March 1, 2011 \ Geoff Birmingham
The Video Production Process: How Does it Work?

Mind map of video production process overview

I mentioned in an earlier post how most good video producers will have a process.  The process will vary from one producer to the next, of course, and it will also be dependent on the type of project.

But let’s say you want to create a web marketing video, and you are working directly with a video production company (as opposed to hiring an ad agency or a communications firm to help with the video).  The steps to completing your video are usually pretty straightforward and will fall into one of four phases.  If you are thinking about hiring a producer, I’ve included a couple of key points regarding client-producer collaboration in each phase to help you determine who might be a good fit for your project.

1. Discovery

In the discovery phase you have perhaps two to three conversations with your producer to explain your vision, exchange ideas for how to accomplish that vision, and agree upon a concept or approach for the video.

Key point: You want a producer who will get excited about your project, and who will take a pro-active approach to offering ideas that will achieve your vision for the video.  At the same time, just make sure that they are also open to hearing your ideas too.

2. Pre-production

During this phase, you and your producer are sorting out logistics – where to film, when to film, who to film.

Key point: In this phase, it’s important that your producer demonstrates good organizational skills.  If he has a system that he can share for both of you to keep track of the details, that’s a good sign.

3. Production

The day or days when your producer comes in to film.

Key point: During production, the producer most likely will be in charge, but it’s important for the client to participate in this phase.  It’s always better to offer opinions and collaborate with the producer during filming, rather than discovering afterwards that you wish something had been done differently.

4 Post-production

This is the phase when editing occurs.  The way in which clients choose to participate in this phase is completely up to them.  Most clients, for the sake of convenience, will want to work remotely with the producer, reviewing drafts of the video online.  If the client and producer work within proximity of one another, collaborating in-person is another option.  With this more hands-on approach, the client might meet with the producer in his studio and craft the video together.

Key point: It doesn’t hurt to tell your producer in advance how you plan to participate in the post-production process.  If you want to be hands-on, for example, let him know.  Most producers will welcome that, but it’s always good for everyone to know what’s expected.

Different producers will have different ways of approaching the video production process, but it almost always boils down to these four phases, and none of it is all that complicated.  If both you and your producer agree in advance on what those steps will be, your video production experience should be something you can enter into with confidence.