Video is a versatile medium that has many uses, from marketing to teaching, product showcasing and more. To create a successful video project, it is important to have clear goals in mind and a clear understanding of your target audience and the platform on which the video will be viewed. This blog post will guide you through the key considerations you should take into account before starting your video post production journey.
What are your goals with this video?
Video can be a highly effective tool for marketing, teaching, showcasing products, and so much more. But video is not a one-size-fits-all medium. If you want to have a highly effective finished video project, you should be clear of your goals before you even sit down to write the script. The worst reason to make a video is to “go viral.”
What do you want your audience to gain after they watch it? Learn something new? Share it? Respond to a call to action?
Think of how you will quantify success with your video. Common metrics are video views and viewer retention time.
Videos that gain a lot of views tend to be short, attention-grabbing, and shareable. Videos with a high viewer retention rate tend to be longer, better structured, and more interesting.
Having realistic, quantifiable goals in mind before creating a video will set you up for success throughout the rest of the production process.
Where will the video be seen?
Videos can vary in format, aspect ratio, and production value. A video meant to be watched on TikTok will look radically different than a video made to be viewed in a theater. So you need to think about where exactly your audience will be watching your video.
A majority of video content these days is viewed on phones on social media apps. TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram tends to boost video that is shot in a vertical format and can be watched with the sound off.
Videos made for LinkedIn, Facebook or YouTube tend to perform better when they are shot in a more traditional square or widescreen format and have embedded caption file.
A video meant to be playing on loop in a booth display at a conference will have radically different requirements than a video that will be embedded in your company website.
Make sure you know exactly where and how your video will be seen, and whether you’ll need different versions of videos for each of their different destinations.
How long do you want your finished video to be?
Video length is one of the key indicators of cost. This one’s a no-brainer: a video that’s one minute long will take substantially less time to work on than a video that’s two hours long.
Even more important is the length of footage you’ll be sending to your editor. Since a video editor has to watch the footage multiple times in order to make an informed decision about what to cut, your amount of source footage will also have a large impact on cost.
For example, if you send your editor 4 hours of continuous wildlife footage and want them to cut it down into a one-minute piece… get ready to pay up.
Do you already have a script?
Editors will appreciate as much guidance as possible. If you already have a script, you’ll be providing everyone with a solid blueprint so that they can match your intended vision as closely as possible.
If you don’t have a script, consider writing one. It doesn’t need to be formatted like a Hollywood screenplay. A Google Doc with two columns for copy and visuals will definitely suffice. Just try and get as much as you can into writing.
Do you already have all of the footage and assets you need?
If your video has already been shot, you’re nearly ready to go. Take another look at your script and make sure everything is accounted for.
You should also check for callouts to specific images, logos, colors, or slides. Try and collect all of these assets in as high quality as you can and send them through to your editor sooner than later.
If you’re intending your video to be made of stock footage or animations, try and collect as many clips as possible so your editor doesn’t have to waste precious time trawling vast footage libraries by themselves.
What’s your budget?
Instead of having a standoff between rates vs. budget, just be honest about what you can actually afford. If your budget ends up being below your editors rate, they can adjust elements here and there to bring things down to size.
For example, instead of delivering 3 different cuts for different platforms complete with hand-written captions and customized bumpers, an editor can suggest delivering 1 cut with machine-generated captions and a standardized bumper.
At the end of the day, your video editor is there to help you deliver the best results they can on-time and on-budget.
When do you need the video by?
Deadlines make the working world go around, so make sure you have a clear schedule in place with solid deadlines. For best results, have your deadlines be in week-long increments if possible.
Video editing can be a tedious process, so dumping a quick-turnaround video on an editor with a tight deadline is guaranteed to balloon your video costs to a hefty amount.
Be as upfront with your deadlines as possible, and you’ll be happy.
By taking these factors into consideration, you can ensure that your video project is well-structured, fits within your budget and meets your desired outcomes. Whether you are working with a video editor or producing the video yourself, having a clear plan in place will set you up for success and help you deliver the best results possible. So, take the time to think through each of these considerations, and you'll be well on your way to creating a video that is effective, engaging and impactful.