what is the video production process

What is the Video Production Process

What is the video production process

With today’s video & editing technology available in the palm of your hand, anybody can make a happy feel-good holiday video for their Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or any other social media platform. But would you accept the same quality to tell a story or show a product from your business? I’m going to take a wild guess and say no. 

 

Depending on your product or service, a photo may not give your potential customer enough information about what it is you’re offering. Whereas a video can sum up everything in as little as 6 seconds. Why do I say 6 seconds? Originally when YouTube began selling ads,  the ad went for up to 15 seconds but the first 5 seconds were free, then you could click the skip button. How great is that? If you could tell your story or relay your message quick enough you could have had free advertising. Unfortunately, as time went on and our attention span fell shorter and shorter, YouTube now sells ad space as little as 6 seconds.

What is the video production process

The “Skip Ads” button appears after the first 5 seconds.

But just because a video only needs to run for 6 seconds, doesn’t make it a fast process. To really get the most out of your video there are three main steps you should follow to ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Pre-Production

Identify the communication goal of the video, then figure out how this will be achieved. 

Things to consider:

  • Location – When shooting video on the Gold Coast, it’s important to remember which areas can be accessed and the times they are open to the public.
  • Time of day – If your video production is on the Gold Coast & you want to capture the beautiful golden sunshine at sunrise, ensure you check your weather app to be on location and rolling at sunrise as this beautiful light can’t always be recreated in post-production.
  • Equipment – If you are shooting throughout the day, will the location of the Sun hinder or overexpose your shot? Quite often lighting will be required if you are shooting outside through the day. Equipment should never be overlooked. Do you want aerial shots with a drone in your video production? This needs to be considered in the pre-production stage as a permit may be required to fly in the area.
  • Talent (actors) – I highly recommend hiring talent who are comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t know what it is but people can even begin to walk differently when the camera is on.
  • Dialogue/script – If you have a lengthy video, consider hiring a scriptwriter to work with.
  • Type of Video – Vlog, product review, event recap, ad etc.
  • Logistics – Do you need a road closed on the Gold Coast for your video production or a shop to be empty to get the shot you need? These are factors you need to have in order pre-shoot day.
what is the video production process
    • Schedule – to coincide with your logistics and the talent you have hired. 
    • Catering – How big is your shoot (& budget)? If you will require talent for a better part of the day, you will need to consider scheduling a break and food and water to keep them energised and happy. 

    To really get your pre-production over the line, a common practice is to storyboard your video, don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be drawn out at art level. Simply use similar images from the internet or even draw stick figures, every little bit of information helps. You can download a free storyboard template in the description below.
what is the video production process

Production

Capture all of the raw source material you need. . . and then some. Consider the same shot from a different angle, and then shoot another angle three times. If you are shooting a production that is estimated to last at least a minute, I cannot stress enough how much you need to overshoot each scene.

  • Footage – as I said, you might need to shoot the same thing three times from 3 different angles.
  • Sound – There are so many sites where you can download organically created sound effects ie. a car door slamming or a boat engine running at idle. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t capture sound organically when shooting. Always catch what sound you might need while shooting, just in case you can’t find what you want online.
  • Dialogue – Listen carefully to what is said. Although you may have read the script 14,000,605 times before shoot day, it might not sound right when you hear it. There is always the option of voice-overs after if the footage will allow for it but ideally, you want to get it right on the day. Listen carefully and always keep the goal of the video in mind.

Post-Production

Where the footage comes together with music, SFX, colour correction/colour grading & graphics to relay the defined goal from step one.

When creating your final edit you must keep the 3 M’s in mind.

  1. What is the Message
  2. What Mood are we setting
  3. What is the Main Goal of the video

What is the Message?

Is the purpose of your video to highlight a single product in particular or is it to showcase a number of products across your entire range. Are you trying to demonstrate the quality that predicts your price point or demonstrate your positioning strategy? 

What Mood are we setting?

When it comes to mood, ask yourself how your product is going to make your consumer feel.

Is your product or service going to give your consumers a sense of relief or happiness? Is it designed to make life more convenient or perhaps make a gruelling task more efficient? It is important to establish this mood with your visuals. This can be as simple as smiling, laughing or taking a deep breath after the use of your product. 

