The Three Stages of Production

Video production can seem daunting, tedious, and often times foreign for some individuals. Here is a quick guide on how to get your idea from paper to film!

Pre-Production
Pre-Production is your video in its infancy. Starting off with an idea, put your idea to paper, and start brain storming. The pre-pro phase is critical. It will serve as your check list and progress report as your venture out to create your video.

A lot of your pre-production paper work may look like a lot of numbers. Salaries. Dates. Names. How much equipment you will need. Where you may be traveling to. This is the skeleton of your production. Always leave enough room for the unexpected, and never short change yourself or your crew.

Production
Now that you know exactly who, what, where, when, why, and how, you’re ready to start producing your piece. In my opinion, there is no real “set” way to produce your video, but if its YOUR video, YOU need to make sure its being done the way you want it.

If your friend is operating the camera, direct him to get the shot you want. Bounce creative ideas off each other, and ALWAYS do multiple takes from multiple angles. Not only does this help your talent warm up, but your editor will love you for it.

Try to follow your schedule. Keep your crew and talent happy. DON’T go over your budget. Take control of the creative aspects!

Post-Production
This is the stage where your piece will really come to life. If you’re working with a skilled editor, they will have the ability to really mold your project into what it can truly become. While you’re producing, always think of what COULD be added in post-production. Post includes anything from visual effects, sound & color correction, and ultimately how your video will be formatted, and how your audience will see it.

Sit down with your editor and go over what changes you’d like to make. Don’t be afraid to test their skill. Many people don’t realize that even the seemingly biggest hiccups that were captured during production CAN be fixed during post.

This is obviously a very rough outline of the three stages of video production.

Pre-Production: Where your idea is put down onto paper. Include numbers, dates, times, and who (if anyone) you will be working with.

Production: Get out and implement your ideas. Shoot your project, and always have MORE footage than you think you’ll need.

Post-Production: Make a note of any blemishes during production, and plan to fix them in post. Have your project color corrected, sound adjusted, and formatted the way you want it (DVD, YouTube, etc.)

You don’t always need a crew, either. Don’t ever underestimate the power of the “one man band”!

By Ben Fortier