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  • Sylvia Gorajek

What's The Process Of A Professional Video Production?

Professional video production is no joke – it requires the skills, the experience, the people, the talent, the equipment and – very importantly – the vision and preparations. The process may vary between different types of projects – a promo commercial with actors, a customer testimonial video, an explainer animation or a product video. However, there are certain steps that are common for each video production in order to achieve a high-end result...




I. DISCOVERY PROCESS (1-2 WEEKS)

You learn about the production team, they learn about you. They'll ask about what you do, what you'd like to promote and the overall brand personality.

II. PRE-PRODUCTION (1-5 WEEKS)


1. IDEA

Production team will ask you about the goal of your video: whether it’s user/customer acquisition, up-selling to current customers, promoting certain features or is this for training, crowdfunding or branding purposes. Next, you'll be asked about the key messaging as well as any key scenes and actions that you'd like to include in the video. At this stage, you should also get an estimation of the budget and most likely will be offered to sign a contract.


You'll be asked about the key messaging as well as any key scenes and actions that you'd like to include in the video.

2. SCRIPT

Time for details. Copywriters work on the script and make sure that the messaging is clear and concise. Typically, you'd be involved in this process until the script is final. If you have your own script, that's cool – the production team will take a look and may suggest some edits or might come up with slight spinoffs. This is also where staging, props and wardrobe are defined.


If you have your own script, that's cool – the production team will take a look and may suggest some edits or might come up with slight spinoffs.

3. PLANNING OUT THE SCENES / STORYBOARDING

Scene by scene is planned and visualized on a storyboard. Framing, angles, lighting, environment and overall atmosphere – all are thoroughly planned and drafted – mainly for the director's reference.


4. DEFINING THE ASSETS

If it’s a live action video, talents are auditioned, locations are scouted and everything gets arranged. In the case of an animation, key elements are designed and approved before proceeding.


III. PRODUCTION (1-7 DAYS)


5. SHOOTING DAY

Lights, camera, action!


The most exciting stage! This is when the concept comes to live. The crew (director of photography, camera operator, director, producer, gaffer, sound operator, assistants, stylists, production designer) makes sure every scene is properly set up, directed and filmed. This means tons of stuff – everyone knows what they're doing, all the gear (cameras, lenses, audio, tripods, sliders / dollies, lights) is perfectly set up for every single shot, scenes are getting arranged and recorded according to a schedule, noise is kept under control, talents get their directions.


For animations – the designers use all their creative energy to deliver a cartoon you’ll love to watch before going to bed!


IV. POST-PRODUCTION (2-5 WEEKS)


6. EDITING

The footage gets edited and graphic elements are added. The rough cut is ready. It’s a fulfilling moment since you can finally see and almost touch the video. Now it’s time for some tweaks so that the story is delivered just as expected! Everyone needs to be on the same page moving forward.


It’s a fulfilling moment since you can finally see and almost touch the video.

7. COLOR CORRECTION, GRAPHIC DESIGN, SOUND ENGINEERING AND ALL THAT JAZZ

This is the part where the editors, graphic designers and sound designers come into play! They are locked down for one week in a dark room, without food…

Just kidding! They actually make the whole film come to life. The music track is touched up, voiceover (if needed), sound engineering and color correction are applied, all super fancy 2D/3D graphics are added – ALL so that your video looks and sounds like a Hollywood Blockbuster! You have a chance to finally view the final video and request some final touch-ups if needed.


8. DELIVERY

High five! The final video file is delivered! These days it’s usually in a 4K, H.264 format – fresh from the oven, ready to be uploaded to Facebook, YouTube or anywhere else. The file may be also exported to Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD formats. Typically, project files and raw footage are not shared – this is the production company's secret sauce.


CELEBRATION!

Yay! Pop the champagne! The video is catching people’s eyes!

©2020 by Sylvia Gorajek, San Francisco, CA