If you’re wondering what professional video production is about, then you’ve come to the right place. In this post, you’ll learn what video production is, what it’s used for, and what it’s not. You’ll also gain an understanding of the different steps of video production, from the planning in pre-production, to the actual shooting, and post-production as well as the responsibilities of key personnel in the production team.
What Is Video Production?
Video production is the process of creating video content. Video production involves coming up with a video concept, planning, shooting, video editing, and finally distributing the finished video. This entire process requires professional video-making equipment, video editing software, and a skilled team to produce great video content.
Video production uses visual storytelling techniques to get its message across to a specific audience. Video production is usually done for television programs, and advertising purposes like commercials, customer video testimonials, corporate videos, and marketing videos. Video production can also cover an event like a wedding, or concert. The production of music videos for professional artists can also fall under video production.
With the rise of social media platforms, a brand may wish to reach its audience by creating videos on these platforms. Explainer videos and animated videos that describe how a product or service functions are very popular on YouTube. Gorgeous natural scenery captured with drone cameras is now being used by luxury resorts and tour operators to showcase their hotels, and destinations to tourists.
Video Production Is Not Film Production
Video production is sometimes confused with film production. It used to be easy to separate the two. Feature filmmaking used to be done with film cameras that recorded on film reels, while video productions recorded footage with video cameras on tape or memory cards. While feature filmmaking has started using digital cameras in the past two decades, the content they produce is meant to be viewed in a movie theater, whereas the content of video production is usually meant for marketing purposes.
Video Production Is Not Simply Videography or Video Editing
Videography is simply capturing footage on a camera. This can be done by anyone without any professional training. Recording a video at a birthday party using a smartphone camera can be called ‘videography’. While videography is a part of video production, the latter involves more careful planning of the creative concept, considering the brand it has to promote, and what the clients wish to achieve with it.
Video editing is also a part of video production, but not the whole thing. If a company only advertises itself as a ‘videography’ or ‘video editing’ company, it may not have the expertise to cover all aspects of video production. Let’s find out what a video production company really does.
What a Video Production Company Does
Video production is both technical and creative. It requires a production team that includes technical persons that know how to handle the gear and video editing software. They also need a bit of creative flair when it comes to telling the story as well. Finally, there are marketing people who understand the business side of things.
The typical video production can be broken into several phases where the specific members of this team like videographers, technicians, video editors, graphic designers, and marketing people come in and play their roles.
Marketing Strategy (Idea Generation)
Whether it’s product explainer videos on YouTube or flashy marketing content for a five-star hotel, the purpose of the video, and what the client wishes to achieve must first be understood. This is where the video production company and the marketing team from the client side sit down and discuss all of this.
Does the video have to bring in more visitors to the corporate website? It is there to get people to subscribe to a service, or make a reservation? How does the client keep track of the video’s performance online, and what are the metrics? How does the video tell the story, and get its message across to the target audience? And of course, what is the budget allocated for the production?
Answering these questions at this stage will make the rest of the process much smoother for the client as well as the video production team.
Pre-production (Planning, Scheduling, Budgeting)
With the marketing strategy understood, the video production team can get to work on the concept for the video. A script is written to communicate ideas and edited to ensure it represents the brand well. Storyboards may also be prepared to visualize what the finished video will look like. This also helps communicate the required shots for the cinematographer. Locations are scouted if the production is done outside a studio, and actors are cast. Much like film production, costumes and props are also prepared albeit on a smaller scale.
Since the production company may not always have all the gear they need like lighting rigs or audio equipment, this might have to be rented from another party. Whatever the case may be, a great deal of effort goes into scheduling all the equipment and personnel needed for the video shoot. Some locations may require filming permits and other places might prohibit the use of drones. These legal aspects have to be sorted during pre-production. Accurate budgeting is essential as well if the client is allocating a small budget.
This stage is where the production team is finally on set at the location with all the actors, crew, props, cameras, and lighting rigs they need. The director yells “action” and the cameras start recording. The production phase may take a few days or a few hours depending on the complexity of the video. If it’s an outdoor location, the lighting or weather may also have an effect, and checking the weather forecast ahead of time is a must. Safety is also important if any stunts or special effects are used on the set.
The scheduling and budgeting done in pre-production really pay off during the shoot if done well. Rented equipment may be costly, actors may not be available for the entire duration of the shoot, and bad weather can ruin a production fast. If poorly planned, there could be delays which can drastically affect production and drive it over budget.
Post-production (Video Editing, Sound Effects, Visual Effects, Music, Etc.)
Post-production is the longest phase of the process and includes video editing, musical scoring, sound effects, visual effects, color correction, titles, and more depending on what the client wants. Video editors first use software like Adobe Premiere Pro to cut and assemble the recorded footage into a rough cut. This cut will only include the video and properly synched audio that was recorded but not the other elements like music or graphics.
In the video editing stage, additional shots may be added or removed to better communicate ideas or the intended message of the video. Once the director is happy with the cut, the video is handed over to the visual effects artists, title designers, composers and whoever else is next on the video production pipeline. Finally, color correction and audio mastering is done to properly balance all the visual and sound elements of the video.
One of the most important elements of post-production is to keep all the recorded data and important information stored safely and securely. It should be easy for all production stakeholders to quickly access this data but difficult for anyone outside to steal it. A professional production company will keep everything organized with backups in case of data loss.
Video Distribution or Handover
Finally, the video production company hands over the completed video to their business client with all the data files in the desired format needed to distribute it. Some production companies may even be experienced in social media marketing or digital distribution, making them capable of handling this aspect as well.
Whatever the case may be, this is where the target audience finally starts watching the video. This is where all the planning and effort that went into video production pays off. Clients can keep track of performance metrics like the number of views, likes, shares, and various other viewing statistics to evaluate if their objectives have been achieved.
Why You Need Professional Video Production Services
Now that you understand the tremendous effort that a professional company puts into video production, and the complicated steps of the process, you’re better prepared to choose the right people for your next video project. If you wish to learn more about the benefits of using a video production company, read Why You Need Creative Video Production Services.
Video production involves creating a video from the idea generation stage to delivering a finished piece of content that tells a story or delivers a message to its target audience.
Video production is used for television programs, commercials, music videos, testimonials, marketing videos, corporate videos, events, and even weddings.
The video production process involves the strategic phase for concept development, pre-production for planning, production for shooting footage, post-production for editing, and finally distribution where it is presented to the audience.