The Three Stages of Video Production

Abby Shemwell and Ashley Coles
11 Jan 2022

From corporate videos and commercials to event recaps and meeting recordings, video production offers many ways for a business to improve its competitive edge and tell its story. But what actually happens during the video production process? What happens in each production phase?

If you are looking to hire a production company to create a video for your business, you should know the three main stages of video production:

  1. Pre-Production
  2. Production
  3. Post-Production

Much like the beginning, middle, and end of a story, these stages outline the progress of a project from conception to completion.

Pre-Production

Production experts know that pre-production is a pseudonym for planning! The more work put into this area, the smoother the ride moving forward will be. The story has to come from somewhere and we as human beings have this funny way of remembering things that are relatable. Knowing who your target audience is, your reason for telling them a story, and what you want them to walk away with, is critical to film and media production. No matter the project.This is exactly what the pre-production stage is for. Below are the most common aspects of pre-production.

  • budget
  • creative concept
  • equipment needs
  • location scouting
  • production crew
  • script and storyboarding
  • shot list creation
  • talent
  • timeline and schedule

Specialized projects may require other research or planning necessary to prepare for the shoot.

At BW Productions, we focus a lot of time on pre-production because we want to make things as smooth as possible when it comes to shooting and editing your video. If you know that you have an idea for a video, but don't know how you want to share it, or even what you want to show, we can help. Scheduling an appointment with one of our Producers is the first step in your journey with us - we'll help you identify project goals and your video's identity.

Production

Production has a lot of moving parts with the crew, equipment and talent constantly in pursuit of making your project idea come to life in the best way possible. With the proper people and equipment ready to go, the story begins to take form. The two biggest aspects of what happens on a shoot boil down to those that are happening visually and those happening aurally.

Sound checks and image quality are tested once the equipment is set up so when the talent arrives, all that the crew has to do is make minor adjustments. Then, the crew records interviews, voiceovers, and B-roll (supplemental footage edited into a video to further illustrate the story and theme).

Take a look at our guide on what to expect while on a video production set.

Post-Production

After all the footage has been recorded, the production team begins the post-production stage. An editor imports the footage from the camera memory cards to a computer’s editing software and creates a rough cut. This is the preliminary version of a video that includes the most important content in sequential order but not all of the final details. Once the client approves the rough cut, the editor makes revisions and adds visual and audio aspects to tell a fully formed story.

A good bit of sound and audio editing goes into the post process. Notice the sounds of crunching leaves when someone passes through the woods in a film? That’s most likely a foley. Foley refers to the sound that is added after the material is filmed to both enrich what was recorded or add an effect that couldn’t be achieved in the moment. Any score (music) or voice-overs added during post can also emphasize the overall tone of your project. An audio engineer syncs the audio with the video and ensures all audio is clear and accurate.

The visual aspects can include more B-roll, title slides, and effects like graphics, color corrections, and lighting adjustments. These additions impact what you're seeing on screen that help shape the story. One of the effects that are commonplace in corporate video production are applied title slides. These can be the names of characters and their job position or anything related to the video and what they're speaking on.

The production team remains in contact with the client through each iteration of the project, ensuring that all the fixes the client wants are in the video. After all the edits have been made, the client will provide more feedback and suggestions to get the video exactly how they want it. Once the product is approved and finalized, the post team sends the final cut to the client for them to share.

These three stages come together to ensure a video production runs smoothly and results in a project that the client will be proud to share. For a more detailed outline of this process, check out this helpful article from 99designs.

Abby Shemwell and Ashley Coles

UWIPP

Utah Women in Production and Photography was founded by women for women. Their mission is to advocate for women in their respective industries. Women provide unique perspectives, skills and insight, making impactful decisions on set. BW Productions is proud to represent a dedicated group that advocates for and collaborates with women.