The length of time that a corporate video production takes depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve and how you decide to go about it. We have worked with a range of different clients with smaller budgets, bigger budgets, tight deadlines, and no deadlines.
This is one of the key questions that clients have for us so we are answering it in full here.
Time and money often have a big impact on how the production process takes shape. In an ideal world, there should be three distinct phases, which are all equally important. In this article I am going to talk about those stages; pre-production, production, and post-production. I hope to give you an insight into what each of these phases involve and the factors that can weigh in to affect the time needed for each phase.
Time needed for video pre-production
Pre-production is a fancy term for planning. The purpose of planning is to have a clear idea of what you want before you start and a clear idea of how and when you are going to get there. With corporate video, planning is essential because time is money. If you don’t know what you are doing, you will waste time and therefore money. For example, if you shoot reams of footage because you don’t really know what you want the edit to look like, the editor will need more time to go through the footage, adding huge amounts to your bottom line.
The story boarding process involves creating a visual representation of what will happen in your video, scene by scene. It means you will know EXACTLY what shots need to be captured. Storyboards are a useful tool for communicating to your crew what the finished product will look like, or thereabouts!
image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rlodan01/5321531740/
Preparing the Crew
In the pre-production phase you will establish the necessary roles and responsibilities of the people who will be needed to make your video happen. Depending on the size and scope of your video, a production needs:
- Director: has the creative vision for the project and leads the team to make it happen
- Producer: prepare and supervise the making of a film
- Production manager: looks after practicalities on set, e.g. human resources
- Camera person: operates the camera
- Sound person: responsible for recording sound
Depending on the size of your production, it may well be that certain crew members take on more than one of these roles each.
Casting for the video production
Casting is about selecting the appropriate talent for your video. For a corporate video, it may be that you work with non-professional actors or presenters – for example, people who actually work for the company or the CEO. Sometimes, it is best to work with professional talent. This is when you have to look for actors or presenters who you feel will represent your brand most effectively. Considerations include age, gender, race, accent, delivery style and tone.
Auditions give you the opportunity to see the potential talent actually performing the script intended for your video. This can be a lot more useful than seeing show reels of work they have done on other, unrelated projects. Auditioning talent also gives you the confidence that you have selected the right talent for the job.
A production schedule outlines in detail who will be doing what and when. A schedule gives the crew the information they need to do their jobs properly. In is an essential piece of communication that makes every bit of difference to how a shoot runs.
The Corporate Video Production Stage
The production process is when all of the planning is put into action. It is when the footage is recorded and the sound is captured. It can take place in a studio or on location. It is usually the most expensive part of the process, which is why planning is so important. Preparing your crew so that no time is wasted is also vital – to reduce stress as much as the economics!
Thinking about locations is a useful way to grasp the time and money it can take to shoot a video. If you have bright ideas about shooting some footage in the city centre, some in your office and some footage on location in Paris think again… Add up the days that would be needed for each shoot, the crew, travel/accommodation expenses etc.
If you choose to enter the world of video production, knowledge of these processes is vital in order for you to be able to budget effectively.
How long does the video post-production take?
Depending on the amount of footage shot, it will need to be logged. Then there is the time that will need to be spent on the actual edit. Associated costs may be the hire of an editing suite. Depending on the complexity of your video, you may need a graphics or animation specialist – again, there are additional financial and time implications associated with every bit of extra work.
If you choose to have voiceover on your video, this will add another element to the post-production process. Other practical considerations include making your video accessible by adding subtitles (also great for video SEO).
Distribution of the video production
Distribution is often ignored and overshadowed by the glamour of the production process. But what was the point of all that work if you aren’t going to get your video seen by as many people as possible? The best video creators also have a distribution plan integrated into their wider strategy.
So far I have written quite generally about the video production process. To give you a more concrete example, below I have outlined the time it takes for MWP to make two different video types from start to finish:
One basic web presenter – one script, one web page
Pre-production – 1 week
Production – 1 day
Post-production 2 days (one editing, one configuration)
3 minute corporate video, shot on location (client office)
Pre-production – 2 weeks
Production – 2 days
Post-production – 1 week
As with anything, you get better at planning and budgeting for a corporate video production the more you do it. The accessibility of equipment and means of distribution mean that anyone can make and share a video.
If have a video goal that feels beyond the capabilities of your existing team, then you should look to a video production company who will support you through the process. When selecting a production company, costs will be a big consideration.
However, it will also be important to know that you are working with someone who you trust understands your brand and your goals. Look about, get some quotes, get a feel for who you think you can work with most effectively.