The Video Production Process and Unexpected Challenges

We have a lot of clients that come to us completely underestimating the process of shooting a video or film. If we had a dollar for every time a client thought they could shoot a production like a 30 second television commercial, with large scale crane set ups, a dozen locations, two dozen extras, some children and animals as talent… ALL in a couple hours… we’d have a lot of dollars. 

This article is for anyone looking to commission a production company to produce a video or anyone who wants to know more about what goes on behind the scenes.

The video production process can be broken down as follows:

1. Concept

What story is the video going to tell? Who is going to watch it? How do you want them to think and feel? Without concrete answers to these questions, a video easily loses all meaning and direction.

2. Pre-Production

The script and storyboard are the fundamental assets that guide the direction of a video. Don’t expect the first version of the script or storyboard to be the last one as you’ll likely go through a few iterations as ideas continue to grow and develop.

Assembling the crew, casting, defining the roles of talent, location scouting, getting permissions and alerting authorities, risk assessment on location and shot listing are all tasks that need to be considered when preparing for production. The more consideration taken before production, the less ‘creative problem solving’ needs to be done on set.

3. Production

Filmmaking is essentially all about creative problem solving. More skilled and experienced crew members are simply able to solve problems better. However, there are variables which often can’t be controlled such as the weather.

You could have some really annoying cloud coverage coming in and out of the sky, changing exposure and colours of peoples skin tones which becomes a headache for the editor and/or colourist in post-production. When filming anywhere, indoors or out, unless the environment is completely shut off to natural light sources, lighting will fluctuate over time.

4. Post-Production

Once production wraps up, the editor starts to piece the footage together. The editor is the magician in a crew because they have the ability to turn around a video that might’ve faced many lighting and other challenges in the production phase. However, at the end of the day they can only make do with what they have been given. There’s an old adage  – “We’ll fix it in post”. You’ll probably hear it (usually jokingly, but sometimes with dead seriousness) from the camera production team on set/location. It’s an attitude that will inevitably prove the crew to get caught out, and the editor won’t be able to overcome the problem.

The editing process is all about piecing the different shots available to tell the best story possible whilst removing all the blemishes. Shooting in 4K resolution gives a lot more flexibility in this process and you can read more about it here. 

If you’re looking to get an explainer video made, you can get in touch with the Mude team today!