From little-edited, sit-down videos all the way to immersive, interactive content, complete with clickable links, or even movies, the video production process remains essentially the same. It does involve some thought, tools, and know-how, but even the most basic understanding of it will give you a solid foundation on which to start building your own video project. In this video production guide, we’ll explore how to plan a video production project through nine simple steps.
What Is the Video Production Process and Why Does It Matter?
There are three distinct video production steps, which can be broken down into single actions.
The first is called pre-production, during which you will:
- Define your video strategy;
- Create a content plan;
- Choose your location;
- Decide who will be involved in the project;
- Source your equipment;
- Schedule your shoot;
Then comes the production phase, which boils down to the actual shooting of your video.
Lastly, editing and distribution happen during the post-production phase.
If the video production process is so strictly outlined, it’s because many elements come into play. Following these video production steps to a T is the best way to make sure that you will meet your objectives all while sticking to your deadlines and budget. Remember, the higher the quality of your content, the more engaging it will be for your viewers!
Pre-Production: The Planning Phase
The video production process always involves a planning stage during which all the key decisions are made prior to the shooting itself. This includes six steps designed to take any guesswork out of the equation once the cameras start rolling.
Defining Your Strategy
Start by asking yourself why you are making a video. What’s its purpose? Why are you choosing this format over any other? This will help you pin down your objectives, which could range from increasing engagement to boosting sales, building brand awareness, etc.
There is no “perfect” strategy when it comes to the video production process, only “the perfect strategy for you”! In other words, look at what makes your project unique. From your value proposition to your target viewers, to your specific outlook, be sure to create your content accordingly.
Don’t forget to set a realistic deadline for the completion of your project, and to assess your budgetary constraints as precisely as you can. Look into how you can produce the highest-quality video possible within those limitations.
Creating Your Content Plan
Now that you know why your video should exist, think about what it’s going to say, and how. Create a storyboard that will help you plan the different shots you need and write either a full script or a list of topics you wish to address, point by point. This will vary based on the “look and feel” you envision.
From that, list any locations, people, props, or specific equipment you will need to create your shots.
Finding Your Location
This may be a no-brainer if you already have the perfect spot. But in some cases, you may need to ask for permission, to book a location, or even to prepare for potential issues. If you’re filming outside, for example, changes in lighting, ambient noise, or rain could be additional complications.
Working with the Right People
Are you going to be on the video yourself? Do you need actors, customers who are willing to share their testimonials, guests who specialize in the topic at hand? Who will be in charge of filming, editing, promoting?
Ask yourself who is best suited to address your audience and truly make an impression.
Finding the Right Equipment
If you’re only going through the video production process once, for a specific event, for example, you may not need to invest in much specialized equipment. Either your phone may suffice, or you could rent out the camera, microphone, and lighting that will help you bring your project to life.
Look into any additional tools your content may call for, using your production plan as a guide.
Scheduling Your Shoot
It’s time to bring everything together and to decide when shooting is going to happen. Make sure everyone involved is available and book your location accordingly if need be.
Production: It’s Time to Get Shooting
This might just be the most exciting step in the video production process!
Now that you have your plan of action and all your tools at your disposal, it’s time to set up your equipment, rehearse to make sure everyone knows exactly what’s expected of them, and shoot the video.
Again, this may be a little different depending on whether you’re shooting an interview, sales-oriented content, animated content, if you need to record voiceovers, to capture b-roll footage, etc. Keep referring to your plan and storyboard to check that you aren’t forgetting anything.
Post-Production: Almost There!
In this step of the video production process, raw footage finally becomes a polished video your audience will love.
It includes editing, which involves selecting the best shots and cutting out whatever isn’t up to par, and arranging the most relevant clips to create the perfect-length video. You will need to insert the soundtrack where it belongs and potentially add music or sound effects. That’s also where any interactive elements may be added. Use the tools available on the Onlive platform to turn your content into shoppable videos! Text and graphics are also added in post-production.
Finally comes the rendering of the video, which means exporting it in the format of your choosing, so you can distribute on various channels.
You can have a professional handle the editing part of the video production process or take care of it yourself as editing softwares are becoming increasingly intuitive.
Distribution: Show Your Video to the World!
This is the very last step in the video production process, where your finished video is uploaded to a hosting platform such as social media, YouTube, or even your own website. Don’t hesitate to play around with the length and the aspect ratio so you can show it on various channels.
All that’s left to do is promote your beautiful new video to make sure it reaches your target audience and meets your objectives.