’s okay to change your mind. But the longer you wait to make changes the more it’s going to delay the project, and it could impact the cost.
Have storyboards or animatics created. This will give you a clearer idea of how your spot will look, including mood and tone. During concept and script development is the time to ask questions and give your input.
Big, complicated ideas take more time to plan and produce. This video produced by Fridge required custom props and set design, which required preparation well in advance of the actual shoot.
But even simple ideas can require more time than you might think. Five seconds of perfect video can take hours to get just right. For instance, making the fruit fall in these smoothie videos required the creation of specialized rigging.
See the intense behind-the-scenes setup here.
Location, Location, Location
Locations can make or break a concept. A video shoot means lots of people, lights, wires, microphones, cameras and vehicles to transport it all and it involves plenty of “hurry up and wait.” Additionally, some locations require special advance permits, police presence or particular insurance coverage.
When deciding on a location, here are some things to consider: Is the location large enough? Is there ample parking? Is there power or will generators be required? Are there restrooms? Will we need to pay a fee or secure a permit to use this location? Will the neighbors complain? Weather, natural light and environmental sound (like planes landing or heavy traffic noise) are also important factors to consider.
Although it’s not necessary to hire a professional actor for a video, it may be incredibly beneficial depending on the subject, style and message of the project. Actors have the ability to convey a wider range of emotions, and many are able to engage viewers because of their training. Non-actors and unpaid talent can deliver honest reactions and feel more “real.” However, non-actors often require much more coaching and don’t always appreciate the long hours and repetitive nature of a video shoot.
Your talent choice often depends on your script. Documentary-style videos often contain interviews and key information about the organization. These work well with non-actors. However, some videos are story-oriented and involve dramatic or comedic circumstances. Actors are able to bring these scenarios to life in a believable manner.
Whether you plan to use a story-driven, documentary or other production style, choose on-screen talent that can convey the key message in an engaging, genuine manner.
The cost of any production is always the elephant in the room. A well-produced video is an investment in your brand, equally as important as a storefront or sign for your business. Your budget will depend on many factors, many of which we’ve discussed in this article. Someone will always show you a beautiful video “shot on an iPhone,” and assume it was inexpensive. But they seldom consider the hours of pre-production, storyboarding, location scouting, lighting, post-production editing and so much more that went into creating the iPhone masterpiece. Just like most major purchases, when it comes to video production, you get what you pay for. For quality, professional, video production, let Fridge produce your next video vision.
Rick Nelson, Senior Video Editor