A detailed guide to the corporate video production process

16th April 2021

What is a video production process?

The video production process is broken down into 4 main areas, discovery where your video production partner is learning about your video project and needs, pre-production, production and post-production.  In this guide we will break down what to expect during each of these stages.

Discovery

When we receive a video production brief through, we will arrange a call with the client to understand in more depth why they want to create video? 

  • Is there a business challenge or need that the video needs to solve? 
  • What are they hoping to achieve with video?
  • Have they seen any video examples that they particularly like? 
  • Who is their target audience or specific audience persona they are looking to engage and connect with? 
  • What is the core message of the video? 
  • How do you want your audience to think, feel and act after watching the video? 
  • What is your call to action? 
  • And finally, is there an allocated a budget towards video production?

This stage is all about understanding the client, their business, and the video objectives.  A video production partner is here to serve the needs of the client rather than force our creative ideas onto them.  Once we understand the problems and goals various creative video treatments can then be proposed.

Pre-production

The first stage of the video production process is pre-production.  It is one of the most underestimated but important stages of making a great video.  Depending on the video objectives, scale, and budget pre-production may include:

  • Casting talent

An important element of any video production is the talent that you use on screen to connect your message with your audience.  Do you require actors, models, or real-life people to help you tell your story? 

At mhf we are fans of real-life stories as we believe they are authentic, real and create a more connected experience with your target audience but whoever you choose it’s important that they will feel comfortable on camera, have an interesting story and engaging personality that your audience will resonate with and help them to see a version of themselves in your story.  The key question you need to answer is 'who is best placed to tell this story and form that emotional connection with your audience? '

  • Writing scripts/interview questions

The narrative of your video content can either be scripted or drawn out of the contributors through well-crafted questioning. 

If opting for writing a script be sure to concise and to the point – we recommend writing 120 words for every 1 minute of video.  Remember that the optimum length of digital video that most people watch is 60 seconds and within the first 8 seconds you need to capture their attention with an engaging hook. 

Always have your audience at the back of your mind when writing your script – so keep language simple, written in a natural and engaging tone – we recommend writing the way you speak and corporate buzzword free.  A top tip is to film yourself on your smartphone reading your script to hear how it sounds, and also to see if your keeping chosen time limit. Its easier to trim the script in the early stages rather than later down the line when you’re filming.

One of the downsides of a script is that it can feel impersonal and less natural on camera. As the contributors are so focused on reading a script that they forget to engage in the story, and this can come across on camera but it is the role of your video production partner to direct this and get the best out of each individual on camera. 

Questions are ideal for capturing real life mannerisms as they feel less rehearsed and come across more natural and engaging on screen.  The key to a great answer is always a great question and pulling out their real personality and passions.

  • Storyboarding

A storyboard is not always necessary but for animation or video productions with multiple contributors it can be helpful in laying out how the story and message will be told.  The storyboard lays out the flow of your video and can help you see gaps that need to be filled or interesting shots and B-Roll that needs to be captured to bring the production together.

Storyboards can be helpful for the client as they can see prior to production beginning what the result may look like and make any changes during the pre-production and cutting down on any expensive re-shoots.

 

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  • Location scouting

Dependent on your video needs, there is a host of different options where you may choose to film - such as a filming in a studio like ours at mhf HQ, in your office, in a house or in an external geographical location. 

Each one requires logistics planning to ensure your video production comes in on budget and filming days are maximised to greatest effect.  If you are filming in multiple different location across the UK, travel to and from each location and times will have to be accounted for and planned in.  It also may involve securing filming permissions if you want to film on council land or on the London underground. 

 

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  • Production scheduling

Film production involves many variables, so project management is an absolute necessity to ensure budget and time are maximised and that production day flows with seamless efficiency.  Dependent on the scale and budget of your corporate production a video producer will be allocated to your production to project manage and make sure all parties involved in making the video, including video production crew, on screen talent (actors or real-life participants) are all available on the selected production day/s. 

It is the producer’s role to map out the filming schedule, making sure enough time is allocated to capturing all key messaging and footage required to make the video a success in line with its objectives.  They will prepare in advance all participants, making them clear on their role on the day and making them feel at ease and prepared if on camera.

