If you are searching for a video production company, it is essential you find one that can deliver what you need when you need it, understands your vision, can work within a reasonable budget, and has proper connections to local talent and locations.
A video production company should take the client through the three stages of production which are:
pre-production: creating the script, storyboarding, finding locations, casting talent, securing permits if needed, etc.
Production: Go on location and film the piece according to the plan drafted on the pre-production stage.
Post-production: Edit, color grade, audio level, and render out the finished product.
You see production does not start on location when the camera begins to roll. It begins way sooner during pre-production, and it is on this stage that the creative process of fleshing out a script takes place. The truth is a proper script will make or break your video; I say that because no matter how high your budget is you run the risk of making the wrong video if you did not plan it and develop it correctly.
I'll share an example with you about making the wrong video. You have a $100,000.00 budget, and your production company rents out a sound stage, bring in cranes along with a masterful director of photography I mean they set you up with cinematic shots that rival a Hollywood production, but the commercial missed the mark on highlighting the essential features of your product. I see this happen a lot to clients when they get to us and my best guess is that either the production company rushed the production for the sake of securing the funds faster or what I believe is a more common occurrence; production companies allow clients to skip or brief through stages of production. It is crucial to understand the goal of the creative project being made otherwise it will not serve you as a marketing tool. The video you create should integrate within your current marketing campaign, or if you don't have a marketing campaign, you need to create something that you can build on. A robust video commercial that hits on all the beats and serves as the foundation for future advertising projects is entirely possible if given the proper time to develop during the initial stages of pre-production.
Is it clear how strongly I feel about pre-production?
I mean think about it for a second what kind of results would you get from something you just went out and improvised on? It's true you can make a case that it is nice when things have an organic feel, and some of the best ideas are spontaneous so by no means am I saying shut down all creativity and follow a script at all cost. That's not what I am saying at all, but the point I am trying to get across is we must value the importance of having a blueprint (script). A roadmap of sorts to guide us in the right direction of what we want to achieve with the creative piece then if while on set we find alternatives or better solutions then we take them, but at least we are clear on what the project calls for and trust me that clarity is essential and efficient.
We like to sit down with clients and get a feel for what this video commercial is intended to do. What do I mean by that? Simple we need to know if the client is seeking this commercial to increase brand awareness, generate leads, make sales, or educate because all of these things require a different approach. After a goal is determined, we must figure out the messaging for the video. How is the client going to use the ad? On what platforms? Will they be running this commercial alongside a marketing campaign they already have in place? Our job is to create a piece of creative that works for the client on all levels so the more information we gather, the better. Targeting is crucial so knowing who the video commercial is intended to target is essential. You would not sell to a man in his late 30's working construction the same way you would to a female school teacher in her 20's heck you should probably still change your approach if you targeting the same school teacher but twenty years apart. The more specific the advertisement is, the better the odds of it speaking to your target, therefore, the better the odds of it converting a sale for you.
So what's next? You guessed it production. Its time to roll camera. The production company that is assisting you should have it all figured out by this point meaning they have the crew, gear, talent, and locations set to make the video you requested according to your specifications. I won't linger in details, but in this stage, the footage is gathered and stored for later editing.
What is post-production? Essentially the final step of the creative process. The footage shot is pieced together into a timeline, color graded to establish a certain look and feel based on what delivers a stronger visual impact, then leveled for audio continuity, and finally gets graphics/text inserted for the final render. Depending on the project this process can take as little as 3-5 days or as long as six months sometimes more.
I hope this blog post educates on the proper steps of video production and the importance of each stage. Don't fall for the trap of thinking production starts when the director calls the action by that point most if not all is figured out and accounted for. Do the proper desk work alongside the creative director assisting you so that your project gives itself the best chance at being successful.
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