Have a practical checklist for video creation from idea to execution—pre-production, production, post-production, distribution, and analytics.
- When it comes to video creation, one of the things that people take for granted all the time is the actual video production process, and this has a couple of components to it. In order for people not to be intimidated, a lot of the advice that people give, including myself, is just hit record. And while this is great if you feel intimidated by being on camera, the thing is there is a little bit more to it than that. You do have an actual video production process and if you understand it and make some checklist and routines for yourself, it'll actually make the process feel a lot more efficient and you'll feel more organized and like you have something that is truly representative of the quality that you want.
So, to understand this, let me break down what the video production process actually looks like in a little bit of a more formal structure. You have pre-production, which is your planning. It's all the preparation. You also have production, which is when you actually do hit record and you do your on-camera performance. You also then have the editing process, the thing that hangs up so many people and is probably the most intense thing. And finally, you then have the distribution of the video that you've created and that you've edited, and once you distributed it you also want to measure it and take a look at your analytics.
Let me kind of go into each of these things a little bit more in-depth so you kind of understand where they fit and how to do them a little bit more effectively. Let's start with the pre-production process, since that's really the first thing. Before you ever hit record and start your on-camera performance, what you need to do is you need to have some kind of plan. I am not a fan of writing scripts, but for some people that is the most practical thing they can do. Also, if you don't know your content and your information cold, the thing that I specialize in, you have to do some research up-front.
And when I'm doing more technical things, this is something that I pay a lot of attention to, because you want to give accurate advice that's also actionable, especially if you're doing education-based content or if you're trying to inform your consumer or your client base. So that's something you really need to pay attention to. When it comes to planning, if you're not going to do a script, then at least do a bullet point outline. This way you know what you're going to talk about and there's some structure behind it. One of the things that I will also include in this is the fact that I think that when it comes to pre-production, your set design, your aesthetic, the props that you're going to use, for example, me using a camera to talk about online video, those are things that are practical considerations that you want to think about before you ever hit record.
Once you decide that you're going to hit record, now we're talking about production. And that has to do with the actual filming and has to do with your on-camera performance. One of the things you'll want to do in that process is make sure that you know your camera and your camera settings, make sure that your lighting and your audio is in place, make sure that all your aspects of the video itself and how it's going to look an how you're going to interact are all set up. And ideally you want to streamline this. I prefer to use a setup that I can keep consistent, meaning that I keep my lights in place and I usually keep my camera equipment in place as well, or if I do it on the go when I'm traveling, I try to kind of consider the environment and whether it's distracting before I hit the record button.
Once you hit the record button and you're doing production, you have to then think about whether you're interacting with a teleprompter, whether you're interacting with someone that you're interviewing, or if you're doing a livestream or what have you. This is important. You also need to consider aspects of your on-camera performance. Your energy, your mannerisms, your posture. This also means that in your setup, maybe you have a monitor or maybe you have an assistant or someone to help you. So these are all considerations of the production itself, it's what's happening from a behind-the-camera standpoint and also what's happening in front of it.
Once all of that's said and done, we move into what's called post-production. This is also known as editing and graphics. This is your video itself in terms of it being editing and being streamlined. Maybe you had to do multiple takes. Maybe there are things that you want to edit in in terms of graphics or additional footage that you captured, what we refer to as B-roll, the on-camera performance from the main camera being your A-roll. B-roll could either be footage from a secondary camera angle or it could be other footage that you film so that you can show rather than tell.
An example of this being that if I were referencing a place or piece of equipment, maybe we cut in footage that either is a closeup on a camera that I'm mentioning or a location that I've referenced. So that would be an example of your B-roll footage in editing. In terms of graphics, maybe you want something that comes out, what we refer to as a lower third, something that comes out to the lower third portion of the screen that gives context. In an interview, this might be the name of the person that you're interviewing or the organization that they represent or their social media handles. So these are things that be put in after the fact during the editing process.
Finally we also have the rendering. That's where this footage is exported for the appropriate format. That could be social media. It could be cut down or tripped down to be on a platform like Linkedin or Facebook, or it could be longer form content that's going to live somewhere like YouTube for example. So you have that. Speaking of those social media platforms, once you have the post-production process finished and you have rendered, ready to use footage, you have distribution. Distribution is about where you're going to published this in terms of online platforms.
Once of the things that I've talked about is the fact that you should consider where this content is going to live and who that audience is and context of these platforms. We'll talk about that later, but primary example of platforms and thinking about this is, I prefer to publish a lot of my content to YouTube because it's search engine friendly and it helps me with Google search as well. When I film speaking engagements, I specifically publish a lot of that to Linkedin, because the context is that that's an audience where I might reach event marketers and people who can hire me.
I also distribute to other social media platforms, but sometimes in post-production and editing, I have to trim down the footage or make minor changes to it with the context of tat platform in mind. Once you do that, you need to look at how it's performing and measure that in analytics so you can make decisions about future videos that you're going to do, and also you can evaluate how effective the video you just produced actually is. This seems like a lot of information, and we could definitely go deeper. The main thing is to just have a simplified video creation process that you can repeat over and over again.
Try and streamline this as much as possible and it will definitely help with efficiency, especially if you have to create a lot of online video.
- Preproduction and planning
- Production: camera, lights, and audio
- Video editing and post
- Online video platforms
- Understanding your audience
- Making awesome content
- Releasing the right volume of content at the right times
- Developing a content calendar
- Video optimization strategies