Production

After all your preparation, production day has arrived and everyone is ready to start shooting your corporate video.  It is the role of the producer and director to ensure everything runs to the production schedule and all shots are captured as required by the brief.

So, what to expect on filming day.

  • Set up.

The video production crew will arrive bright and early to start setting up and doing test shots.  This will involve setting the scene and one of the crew jumping into shot to ensure cameras are positioned in the right angles and the depth of field to be used. For most shoots we’ll need a minimum of an hour to get set up, for larger shoots we will need longer.

  • Lighting

Good lighting is crucial as you do not want your video to be over or under exposed.  In fact, good lighting can set the mood of your video from crisp and professional to warm and friendly.  It is the role of the Director of Photography to set up the right lighting that makes you not only look great but is in line with the look and feel that you want to capture.

  • Sound

There are two main options for capturing professional sound for filming a lavaliere mic which is attached to the participant or a boom mic.  A boom mic is a directional mic positioned above the participants head out of shot and is great for cancelling out surrounding noise however it is not great if the participant is moving around as it then may end up in shot.  A lavaliere mic is attached to the participants body on a lapel, and they are great if the participant needs to move around or if there is one or more people on screen speaking at the same time.

  • Direction

On set there will be a dedicated director or producer whose job it is to get the best out of each participant on screen in line with the video messaging needs and objectives.  The director/producer will give feedback on your delivery, body language and tone and give advice on how to improve this throughout the shoot.  Don’t worry, this is normal, and there will be numerous takes to ensure we get the best shots.

  • B-Roll

B-roll is footage that is captured to enhance your video and enable the editor to smoothly cut away from shot and create a more engaging edit.  It is a great way of showing the human side of an individual, the surrounding area or environment to really enhance the look, feel and emotion of your video and keep the story moving in a seamless flow.

Post-Production

The post-production is where the editing team cut and craft all the shots captured into a rich and compelling story.  They will cut the video to your desired length, including all key messaging and edit it to music, enhance the colour and add any animations or sound effects.

  • Voiceover

If your video requires a voiceover, we can send you a selection based on the tone you are looking to convey and the audience you are seeking to engage with.  Once you have selected your voiceover artist, we will send them your script to record giving them direction on the speed and style you desire.  Once the voiceover has been recorded, we will use this to start to pull together our rough cut edit.  Bear in mind that not every video will require a voiceover and its used most frequently in animated explainer videos or videos that use stock footage.

  • Edit

The first stage of the post-production process involves loading all your footage into the editing software and going through all the footage selecting the best takes and pull these together into what we call a rough cut along with any B-Roll footage.  We will send this rough cut to the client to check that messaging is correct and that they are happy with the layout of the shots and the narrative.

  • Animation and Motion Graphics

In some cases on screen graphics may be required on the video. This will be agreed in the pre-production and budgeting stage. There is a wide range of options when it comes to on screen graphics. Simpler graphics may involve bold animated text on screen. More complicated stylised graphics may involve an illustrator to produce custom graphics to be animated on screen by an animator. 

  • Music

The rough cut will then be edited to a music track that complements the video’s desired look and feel.  It really does bring the result together so is important to take your time selecting an appropriate track.   It’s important to note that if you want a commercial track on your video this will need to be factored into your budget and can be costly.  At mhf we use music from Artlist.io which is royalty free music where the cost of the track is on the lower end and in line with most corporate video budgets.

  • Sound Design

The power of good quality sound design should never be underestimated. Adding sound effects to animations / motion graphics really help to bring the colour and feel of the video to life. Sound design can also be added to B-roll footage and interviews as well. Not essential to all videos but when used properly can give your video the edge.

  • Colour grading

Once your final edit has been created and all parties are happy with the final look and messaging, our team will start to colour grade your video. Dependant on your budget this can range from simple colour correction fixes to fine tooth combing every shot and perfecting the colour or changing the colour to enhance the mood of your video.

  • Render the video.

Once the video has been made then editor will render out the video into the required formats for you to distribute on your website or the various social media platforms where you may want to share it.

What we do

We are a video production agency that makes video content for businesses and brands to communicate with their audience online.  We have partnered with various clients across various diverse sectors, so we understand the importance of working in collaboration with our clients to understand their goals and desired result.  We will take the mess out of your message and the hassle out of your hands with a seamless video production process that delivers you business results.