A lot of people are daunted by the idea of making a video so we created the following series of blog posts to give an overview of the process and key points to consider before, during, and after making your web video. We hope you find the blog helpful and that it offers you a clear idea of the intricacies involved in video and animation production.
Planning and Pre-production
Planning is an essential part of the video making process. Once you decide that a video is what you want for your website or online marketing campaign then consider the following points.
It is important to think about the purpose of your web video. Is this going to be a 1 or 2 minute video that sits on the home page or the about us page of your website? Is it a pre-roll, mid-roll, or end-roll video? Is it a standard TV style commercial? Will it have a 'Call to Action' or is its purpose to put a face and voice to your business and make your relationship with clients more personal?
Your video should inform viewers of your product or service and sell your business name and brand. Knowing how your target audience think and what appeals to them will help you decide on the tone and style of your video. This is a delicate balance to achieve, you need to sell your Business in an attractive and compelling way, that adds value to your brand and distinguishes you from the competition. Working with a marketing or video production company with experience in selling to audiences will help you craft your message. Keep your audience in mind and let it inform the creative process.
One thing your video production company will need to know early on is how much you intend or are able to spend on the video. A budget of £1000 will put limitations on, amongst other things, the production time, the cameras they use, actors they hire and what music they can use. There is a misconception that as filmmaking and video turn to digital cameras and editing software, that commercials and promotional video content can be made for very little and still maintain the high quality standard of film. At Candle & Bell we are always conscious of giving our customers the very best value for money. An honest and open discussion early on with whichever production company you use will help them deliver a video that still fulfils its purpose but doesn't take all your marketing spend.
Once you are certain of the purpose of your video, target audience, and budget, you can move into pre-production. Pre-production refers to all the work that is carried out until the first day of shooting. Scriptwriting, storyboards, locations, talent hire, music, and technical planning are all part of the process. Unless you have experience in hiring and co-ordinating the above tasks we strongly suggest you hire a company capable of carrying out the work. They will have the experience and contacts to get the job done while doing everything yourself or hiring a one man band might affect the planning and execution of the video and adversely affect the final video itself.
- Scriptwriting You might know your product or service inside out but do your customers? What language best describes it and how can you grab people's attention? Seeing your business through the eyes of your customers is important no matter which marketing channels you use. Work with your production company to craft the best script possible and you'll have the foundations of a great video.
- Storyboarding Some of you might be familiar with storyboards if you watch the 'behind the scenes' specials of feature films. Storyboards, however, are not exclusive to large scale productions - commercials, corporate videos, music videos, and animations - all these videos require some storyboarding and planning. Make sure you have the opportunity to view the storyboards before the production company start shooting. It will give you a pretty good idea of what the final video will look like and if any changes are going to be made then it's best to make them right now.
- Locations and Talent Hire The production company will know how to secure locations and deal with all the necessary insurance, security, and health and safety considerations that go along with it. The company will also work with in-house talent and hire in other crew and actors as needed.
Depending on the scale of the project pre-production can last between 1 week and 1 month. If you and your production company have taken the time to plan and script everything carefully you will be ready to enter production and begin shooting.