Education, Videos

The Production Process

WHAT DO YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY?
  • Nathan Jones in front of The Jasper Picture Company camera - Melbourne
I thought I’d like to take a few minutes explaining what needs to happen when you commit to a video for your business.

Recently, at a business expo, it became clear to me that, quite often, the video production client doesn’t understand all of the charges that go along with making a successful video during the video content process. Sometimes – and I’m as guilty of this as anyone – we talk in industry-speak, and you, the client, can feel left out and somewhat bamboozled. At other times, you may not know exactly what you’re being charged for, or the processes involved. I hope the following explains some of the steps necessary for a successful outcome, and why they are all important.
PRE-PRODUCTION
We develop a plan …

Generally, the first stage of any production, after you’ve signed up, is pre-production. Although this is usually the cheapest stage, per day, of the overall process, it really can be the most important, even though there’ll be absolutely no ‘camera, lights, or action’. Careful pre-production, like careful planning in any venture, is essential.

Pre-production is where details are ironed out. Talent is organised, locations are scouted and agreed to and the necessary permissions are acquired.

This stage is where the production company should learn the client’s expected outcomes and target market as well as how the video is to be be distributed. Sometimes, it will also be the stage where scripts are written and agreed to.

The more comprehensive and careful pre-production is, the less time will be required in production and post-production. The more details sorted out before a camera crew arrives, the more likely it is that client and production company will be on the same page on what the finished product should look like. Pre-production will definitely save you money down the line, assuming it’s done right.

One of the things I’ve realised from talking to business people over the last few months is that clients tend to believe that neither they – nor the production company involved – have a clue as to how a video will turn out until they have the final product in their hands. If both sides agree during pre-production to a plan, a script or similar, then both sides will be more confident moving into the next phase.
PRODUCTION
Lights, cameras, … and plenty of action

The production phase is where the toys come out. This is where we light things up, everything is filmed, sound is recorded and the drone may fly.

Obviously a camera operator is essential (we’re making a video, right?), but quite often we’ll need extra people: an assistant, a sound recordist, a producer, or some combination of those – it all depends on the size and requirements of your project.

Most days when I go out, it is myself and an assistant. A good assistant is worth their weight in gold and makes a shooting day so much more productive. Whether it is setting up lights, helping to change lenses or simply packing the car at the end of a day, you will get a lot better value in your day if an assistant is involved.

Often, production days are long and there is a lot to do, and this is another occasion where good pre-production planning comes in. If you are pushed for time but you’re working to a good plan, you can be more hopeful of a great product, because everyone knows what they have to do rather than having to ‘wing it’ through the day. A good plan also allows for less to be shot, as the work is much more targeted towards your desired result.
POST-PRODUCTION
We put it all together …

This often happens in a dark room, but can also happen in an airport waiting lounge!

This is where all of the (hopefully, great) pictures you’ve acquired are put together to tell your story. Editing can be fiddly, and generally takes longer than most people think; here is where we add graphics and put the music in the background. Again, a great plan made in pre-production will help this part of the process as there will be more focus on a plan rather than fumbling around in the dark hoping to meet the client’s requirements that the editor may or may not be aware of.

At The Jasper Picture company we offer two rounds of changes in our quotes. This allows you to make sure that you get the product you want. The post-production phase is also where voiceovers will be added if required. Voiceovers tend to be tricky to quote for, because different peoples’ ideas of a good – appropriate- voice can be quite different, and prices can vary widely. We aim to find out, in pre-production, what kind of voice the client requires so that there are no hidden costs later on.

I hope this explains a bit of the process for you. As always, if you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to call me on 0467092907 or email me at matt@jasperpictures.com.au.

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Matt Jasper

Matt Jasper is the owner of The Jasper Picture Company. He is based in Melbourne but works around Australia and the world.