Video Production Explained:
Different Angles Paint a Better Picture

By Alvin Motilla

Graphics of the phrase 'video production' showing different angles of that phrase


So you want video production explained.

Isn't it wise if you're also aware WHY you want that explanation? :-)

As I see it, you want it because...

  • You're a curious person. And, more importantly…

  • You want to feel that you already have some sense of guidance, before you finally decide to make your own video presentations.

CONTENTS


Eye-opener

You and how you want video production explained



Video production explained from these angles


"Template"

 

"Flow chart"

 

"Outline"

 

"Work flow"

 

"Timeline"

 

 —

But…


HOW do you want video production explained?



Yes, there are ways of doing that. Because the kind of explanation also depends on the kind of person looking for explanation...

People choose what to eat. And they eat the kind of food that they like.

In the same way...

People choose what to hear. And they listen to the kind of explanation that they like.

And what they like to hear depends on their inclinations...

And in video production, different people have different inclinations. Or interests.

For example...

Are you like the "techno-centrics"?

They are people who are mostly drawn to the tools. The gear. The technology.

If we're talking about painting, these are the ones who are mainly interested in the kind of brush, paint, or canvas that a painter uses.

Are you like the "buck-chasers"?

It's not wrong to earn a living by making videos, of course.

But for "buck-chasers", money is the most important thing. They don't really care enough for what they do, and for what their clients really need.

Are you like the "swashbucklers"?

They think that they're good-looking and already accomplished... just because they have some expensive equipment.

And they tend to show it off. They behave like there's always a competition, where self-image is in danger.

"Techno-centrics", "buck-chasers", and "swashbucklers" have a disadvantage...

Since they have inclinations that already predominate their minds—the "tools", the "money", and the "self-image"—chances are they overlook what's most important in video production. But "communicators" see and value that.


So...

Are you like the "communicators"?

What they care about the most is "human connection"—what viewers feel while watching a well-made video presentation.

So it is "humans" that communicators value the most. And a video creator who is more of a communicator at heart knows that...

  • Video is just one of the many vehicles for conveying info.

  • Video is just another means of self-expression. And…

  • Video is just another way of connecting with people.



Can you relate to this kind of person—the communicator? I hope so. :-)

Because the following perspectives, or ways in which video production is explained, are guided by this major principle that...

 "Video production is communication".

So...


WHAT are different ways of looking at video production?



Different angles that will help us see it better?

Video Production Explained: The Process Template

Think of a "template".

What commonly comes to mind is a mold, or pattern, that dictates the shape, form, or flow of that thing that we create inside it. And a template can also dictate the sequence of elements within its boundaries.

So it makes our jobs easier and faster.



But we also tend to blindly follow templates. Because we're on a hurry to get things done. We have more things to do, right?

And we also tend not to give careful thought anymore to...

  • what's really needed,

  • who needs what we're making, and most of all,

  • why we are doing it.



But this is not the kind of template that I'm referring to.

The template of video production process that I'm talking about is...

The template of priorities.

What is it?

It is the template that reminds us to do, "first things first". It shows us what we need to consider and do, in order of importance...

... if... we want to increase the odds of making videos, that communicate and connect with our audience.

And this is the kind that, I think, will apply to almost all video presentations that we can make.

Why "almost all"?

Because I couldn't think of any kind of video that, this "template of priorities", will not apply to. Except those videos that I just want to make, without sense of purpose. ;-)


So, if you're looking for a template of video production process, I think, this is the kind that you'll need. And I express these priorities in form of questions that I ask myself:

Video production explained through a “template”

1. WHY am I making this video presentation?

In other words, what is this video supposed to do? What is this for?

Purpose. Right?

But, in my experience, in order for me to answer this "priority" question number 1, I noticed that, I have to answer... first... these 2 preliminary questions...

a. WHO is really going to watch this video?

Who needs it? Or...

Who wants it?

b.  WHAT is this video really about?

What do I want to tackle in this video, and share with my "real" audience?

2. WHAT do I want to say to my audience?

I really think that...

