The key to working with a video production company is to set out exactly what you want to achieve from the outset from your brand video. So, before you reach out, spend some time reviewing the portfolios of production companies.
Do they have the right in-house skills and expertise for you and your business? What will they need to outsource? Will the video production company have the equipment to do the job or will this be rented?
It is also worth considering your budget here. If you know that you will be working with a limited budget, contacting an agency who specialises in delivering productions for large brands and corporations might lead to disappointment. Equally, a small video production company might not have the capabilities to deliver the large-scale commercial campaign you had in mind.
Once you have settled on your ideal video production company, here’s what you can expect from the production process.
Phase one: Planning
Developing a considered video content strategy is key to maximising the effectiveness of your content. By ensuring that your video is properly seeded and activated in the right way at the right people is key to ensuring it doesn’t become yet another piece of orphan content languishing online, unwatched and unappreciated. Creating a content strategy is absolutely crucial before you even begin thinking about what your video will look like. It will also help you visualise where your content can be repurposed and integrated into marketing materials for different owned and paid channels to maximise your return on investment (ROI).
Your video marketing strategy should cover:
- Thorough auditing of all existing content
- Audience profiles
- Primary goals and objectives
- Your brand identity Competitor content analysis
You might have a marketing strategy in place already and if so, efforts here will primarily be geared towards:
- Outlining project goals
- Creating a brief
- Shaping an activation plan
- Establishing a creative framework
- Setting out KPIs and metrics to monitor success
Next, your brief will be translated into a creative concept that will detail how your film will look, feel and sound. You will be given a dedicated account manager who will facilitate your working relationship with your creative team and you’ll have the opportunity to channel your ideas into the process before ultimately being asked to sign off on the completed concept and script.
Keeping a close eye on how the scripting process is developing is key, especially if you know you’ll need to get everything signed off internally within your business. Understanding the scope of your video budget is also important, so maintaining open channels of communication now will help you to ensure the production process progresses efficiently.
At the end of this first phase, together with your script, your project should also emerge with a storyboard, which will:
- Allow you to visualise how your video content will be shot
- Explain framing, lighting and use of colour
- Detail how any effects and/or transitions will enhance the content
Phase two: Pre-production
Pre-production often focuses closely on planning and logistics. Whether this is relatively straightforward or more complex will depend on the format, style and scope of your film. These logistics are dealt with by a production manager. Here are just some of the things your production company and the production manager will consider ahead of your video shoot:
- Location scouting
- Booking sets
- Identifying the required equipment
- Hiring presenters or actors
- Obtaining all appropriate permissions and licenses
- Shaping an achievable schedule
- Creating viable contingency plans
As soon as everything is in place, the production process can begin.
Phase three: Production
Although you might not have much involvement in this process, wanting to observe the shoot has the added advantage of ensuring that a key stakeholder will be available to answer questions or provide clarification efficiently. It is important, however, to allow the director and crew to take the lead because any delays will increase your production costs.
Your project’s director will oversee the shoot and ensure that sufficient footage is filmed for the editing team to create a finished video that resembles the agreed storyboard and script. They will also make sure that any actors or presenters give a convincing performance and that everything from the camera angle to the lighting looks seamless.
Phase four: Post-production
All the individual components of your video will come together in the post-production process. This phase can involve several different stages and, depending on the parameters of your content might include:
- Editing: the process in which footage is spliced together to produce a continuous and cohesive film that is visually engaging, on brand, and on message.
- Music and sound: the sound editor will use agreed music and ambient noises to set the tone and pace of your video, which will aid the communication of your core message and ensure that your film reflects your brand personality.
- Visual effects: from motion graphics to stop-motion animation and kinetic typography, many brand videos contain visual effects to enhance communication and boost engagement. Visual effects can’t be added as an afterthought and must be clearly set out in your creative brief and storyboard.
- Colour grading: a specialist colour grader will ensure that your film has a cohesive visual tone appropriate to the atmosphere, content and context of your narrative.
Your video production company will ultimately help you to shape your creative vision and produce an on-brand, on-budget film that will help you to connect and communicate with your ideal audience.