What is the Main Goal of the video?

Finally, what I consider the most important part of any video is establishing the main goal. If you have created a video to sell a product or to generate a lead then ensure you let people know this. Finish the video with a call to action “CALL NOW” or “BUY TICKETS”. Alternatively, if you have created a video for brand awareness, consider finishing the video with your mission statement followed by your logo and social handles. 

Another big part of the video production process is music.

Everybody loves the latest song on the top 40 charts right now, so to get the attention of your audience you should definitely use it, right? After all, our ears react faster than our eyes, so it only makes sense. Wrong! Not only does this breach copyright law but it will age your video as soon as that song becomes overplayed by every mainstream radio station. What I recommend to most business owners is to find a genre that you feel matches your business first, like hip hop or indie rock. Then, I encourage them to use a track that sounds of this genre, suits the mood you are trying to set and is royalty free. Purchasing a license to music is also a possibility, albeit more expensive.

This might feel overwhelming to begin with and your six-second production might not go as in-depth as the above mentioned but it’s putting in the effort before, to make sure you get what you want after. That is the difference between a good video and a great video.

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    5 Tips to help Improve your video editing workflow in Premiere Pro

    5 Tips to help Improve your video editing workflow in Premiere Pro

    5 Tips to help Improve your video editing workflow in Premiere Pro

    Have you ever taken over somebody’s video editing project and it was like trying to read Chinese algebra in braille? 

     

    An unorganised workspace is likely to lead to re-works or delivering a project over budget if the person taking over the project can’t find a file. This can have detrimental effects on a business, including reducing productivity and may create a stressful work environment.

     

    Below are my 5 Tips to help improve your video editing workflow in Premiere Pro and change you from a weekend warrior to an in-house content creator at an agency.

     

    TIP #1. Convenience leads to efficiency.

    The saying goes “it is what it is,” so in regards to a video editing project’s assets (footage, logo’s, effects etc), don’t name it something else. If you have a logo that needs to be used as a watermark for a project, place this logo in a folder called “[clients name] logos”. Don’t be that guy who puts it on the desktop labelled CL1.png. Why you ask? Because not everybody knows that CL stands for client logo.

     

    So before you import your footage, download the brief or look over the storyboard, I recommend you get your assets organised. If the client is ‘Bob’s Barber Shop’ then create a folder titled exactly that. This is where you will conveniently link every asset associated with Bob’s Barber Shop in the future. Now if somebody has to take over your project, they will know exactly where to look. 

     

    Bonus Tip!

    If you use a Mac for video editing and want to get fancy, you can also replace the file image with the client’s logo. Simply: 

    • Open a jpg. of the clients’ logo
      • > right click
        • > copy, then, right-click on the file titled Bobs Barber Shop and select “get info”. A window will appear, click on the file icon so it is highlighted and press “command V”. 

    As you continue to work on a client you begin to familiarize yourself with their logo as you have with popular brands such as McDonald’s, Subway & Mercedes. However, this leads me to my second point, sometimes a name is not enough.

     

    TIP #2. Sometimes a name is not enough.

    A brand is so much more than a logo, though, that’s a conversation for another time. If you can’t look at the Nike swoosh and know that product is of Nike’s range, then I question where you have been for the past 40 years. The point here is that in order to become more efficient you may need to reduce reading time. 

    When I import footage, sound, logo’s or anything else required for a video edit, I not only label the file in my finder before I import it, I colour label the file and its contents once it hits the media browser panel in Premiere Pro. I have my own little system that you can use or you can create one that works for you. 

     

    My System

    I break down my footage into categories. For example, any drone footage, I colour blue, as a drone flies in the sky and for the most part, the sky is blue. I run and gun on the ground, so this footage is given brown, like the dirt. Footage shot from a tripod is red, a tripod is static and so am I when sitting at a red light in traffic. . . see where I’m going with this? It’s these little adjustments to my workspace that create efficiency & improve my video editing workflow. I don’t have to read the file title to know where it has come from when it is in my media browser or timeline, I can already see that by the colour.

