What Is Video Production?
It takes a lot more than you may think.
One of the biggest factors for a successful video marketing strategy is the quality of the videos. Do they communicate a clear message? Are they engaging, well-produced, and customized for your company? You should be confident that all your company’s videos can answer these questions with a resounding yes!
In order to create those high-performing and distinctive videos you will need superb video production. Consider this your crash course on the subject: What it is, what it entails, and which elements make videos highly engaging and effective.
It takes a lot more than you may think.
So you want to make a video? Let’s get right into it.
Video production is a highly-skilled, collaborative, and creative process that includes three stages for developing video content: pre-production, production and post-production — we’ll go more in-depth on these stages in a little bit.
Video production can be accomplished in house — meaning a company does it themselves — or with a video production agency. There are pros and cons for each method and the decision to go with either one shouldn’t be taken lightly.
One important thing to consider is that video production requires skill in videography, a lot of time and an accessible team. Rarely are great videos made without these three ingredients. That is why it’s practical for most businesses to explore working with a video marketing agency.
Lights, camera, action. Let's dive into the three stages of video production.
Any professional video must first go through the pre-production stage. This stage involves creating the concept of the video, scriptwriting, storyboarding, and planning the logistics of the video shoot.
Conceptualizing your marketing video is a fun experience. A good brainstorming session with your team or video agency will nail down the aesthetic, tone, and run time of your video. However, keep in mind that the concept is dependent on the purpose of the video and what resources you can tap into for the production. For example, if you want a video to promote a new product but you only have a camera and video editing software, you’ll likely have a short, simple video that demonstrates the product itself but without any dialogue or callouts for a clear call-to-action.
On the flip side, if you already have a videographer in-house with AV equipment or you’re working with a video marketing agency, that same new product video can have visuals, audio, and even animations.
With more resources, there are more creative concept options for videos.
Once you’ve finalized the concept and purpose of the video, the next step is scripting and storyboarding. Scripting involves writing the dialogue or captions for the video if there is no dialogue. A good script will communicate what you'll learn from the video, but a great script will do that and communicate a clear call-to-action for the viewer.
Along the same line, great storyboarding accomplishes the same thing as great scripting but in a purely visual way. It involves sketching each frame of the video, one by one, in order to figure out how to visually convey the video’s goal. Storyboarding also helps figure out which types of lighting, camera angles, media, and scenery are needed for the video, as well as directions for how to cut and edit the footage in post-production.
Since pre-production involves planning the logistics of the video shoot, before production begins you should determine:
Got all of that?
Once you do, it’s time to learn where the video magic happens!
The production stage of a video is where a concept becomes realized. It’s where the actual filming — though now it’s digitized — begins and ends. Whether the video shoot takes place in a studio or in a specific location, any production process includes setting up, testing, and recording.
Lighting must be considered heavily during this phase, as it can make or break the quality of a video.
Even the most basic of lighting setups require at least three light sources placed correctly to eliminate shadows on the subject being recorded. Recording in natural light is also an option, but it can be trickier due to weather conditions and time as light levels fluctuate throughout the day.
Along with lighting, the camera and audio equipment must be set up properly and tested. A videographer will make sure the camera is stabilized and has the correct lens for the video shoot. They will also adjust the camera’s aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, as well as set up microphones to capture the right levels of noise from the subject and the background.
You’ve probably figured out by now that production is very technical and time-consuming. Oftentimes it takes a team of people to set up, test, and manage each aspect — lighting, camera, audio —, including a director to oversee it all. However, this set up process can be expedited using a video agency that has these resources already in place for a shoot.
Now that we have covered the technical side, there is also the talent, or subjects being recorded, to consider.
Coaching talent and making sure the right takes — scenes recorded — are captured during production are very important. The talent, whether an actor, voice actor or non-actor, must be guided throughout the production. They may know the script, but may not know other directions to follow, like their tone of voice, where to stand, or how to interact with props or their background. At the very least, the talent should be made comfortable and feel confident in what they are doing. This is how videographers get the best performances from their talent during production.
Now that you know the ins and outs of production, we’ll move into the final stage.
After seamless preparation and a smooth production, we’re strolling into post-production. This is where the recorded footage and added effects come together to create the final video. Once the video is edited and rendered, it’s then uploaded to a video platform for the world to see.
What goes into video editing can be just as technical and complex as the production itself. The best scenes are selected and put together using video editing software, typically Adobe Premiere or After Effects. However, even the best scenes can still have some mistakes, which is why videographers must set aside hours just to find and remedy them.
Video editing also involves selecting and syncing audio to match the visuals, making sure the sound levels are consistent and clear. Background music and voice-overs can make a big difference in the final video, too. The music and voice work should match the tone and messaging of the video, and selecting the right one is more art than science.
Most professionally edited videos also include visual effects, like graphics, animations and transitions between scenes.
These can help the video flow, engage viewers, and better deliver the main takeaways. They help explain and entertain even the most complex or commonplace topics to viewers. While visual effects aren’t necessary for a great video, they do help a company’s video stand out and leave a lasting impression.
Once the finishing touches are added, the last step is to render and upload the video to a suitable video hosting platform. There are many to choose from and each has its pros and cons. What they all have in common, though, is that they give companies the means to publish and share their catalog of videos.
This is the most important ingredient so don't forget it.
When it comes to your business, you want to make the best first impression. With video, that first impression can be made within seconds. With hundreds of other content reaching your customers every single day, yours has to be one that not only catches their attention but also engages with them. The best way to ensure that your videos resonate with your target market depends on two words: Production value.
Production value is not one single component of video production. It’s all the components, from scriptwriting to editing, that are working together throughout the entire production process. High production value is achieved with all of these components operating with precision and a clear purpose, whereas medium and low production value means these components are not similar in quality or they’re all completed with poor execution. If even one element of the production is not used effectively in the video, it can decrease a video’s production value immensely.
High production value matters because your business only has so much time to entice viewers. A 2019 survey from Vidyard reported that the average retention rate for videos is 52 percent. That means only half will watch a video to the end, while the other half will drop off at some point. It’s already an uphill battle to engage with 48 percent of viewers.
Videos with anything less than high production value don’t stand much of a chance to do it. Going viral with a low-value production video has happened, but for all the ones that didn’t get millions of views, they don’t produce much value for the business at all. In fact, low-quality videos may even hurt your reputation. Research from Brightcove in 2013 revealed that 62 percent of viewers who watch a low-quality video are more likely to have a negative perception of the brand.
To ensure your business videos have high production value, invest in your production resources. This includes your video team, equipment and software. It’s also important to invest a lot of time into your video production process, as more time can lead to better ideas, identifying and fixing errors, and refining your company’s messaging.
Doing this will set the foundation for an effective video production process where high quality is the standard and can scale without reducing the quality of videos. Some companies can take this on themselves, but a lot of companies will, understandably, turn to a video agency to help them get started.
And that’s a wrap on video production!
You’ve learned exactly what goes into creating videos for your business, from crafting the idea to the final editing process. While video production may seem daunting, it is doable with the right people and resources on hand.
At Trifactor, we merge creative design, digital and video to bring you the best results.