Listen to Tim talk about The 5 Steps to Making Your Next Video
The 5 Steps to Making Your Next Video
Perhaps you read last week’s blog about DIY video and now you’re ready to give it a try. Or maybe after learning a bit more about the DIY route, you’re afraid to start because the process of creating useful content with video seems so daunting. Today we’re going to demystify that process and go through the 5 steps of producing your next video.
Whether you work with Positive Light Media, another video marketing professional, or even go the DIY video route, you’ll find that your steps will be similar, even if they have different names.
Step 1 – Vision Session
When you first start to think about the video you’re going to create, it’s important that you start by having a very broad thought process surrounding who the video is for and what you hope to accomplish by creating your video. Here are some things that we always ask our clients at their Vision Session:
Who is the target audience for your video?
When answering this question, try to be as specific as you possibly can be by asking lots of questions. How old are they? Where do they live? Where will they watch your video? What is their income level? By answering as many demographic questions as you can about your target audience, you’ll be better able to tailor a message that resonates with them. Video is often a very good investment of time and budget resources, but without asking enough questions at this stage of the process, your use of video may fall flat.
What is the purpose of the video?
One mistake that people often make when creating videos is that they don’t clearly define the purpose of their video. Is it a fundraising video? Are you hoping to raise awareness around a given topic? Are you hoping someone will buy a product after watching a video about that topic? Are you trying to make sure everyone in the department understands how you’re going to reach sales targets for the next quarter? The more clearly you can define the purpose of your video, the more apt you are to be able to plan for it in a way that allows you to successfully meet your goals.
How will the video be deployed?
Your video will not exist in a vacuum, which is why this is such an important question. Will your video be sent via email? Will it be posted online, on a social media page, or perhaps on a company intranet site?
Often a client will ask us to include lots of details in the graphics or in what people say on camera, but if that content can be better explained on the web site or in a social media post, you may want to consider simplifying the content of the video and making sure that the details are well-covered with the written word.
Remember: We’re talking about video storytelling here – video conveys heart and emotion like no other medium can, so let’s make sure we allow video to shine with what it does well and use other mediums when more detail is required.
The Vision Session that you’ll have is all about asking lots of open-ended questions and paying close attention to the answers to those questions. In our many years of experience, we’ve found that sometimes after having a Vision Session that we determine that video isn’t the right medium. If that’s the case, a good video marketing company will refer you to another resource.
Step 2 – Proposal and Treatment
Hopefully you were able to complete a very thorough analysis of your project in your Vision Session. Now it’s up to your video storyteller to provide you with a proposal and treatment for your project.
It’s common that the video proposal and treatment go hand-in-hand due to the fact that different treatments are likely to impact your budget.
At Positive Light Media, we like to present at least three familiar options: Good, Better and Best. All three options will achieve the goals that were established in the Vision Session, but the cost will change according to a variety of factors: number of production days, number of crew, editing labor, etc. You should expect that the differences in your proposals are clearly outlined and explained, both verbally and in writing. There’s a good chance that you may be investing a great deal of time and money in your project, and you want to be clear that you’re getting your needs not only met but exceeded every time.
The treatment part of this step is all about explaining the look and feel of your video. This document will often explain things like who will be on camera, what location(s) will be used, what the pacing of the video will be, how brand will be incorporated, etc. Again, the treatment is something that should have been identified in your Vision Session, and now it can be put in writing in an articulate way.
Step 3 – Production
This is the part that many clients think is the fun part. The locations have been secured, the interviews have been lined up, the crew has been hired, and now it’s time to produce your video.
If you’ve never had the privilege of being on location or in a studio with a professional video crew, you’re in for a very fun and interesting experience. There’s a good chance that there will be exciting vibrations in the air as lighting equipment gets set up in the perfect place, microphones are pinned on the talent to capture great audio and makeup gets applied (men too!) to ensure that everyone looks their best on camera.
It may surprise you how long it takes to record the video footage needed for your project. While some talking-head projects go quickly, other videos will take a long time to produce due to the complexity of the video. In this video that we produced for Luther Seminary, it took two pretty full days just to capture most of the footage needed for a two-minute video. That didn’t include the time it took to get equipment lined up, picked up, and returned after the production day.
If your organization has a presence on social media, the production day is the time to pull out that smartphone and take pictures behind the scenes. Seeing these posts on social media is bound to generate some excitement about your brand. You can say a little bit about what you’re doing and when the final product will be where your followers can see it.
This is just one way to get more bang for the buck out of your next project. You might even use this opportunity to use the skills you learned about in last week’s blog about DIY video! Have some fun and get a coworker to help you shoot a little behind-the-scenes footage of what’s going on.
There is a direct correlation between good planning and a flawlessly executed production day. If you plan well, your production day will go well, and you will save money.
Bonus Tip – Do you want to save precious budget dollars on your next production? Planning well will save you money. Production days that are planned well increase the odds of staying within your budget. Sometimes things can still go wrong, but if you plan well you can significantly decrease the odds of paying your crew overtime.
Step 4 – Post-production
Have you ever heard someone say that the production is in the can? Well, if you have, you’ve heard an old film production term. Sometimes you’ll hear the crew say, “that’s a wrap” or “it’s in the can” when the production day is done, and now it’s time to work on the editing and post-production.
This is where it all comes together. Depending on how complex your project is, this may take hours, days, or even weeks to put together. Footage from your shoot will need to be logged and imported into a computer so that it can be edited. In the professional video production world, we call this a non-linear editor. That’s just a fancy term for computer-based editing system, which is pretty much all there is now.
Post-production really is an art form. A good editor knows how to use good pacing to tell a story. Often times the difference between a good story and an excellent story is all about the editing. Some stories need to be told more slowly and methodically, while other stories benefit from being told with a fast and driving pace.
Music is often a key element in moving the story along as well. Think about how music makes you feel when watching a good movie in the theater. Music can reinforce feelings of suspense or humor in some very memorable ways. A good storyteller knows this and will improve the telling of your story by knowing how to use these tools.
Well-executed post-production is vital if you want your video to hit the mark and meet the goals established in your Vision Session.
Step 5 – Delivery
Even though delivery is the final step of the process when working with a video production company, it’s still a very important step that requires careful planning. In all likelihood, the method of delivery was established in your Vision Session.
Your video will be delivered to you electronically by uploading it to your web site, a file sharing service like Dropbox, or perhaps it will be directly uploaded to your Vimeo or YouTube channel. This goes hand in hand with your decision about how your video would be deployed, which we discussed earlier in this post. Be sure to think about this step early in the process. You don’t want to overlook the delivery method and have trouble executing because of a bandwidth problem or some other technical problem.
A final thought to keep in mind when producing a video is that it’s common to capture far more content than you can use in one video. You should always be on the lookout for ways to repurpose content that didn’t get used in your primary video. Common examples include more testimonial videos that can be used as short segments on a testimonial page, or perhaps you can dive deeper into a topic that was beyond the scope of your original video. Get creative and always have it in the back of your mind that footage and be reused and repurposed. By doing this you will get the most out of every video you produce.
We hope this post has given you good ideas on what to expect when you produce your next video. Whether you create content on your iPhone, with Positive Light Media or even if you’re the next Steven Spielberg, the steps are the same or very similar. If you’d like help, or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Positive Light Media.
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