  • When you're trying to honestly answer this 2nd "priority" question, you're on the path to giving your audience a meaningful video.

  • When you discover, "what you have to say" about, "what you want to tackle", it makes a huge difference in the kind of impact, your video can make on your viewers.

You may have seen videos that look impressive, sound cool (may have thumping sound effects), and yet, leave you so little to be inspired with, or to think about. These videos have superficial impact only.

On the other hand, there are videos that, not only look and sound great. But do carry messages that the audience can relate to. These videos have deeper impact. These are videos that connect.

And that thing that you want to say—or convey—to your audience, could be an opinion. A belief. A way of looking at life. Or a way of treating your subject.

I find that discovering... first... what I have to say in my video, is not very easy to do. Because many times, I feel the temptation to skip this part, and jump into the more exciting activity—which is shooting, or filming.

But I also find that, it's worth nailing down, the real message, for the real audience.

Why? Because...

  • It gives you a sense of conviction—or direction—that helps you carry on with your project. Especially when you're starting to feel lost, or "when the going gets tough". And eventually,...

  • It leads you to a certain feeling that's hard to describe... when you know, your video has touched your audience. That feeling is still different from—even better than—the one when your video impresses your audience, merely because of technical, or mechanical aspects.

3. WHAT do I want them to see and hear?

These are the things that will help express, or demonstrate, what I want to say to my audience.

Ideally, if we want to communicate well through video, everything in our presentation has to support our message to our intended viewers.

In other words, elements that our audience will see and hear in our video, have to come together, and help each other as a whole.

Why?

Because these elements need to embody our video's message.



Answering "priority" question #3, is very much like, thinking about the needed steps, to realize a certain goal. To me, answering this question is the time to think about...

  1. The big picture flow of my video presentation (one that I sense would be effective for my "real" audience).

  2. The major actions or info that need to fill that "big picture". And...

  3. Potential visual and sound elements, and style, that would give life to this presentation.

In short, it's really about doing some planning first, before shooting.

And depending on our project, we, as video creators, may express the results of our planning by making outlines, scripts, shot lists, or even storyboards.

4. HOW do I get or create the needed image and sound materials?

This is actually the fun part.

Because this is shooting and sound recording.:-) You know, being in the field, or in whatever set or location. Our subjects are there, waiting to be filmed by us...

... And we're excited to use our cameras and other audio and video gear. Others say it's like, going to a battlefield, or going to a war.

Since filming or shooting is fun, we tend to do it first. Right?

But, as you can see, this is priority question #4. Which means... We only do this after we've done priorities 1, 2 and 3, of this template of video production process.

I said earlier that others say, or at least imply, that shooting is like going to a battlefield. As if there's a need to conquer some people, or some territory. But, I'm not really inclined to compare shooting to, "going to a battle or war".

To me, shooting is simply "searching". Or "creating". We are out in the field to gather or create materials that we need, to build our video presentation. Footage. Sound.

5. HOW do I assemble these materials?

This is the time to put our raw materials together. The time to build a coherent whole. A whole video presentation.

I really like to call this 5th priority as, "Assembly", or "Building" time.

Why?

Because that's exactly what it is! Editing and polishing are just parts of it.

One big challenge here is, how do we combine all the pieces, in a way that's going to be effective for our "real" audience—our "intended" viewers of that particular video.

Another big challenge is to keep in mind that, we're NOT building a presentation for everyone. We're NOT trying to please everybody... except our "real audience".



So there you go… video production explained using a template.

What is the benefit of referring to this, "template of priorities", when making videos? What is the benefit of doing, "first things first"?

Well, because we're doing things in order of importance, it saves us time, energy, and even money.

Sure, we can do whatever we want! We can film without purpose.

But, if we want our videos to be meaningful... and memorable... to our audience, I find that...

Being guided by priorities is the way to go.

Video Production Explained: The Process Flow Chart

Remember I said earlier that, "Video production is communication"? And that this principle guides the video production perspectives that you see here?

In other words,...

To make a video is to communicate.


