The ultimate guide to video production

DorVal Films: The ultimate guide to video production

Films, YouTube tutorials, commercials and political ads—they have become a huge part of your life. There is nothing better than knowing a story through video as a medium, emotionally connecting with people that cannot be gained through written words alone. Every frame and movement is enough to further engage you in the action happening before your eyes.

However, have you ever had those moments where you wondered how a certain movie or video content is made? An impressive transition or a well-written dialogue might have piqued your interest in what happens behind the scenes. You might have wondered to yourself: how did the producers come up with something as brilliant as this?

To answer your question, it all comes down to video production. The shows, documentaries and even short films that you watch undergo detailed processes before they are released. Continue reading below!

What is video production?

To put it briefly, video production is the entire process of making a video. Whether you’re producing a short movie, a 90-minute documentary or a skit, you need to follow a standard step-by-step procedure before you can release the output. 

Moreover, a company or a team needs to determine the production scale. This is where they will establish a crew size that will capture the whole concept of a certain video. Depending on your project, the crew size can range from 2 people to 10 or more. 

Here are some examples of a production crew:

  • A camera operator with a professional camera (also known as a one-man band)
  • A crew of 2 people; one person is assigned to capture the scenes, while the other handles the audio
  • A larger production with a crew of 5 or more than people with a trailer or truck

After that, the crew now proceeds to the stages of video production. At this point, this is where the rough work will be done. It’s not a one-time event where everything is handed to you on a silver platter. Every decision that the crew makes will determine the success of a project, so it must be done with careful planning and execution.

Pre-production

This is the first stage of video production where all the planning and brainstorming happens. Since you mostly need creativity and patience in this process, you don’t have to whip out your entire camera equipment or assemble a crew just yet. Also, this is where all the practical planning takes place such as budget, set and actors. 

Here are the steps of video pre-production:

Step 1: Concept

During this step, ask yourself and the team you’re working with: what story do you want to tell? What message do you want to put out there? Perhaps it’s a childhood story of how you adopted your first dog when you saw it limping on the street, helpless. Or maybe it’s a product you’ve always wanted to launch. 

Whatever the concept is, it should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Think of it as the kind of story you’d read in school that has the complete elements of a plot.

Step 2: Outline

For better organization of scenes, it’s best that you create an outline. This is especially true when you don’t want to get lost in the middle of the process, helping you get back on track quickly. At least, when you feel clueless about what to do next, you can always go back to your outline to find your way back.

When creating an outline, always make sure that you put a name or a number on every scene. This will serve as your reference throughout the production and post-production, so remain logical with your outlining. 

Step 3: Screenplay

When writing the screenplay, the outline that you wrote will serve as your main guide. Throughout the writing process, stick to it so you maintain your story structure. 

Moreover, remember your audience. Keep in mind that whatever you’re writing, ensure that it caters to your viewers. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what can intrigue, mystify and surprise them in the best way possible. You must serve your audience, and you must serve them well. 

Step 4: Storyboard

The storyboard is a visual representation of every scene in your video that consists of illustrations displayed in sequence. This will help you better visualize the whole concept of a film, commercial or marketing ad and how effective it can be. And by doing so, you will spot and eliminate the things that don’t quite fit, helping you make minimal errors in the process.

You might need to hire a storyboard artist for this step. However, if you don’t have enough budget, you might have to depend on your skills. 

Step 5: Logistics

This is where the practical aspects of video production come into play. First, you need to think about the finance or the budget. There’s no question that film or video production can cost a fortune, especially if the money has to come from your own pockets.

However, you can get your film funded as an alternative. But this can take years so most producers choose to move forward without funding, then sell the rights after it’s done. 

Next, you need to find actors that will match your specifications. Just make sure that you can afford their talent fees so you won’t encounter any problems down the road!

Production

During the production stage, this is where the video is made. All the scenes, frames and concepts that you’ve planned during the pre-production stage will now come to life. The crew will focus on angles, lighting and location to make the video as effective and visually appealing as possible.

You will also need the following:

Equipment

First of all, the equipment is the heart of your production process. This includes a video camera, tripod, camera light, a shotgun microphone and light reflectors, among other things. 

Health and safety

On the set, you need to prioritize everyone’s safety as much as possible. As a rule of thumb, acknowledge that every filming environment can be dangerous. No matter how safe you think you are, accidents are bound to happen in the blink of an eye. Understand that every shoot can encounter potential issues and hazards, so take extra precautions.

Moreover, to prevent or minimize accidents, take the time to hire the right professionals. Find a group of people who are trained on how to maintain a safe shooting environment.

Post-production

Once everything has been recorded, captured and shot, the post-production stage will now begin. This is where video editing professionals will edit all the footage, add music or sound effects, adjust the colour, add titles and create publicity materials for marketing.

Remember that the editing process will not be a one-man job since it requires great collaboration from the whole crew. As a video editor, you have to listen to what the director or your boss has to say and ask for feedback to get the desired results.

Moreover, you need to use the latest video editing software and be well-attuned with its features and perks. Take a look at these examples:

Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is the most ideal option for video editing professionals. It is mostly used by news stations, marketing professionals and design firms since it has enhanced collaborative workflow, helping teams work better together. The team members can access the same project all at once without the risk of overwriting the work.

It supports all formats in video, image and audio, allowing you to work smoothly without the need to convert files. Also, Adobe Premiere Pro works across platforms such as Windows and Mac OSX for maximum convenience.

Final Cut Pro X

One of the most respected tools in video editing is Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. It does not require you to pay a monthly subscription since buying the software is only a one-time payment. So, if you need to save up whale producing high-quality videos, Final Cut Pro X is your choice.

It has features like 360° video, colour correction tools and HDR to make every frame of your video stand out. Final Cut Pro X also offers a wide array of effects, magnetic timelines and uncomplicated tools to edit your audio.

Unfortunately, since it was developed by Apple, it is not available in Windows and other operating systems. 

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate

If you’re a beginner in video editing, it’s smart to use something simple. Luckily, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is one of your options. 

Aside from its affordable price, this video editing software has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for you to learn the basics. Once you’ve already grasped them, you can take advantage of exciting features such as a music library, 4K support, 360-degrees VR video support and many more.