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Hands holding a clapboard beside a movie camera.

There are time savings to be found in the pre-production, production, and post-production stages.

Key takeaways:

  • Strategic planning can save time and set your video up for success
  • Technology makes the process of editing, sharing, and promoting your video easier than ever 
  • There are tools out there that can help streamline the video creation process

Now more than ever, video is an essential tool for companies to meet their sales goals and take their success to even greater heights. Case in point, the vast majority of businesses (86%) use video as part of their creative efforts. These videos bring 300% more eyeballs to a company’s website and increase organic traffic once people arrive.

But actually creating the video is typically a long, complex process. And it can go on even longer if your team doesn’t have experience making video content. Marketing directors with increasingly busy schedules need a streamlined video-production process that will allow them to create compelling messaging on a reasonable timetable.

Below, we’ll walk you through the steps for optimizing all three phases of your video process—pre-production, production, and post-production.

Pre-production

Pre-production lays the solid foundation upon which you build your video, including the project’s scope, budget, and script. Here are the basic components of the pre-production process.

  • Write a creative brief. Who do you want this video to reach? What do you want them to feel? What action do you want those people to take? When do you want it to happen? Once you answer those three questions, it’s just a matter of setting a realistic schedule for planning, scouting, shooting, and editing. A creative brief puts all of the details in one place that anyone on the project can easily access—ensuring that everyone stays on the same page.
  • Set the budget and production schedule. This step brings into focus the two key components you need to make your video—money and time. If you don’t budget your money and time strategically, you may find yourself running out of one—or both—during the production process. 
  • Identify stakeholders. Who needs to be involved creatively in the project? Who signs off on the budget? Who has approval over the final cut? Are there any board members, investors, or third-party vendors that also need to have a voice in the process? Identifying all of the stakeholders now can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
  • Decide who’s in charge of what. It takes many hands to make a video, and it’s important to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved—producers, writers, editors, and all other members of the cast and crew. This helps ensure a smooth production workflow.
  • Art and design directions.  Determine the visual style, color scheme, and overall design of your video or animation, along with the musical “vibe.” Create concept art, design mockups, or draw up storyboards, as necessary. Depending on the type of video you’re creating, you may also need to collect existing footage, images, audio files, and/or other assets, as well.

The more thoroughly you plan during the pre-production process, the less time you’ll waste trying to figure things out during the rest of the process, and the more successful your project is likely to be.

Production

Once your team has done their pre-production work, it’s time to actually shoot the video. This is where you hire a director, crew, and an array of other professionals, including grips, sound artists, editors, line producers, and much more. Ideally, the work you’ve done in pre-production has set the stage, otherwise you may be in for costly re-shoots or re-edits.

Here are the basic components of production:

  • Setup and lighting. The first step is to go over the shot list, make sure the cameras are set up properly, and do thorough lighting and sound checks. Also make time for wardrobe, hair, and makeup.
  • Filming. This is the culmination of all your efforts so far. If everyone did their job during pre-production, filming should be fairly straightforward—set up a shot, shoot it, break it down, move on to the next shot.
  • Voice-over and b-roll. Amid the hustle of principal photography, it’s easy to leave the capturing of supplemental footage out of your planning. But b-roll footage and voice-over are key components of any video production and can cause major headaches in post-production if not handled well.
  • Behind-the-scenes footage. In decades past, this often involved a second crew to capture the excitement of movie-making in action, but now smartphones allow anyone with a spare minute to document what goes on behind the camera. This footage can be essential for promoting the video on your marketing channels and social media.

Once production is complete, the real work of assembling the final video begins.

Post-production

You now have the raw materials needed to assemble your finished product. This involves editing, mixing, and eventually approval and distribution. Along the way, you may add graphics and special effects, 3D animation, color grading, and sound mixing. It’s essential that your team have a solid backup system in place, as there typically are 2-3 rough cuts of a video and each will require a sizable amount of storage.

Here are the key elements of post-production:

  • Editing. Editors sift through reams of footage, separate into A and B-roll categories, create one or more rough cuts, and apply transitions where needed to help create a seamless final version. They also align audio and video tracks, apply color correction, and add special effects where needed
  • Collaborative and iterative review. Once a rough cut has gone to the larger team for review, they often use collaborative feedback as a more efficient way of suggesting edits, where team members can comment on the whole video or specific shots or frames. This saves valuable time in the review process as it allows people to pinpoint exactly what they think is working and what needs improvement.
  • Version comparison. It’s easy to lose track of iterative changes over the course of a video, but version comparison can help you quickly compare versions to make sure that nothing was missed between rough cuts. There are many tools out there that allow for side-by-side comparisons.
  • Final approval and delivery. It can take some time to get to this final stage, with slow feedback (or none at all) that can cause costly bottlenecks. But using the tools and techniques mentioned above, the post-production team can make sure they share edits with the necessary stakeholders, collect feedback, make tweaks, and arrive quickly at the final version.

Once approved, the final cut needs to be delivered to the proper supervisor, typically using cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Save time, make better videos

It takes excellent organizational skills, careful planning, and a clear, well-articulated strategy to create a strong marketing video. But if you have those skills and tools, it’s definitely within reach for any company.

The good news is that you don’t have to go on this journey alone. REP-Digital combines world-class video production with a groundbreaking SaaS platform—Morpheus Marketplace—that can help transform your users into an army of brand-compliant content creators. Morpheus makes creating customized marketing videos easier than checking out an Amazon cart. Join the waitlist to be one of the first to experience the power of this exciting (and time-saving!) new video-production tool.