     

    To change the colour of your footage do the following:

    • Import a folder to the media browser by clicking file>import>file> OR with the project panel selected press “command I” or “control I” on windows. 
      • Select your PRE-NAMED file (in this case DJI). 
        • Once the file has finished importing, open the file and highlight all of the contents and the file itself. 
          • Right click> label> and select your colour. 

    Doesn’t sound like much of a time saver but over time you’ll find yourself quickly knowing where to find certain clips with much more ease.

     

    TIP #3. Know your shortcuts!

    This one is pretty self-explanatory? Command (⌘) “I” is a lot quicker than clicking File>import>media. You can create your own shortcuts or edit the existing ones. This might take a while to adjust to but this tip is guaranteed to speed up your video editing workflow. 

    To do so:

    • Click on Edit (on Windows) or Premiere Pro (on Mac) or hold option+command+k.
      • Then, select the Keyboards Shortcuts option: This will open the keyboard shortcuts option box. A window that’s a little bit overwhelming will appear, but it wouldn’t be an Adobe product if it wasn’t. This window displays all of the shortcuts available for the selected panel, which you can change from the drop-down menu on the top left.
        • Add/edit shortcuts that work for you.

    Over time you’ll pick up on some different ones that could make your editing that little bit easier and faster. This may seem like a lot of effort every time you want to discover a shortcut, but don’t stress. I recommend you try asking our mutual friend Google, as there are multiple PDF’s you can download online. Another option is to buy a keyboard skin, these have the shortcuts printed on the keys, you can find these on eBay for around $20AUD.

     

    TIP #4. Use proxy files.

    Don’t be scared when you hear the word ‘proxy’, it’s going to be ok. If you have large video files to edit and you’re still rocking your MacBook Pro from mid-2013, chances are your laptop is going to slow down a bit (a lot) and struggle to process 4/5/6k+ footage. Proxy files help, creating or attaching a proxy file lets you downgrade your footage to a lower resolution like 1080 or 720 for editing purposes. 

     

    Once you have made your cuts, speed ramps and added all the bells and whistles that make your footage come to life, the click of a button will convert the file back to that beautiful high res footage with all of your applied effects.

    “Ok, so how do I do this?” you ask. I’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how to set this up easily and efficiently.

     

    1. Select the footage you wish to create proxy files for.
    2. Right-click, select proxy>create proxies.

     

    How to create proxies in premiere pro

    3. A dialogue box will open for you to select your settings.

    Proxy settings for Premiere Pro

    4. Select your Preset (I choose Quicktime & the 1280×720 Apple ProRes 422 Proxy setting)

    5. For the destination file, select “Next to original media, in Proxy folder”

    6. Now Adobe Media Encoder will open and begin encoding your footage to a lower res file.

    Congratulations you have just created the proxy files. Now how to use them in your workflow.

    1. In the program panel, select the small “+” icon in the bottom right-hand corner.
    2. Click and drag the toggle proxies icon (below) into the toolbar below your preview window.
    Toggle proxies button

    3. When this button is clicked, you will be editing the low res proxies. 

     

    You’ll notice that your play head will smoothly scrub through your timeline and the playback will play without dropping as many frames. When the toggle proxies are turned off, you will drop frames and not run nearly as smooth.

     

    TIP #5. Continue to be a weekend warrior.

    Like anything, practice makes perfect (or as close to it as possible). You’re not always going to like what you’re creating at work, I’ve had to create videos on drawer sliders before, which was only slightly difficult to get excited about. When we shoot and edit films for ourselves, it’s usually something we are interested in or something that we take a bit of pride in. When you put in the time on a home project you might discover a little trick that makes you think “I could use this on the project I’m creating at work”. It all becomes one big learning circle. Watch other clips and try to recreate them, you may not have done the same thing to get the same result but it still works, 2 + 2 is 4 but so is 1 + 3. 

     

    SUPER TIP #1 And the something you should takeaway if you want to be successful

    Collaborate with other creatives, take criticism on board, try different things, find your own flow but do your best to make it semi-universal, so at any stage, somebody can (hopefully) take over your project on drawer sliders.

     

    Raigan Meadows. 

    Content Co-ordinator and Videographer at Media Booth™.

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