As a company who specialises in creating engaging videos for our clients - with specific experience in construction and engineering content - we thought we would share our recommendations on how to commission a knock-out video, to get the best finished result and make the process itself as smooth and seamless as possible.
The four stages of production
There are 4 stages in the production process, and each of them have different elements that feed into each other. These stages are:
Pre-Production is arguably the most vital of these steps, where everything is considered, planned and agreed. There's a popular adage (often attributed to Benjamin Franklin), that 'Failing to plan is planning to fail'. In this regard, and sticking to another well-known cliche, knowing details of ‘Who, What, Where, Why, When and How’ is really important early on, as they dictate much of the entire process.
This is the stage where we hammer out the above. The creative briefing document is where we’ll capture all of the information in relation to your project, so if you're able to give clear answers to your Production team when they ask ‘Who, What, Where, Why, When and How’, you'll be setting them up to achieve a video that ticks all boxes for you, and delivers on all fronts. Often, a creative team are happy to work with you on creating a briefing document for your video, and won't expect you to come to them with a finished brief, but having a clear set of answers will certainly speed up this process.
Who, What and Why
What is your message or story? Who is this story being communicated to, and Why?
A key thing we always try to work out with clients from the get-go is: What is the key message that you want to communicate to your audience? This can also be called a 'call to action'. W hat would you like your audience to do after watching their video content? Do you want them share it? Visit your website? Buy something? Sign-up for a demo?
Distilling this information early on is vital to build a brief for your video.
When is your deadline - does your video need to be live for a particular day? Taking your film's target live date, we’ll work backwards, planning out the time required for Post-Production, then factor in the amount of time required to film or animate the content required.
Knowing where your film will be used is strongly linked to the approach to filming. Does your film need to be broadcast on TV? Is it for web use, such as YouTube and Vimeo? Or for social platforms like Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat? Does it span all of these? Each require slightly different approaches due to the formats that they can be viewed in, so knowing this up front will help hugely with the planning of content which will deliver on your target platform.
The word ‘budget’ can understandably put people on edge. However, by discussing costs early on following a brief, this helps enable us to know what time and resources can be allocated to your film. You don’t need a Hollywood budget to achieve something engaging. Being creative is problem solving, and a good Production team can be creative with budgets. The budget will also feed into the filming method, so agreeing budget up front is vital.
Following on with How - depending on your brief - your Production team will help guide you on the method that would be best to make your film, whether that is capturing video, short term manned time lapse, long term unmanned time lapse, aerial footage or 2D or 3D animation. When creating video for our clients, we handle the logistics of this, with assistance from our client's team, such as gaining the right access to required locations ahead of the filming date.
Always ensure your chosen video suppliers have health and safety in mind, especially for sites that are still under construction. We always produce a full set of RA/MS before any filming commences. This stands for Risk Assessment and Method Statement, and details exactly how we'll ensure safety on site throughout the entire duration of filming.
For stand alone bespoke productions (separate to our long-term time lapse edits), we try to allow at least 3 days post production for every day's worth of footage captured. This ensures that footage is collated and organised, and so that our editors can familiarise themselves with the content and create something truly spectacular.
Within the post-production process, we build in revision steps and dates. Getting feedback throughout the editing process is really useful for both parties to help achieve your vision, so being on hand to answer queries in a timely manner throughout this stage will ensure an efficient process and delivery of the results you require.
This goes back to our When. By letting your video Production supplier know the absolute deadline, they can agree a date prior to that to allow for a healthy buffer. You never know when stakeholders or joint venture third party members might wish to change some statistics or copy at the last minute. Having some wiggle room is always advisable.
Once your content is ready, it should be sent across to you in the exact format you require, ready for immediate use - so that you can then sit back, and enjoy the results!
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