How to Prepare for Your Video Production and Editing

Part 2 of 3

Download a Video Production Job Outline here

Preparation for the edit session is where you can save the most time and money, your money, the editors time.  After the production day we only have video and audio clips. We do not have your company logo, existing footage, corporate photos, stock photos, graphs, music and the names and titles of those appearing in the video. If you provide all of the above to the editor before we begin the video production and editing it will speed up the process. Editing a simple shoot may take 3 days. If you add a few stock photos on the third day your editor must re-edit the timeline, transitions and remix the audio (VO and music).

For any photos, logos or graphics pay attention to the file size. Send the largest file you have. It’s easy to down-res a file. A hi-def timeline is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high. If you send an image that is 480 pixels high it will not fill the screen and up-resing it will soften the image.We prefer files at least 50% larger than the video timeline so we can zoom or pan on the image to create motion (2880 pixels wide by 1620 pixels high). The pixel aspect ratio is also important. The older standard def screens were 4:3 (older CRT monitors). Most videos are output for the wide screen 16:9 size (LCD monitors). PowerPoint slides are 4:3 and will not fill the widescreen. We work in the RGB color space. As an advanced Photoshop user I can re-size, or retouch almost any image.

Provide the names and titles for those appearing in the video so that we can make the lower thirds graphics. Provide text or bullet points and note in the script where you want them placed.

Special effects, compositing and green screen all take extra time in the edit session.

How will you preview the video? you can come to my edit suite, I can upload a low-res version to Dropbox or I could output a DVD for you to review. I can also include a timecode window so that you can make precise changes. It may be possible to email a short video in low resolution. It’s important to know how and where your video will be viewed. Text must be within a title safe area.

Take a few minutes to pre-visualize your video, communicate with your producer, and it will go a lot smoother.


How to prepare for your Commercial Video Production

Part 1 of 3
Download a Video Production Job Outline here

Preparation is the key to getting a great video at the best price. You have a need, whether it be sales, training or a PSA, that is your objective. Write a script or hire a scriptwriter to communicate your message. Be concise! Shorter is better. If an employee is to read the script have them practice. A few minor changes to the script may make them feel more comfortable reading it. It’s difficult to speak to a camera. Consider using a teleprompter. Eye contact with the viewer can help make the sale. For longer dialogue the interview style works best as it is easier to speak to a person than to a lens. You may do it as a voice over or on-camera, or hire professional talent.

When writing the script think of your audience. What’s their previous knowledge of the subject matter and where will they view it. Consult with your corporate attorney! Information must be accurate.

The script is the foundation for your video. The producer, me, can create the visuals and/or storyboards, from the script. The simplest video will have a talking head and some B-roll footage. One camera, tripod and lave mic may be all that’s needed. I strongly suggest a 2 camera shoot for lengthy on-camera talking heads. For a large commercial video production, give some thought to how the camera moves, after all, this is motion. Dolly rolls, camera cranes and steady cams all take time to set up and require experienced operators behind the cameras.

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Can you re-purpose your video to get more value out of it? Don’t limit yourself to one use. You have broadcast, web and DVD options. Perhaps a looping DVD at your next trade show will draw people to your booth. With some additional editing you may double your audience. For example, a video we produced to sell RVs in the US was used to sell RVs in Canada by simply recording a new voice over and remixing the audio (watch the RV sales video)