West Chester Productions specializes in short (2-3 minute) promotional videos. Generally, these fall into two categories – how-to/product demos or customer testimonials. Regardless of type or length, video production involves Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production phases. The purpose of this article is to provide an idea of what to expect during each of these phases.
West Chester Productions will meet with you to learn about and discuss your objectives, approach and content for your promotional video. We will both leave the meeting with action items.
Here are some of the key activities that take place during this phase.
- Concept development
- What type of video will this be e.g. client testimonial, product demo, etc.?
- What is the high level story line? The following are typical:
- What is the need being addressed (25%)?
- How was it addressed (50%)?
- What was the result (25%)?
- Confirm video length
Normally 2-3 minutes max.
- Video Distribution
Where will the video be seen i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, website, eMail, etc.? It makes difference in terms of video format and social media optimization.
- Confirm Call to action (CTA)
As a general rule, promotional videos should contain a call to action at the end of the video. This is typically a website address, email sign up, etc. with an offer.
- Develop Storyboard
A Storyboard helps determine exactly what shots are needed before we start filming.
Storyboard panels for ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2’
The storyboard does not need to be a stunning masterpiece. It just needs to let us understand and agree on the shots that are needed prior to start of filming. It literally could be some notes on index cards.
- Identify B-Roll Footage
If is often helpful to cut away from the main video using what is known as B-roll. B-roll is essentially any footage that isn’t of your primary subject. If you’re filming an explainer video showcasing your software product, B-roll footage might include shots of satisfied customers using your product, or an external shot of your offices, for example.
- Special effects
Special effects might include background blurring, slider, etc.
- Script development
We make sure all your presenters or subjects know what’s expected of them before hand to minimize mistakes or wasted time on the day of the shoot. We avoid having presenters memorize pages upon pages of script – they’re probably not actors, and asking this of them is likely to cause more anxiety (and mistakes) than allowing them a little freedom. Cue cards can be used if appropriate.
- Obtain approvals
This step refers to any approvals that may be needed from government, municipal or private parties for use or their property, etc. In the majority of cases, this is not an issue. This would also cover releases from presenters or others who appear in the video. West Chester Productions will provide release forms as required.
- Pre-Production Meeting
Just prior to day of the shoot, we will hold a Pre-Production meeting with all participants and stakeholders. The following is a typical agenda:
- Identify Talent or Presenters
This where we shoot the video. Assuming adequate planning during the Pre-Production phase, we can often shoot 2 or 3 product demo or testimonial videos during one 8 hour session. On the day of the shoot, we will likely run through multiple takes. This provides a safety net in case we notice something wrong with one of the takes, and allows us to edit together your final sequence from several clips of the same sequence rather than relying on just one. Even if the first take goes flawlessly, we shoot another – just in case.
The Post-Production phase is where the magic happens. It is where all the elements come together to create your awesome promotional video. To do this, we utilize high end video editing software.
The following are some of the activities that we will perform during this phase.
- First Cut
- Select footage
- Trim usable footage
- Identify and separate b-roll
- Assemble usable footage into timeline
- Rough Cut
- Adjust timing and initial transitions
- Review with client and obtain feedback
- Incorporate client revisions
- Final Cut
- Add visual effects and graphics
- Audio Edits
- Select music
- Add sound effects
- Add musical underscores
- Integrate B-roll dialog
- Incorporate client revisions
- Final client approval