Now, another way of looking at video production, is through a flow chart. So we have this flow chart of video production process...

Video production explained through a “flow chart”

But, what kind of flow chart is this? We need to be specific, right?

It's a communication flow chart. It shows the elements in video production process, that are responsible for the communication that happens through video.



A highlight of this flow chart is, "video content". It's what we communicate, when we make videos. Without video content, we have nothing to share with our audience.

But the other "elements" help create, shape, and communicate video content.

Here's the details of this interesting video production perspective.

Video Production Explained: The Process Outline

This time, we'll look at video production process from above.

Above?

Yes. What I mean is, we'll look at the "big picture" of WHAT you do, when you make a video.


And in order to do that, we need to use an outline. So, here's a broad outline of video production process...

Video production explained through an “outline”

What does it mean?

Let me explain. :-)...

  • ALL the things that you do, when you make a video—and even after you've made it... Those are your production efforts.

  • Now, your production efforts have different categories. Each category is described according to, what it is trying to accomplish.

  • That outline shows the "big picture" view, of what you're trying to do. First, when you make a video. And then, when you want your future videos to become better.

A good thing about these "categories" is that, they are guided by principles. And these principles help us execute well.



Intrigued? Check this out for more info. (See the part where it says, "What are the basics of digital video production?")

Video Production Explained: The Process Flow

Another way of gaining insight into video production, is to see the "flow" of the process of making videos.

The specific "flow" I'm talking about, is your work flow, when you're making a video presentation for your audience...

Video production explained through a “work flow”

This “work flow” is composed of stages that you go through, when you create a video, from start to finish.



Click here for more information. (Check out, "What are the stages of digital video production?".)

Video Production Explained: The Process Timeline

Now, we're going to use a timeline to illustrate video production...

Video production explained through a “timeline”

This is a popular and common way of explaining video production. We often hear about "pre-production", "production", and "post-production" phases. Right? :-)

As you can see, this timeline shows the different tasks under each production phase. It also suggests how these tasks, relate to each other, and need to be lined up.

So, under the pre-production phase, we have:

  1. subject and audience research

  2. goal and scope of work

  3. concept and message

  4. structure and storyline

  5. treatment

  6. script

  7. storyboard

  8. casting and crew

  9. location scouting

  10. shot list

  11. scheduling

  12. rehearsal

And the production phase includes:

  1. shooting

  2. sound recording

  3. voice over

  4. creating or acquiring sound effects

  5. creating or acquiring music

Lastly, the post-production phase needs to accomplish the following:

  1. video editing

  2. color corrections and color grading

  3. sound editing and enhancement

  4. putting music and sound effects

  5. client review

  6. "final cut"

  7. packaging and delivery

That’s video production explained using a timeline.



Is this timeline absolute?

No. It only shows the usual activities under each production phase. The sequence of tasks may seem "fixed". But this timeline is really a guide.



Do you need to do all the tasks in this timeline, for ALL your video projects?

No. Because different video projects have different circumstances. A particular project will have its own purpose, specific needs or requirements, state of budget, etc.

For example...

A documentary video may not need the "casting" of actors and actresses. Unless, you want to include some dramatizations of "real" events.

A narrative video may, or may not, use "voice over" narrations.

And a short film intended to be in black and white, may not require "color grading" at all. Unless, you still want to shoot it in color, and do your "corrections" later, to make it black and white. ;-)



So... again... this video production process timeline, is NOT something that is "carved in stone".

It IS a guide.


Video Production Explained: Bottom Line



When you're trying to explain something to someone, sometimes giving her different perspectives of your subject matter, helps.

Why?

Because different perspectives, or angles, provide a better picture, and clearer understanding.



And that is why, when you saw video production explained here, you've seen a template... a flow chart... an outline...  a work flow... and a timeline.

All of them are different ways of seeing the video production process. All of them provide some sense of guidance. Therefore...

Perspectives matter.


  1. Video Production
  2. Video Production Tips: Connection and Expression
  3. Video Production Explained: Perspectives