The 3 Stages of Corporate Video Production

Friday May 7, 2021

A lot of people ask us about the process that we go through to pull a corporate video together, so we thought it would be a good idea to lay it all out in black and white (and pink) for you.

We also get people asking what the costs of a corporate video are made up of, so this helps explain some of that as well!

There are three main parts to the production process for any good corporate video. (it’s pretty complicated, so make sure you’re concentrating before reading any further):

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

See – we told you it was complicated.

It’s all well and good us being smart-arse blog-writers, but I’m fairly sure if anyone’s read this far, they might want to know a bit more about what these different stages cover. So here goes.

Pre-Production

This is everything that happens before a day of filming (or design work starts for an animation). It’s not just a case of booking a day in the diary to start the filming though. This is possibly the most important part of the whole process, as getting this right is vital for the smooth-running of the other two stages.

The process starts by really getting under the skin of what the client wants to achieve with the video.  We get this information in a variety of ways that suit the client for that project – they may have given us a detailed brief that covers everything, or it may be a case of a few phone calls with different stakeholders for us to then pull it all together. It can even be a good few hours sitting around a table (or Teams call) to get to the bottom of everything that needs to be achieved.

We also look at things like tone, key messages that need to be conveyed, what competitors are doing, what potential objections there might be to the service or product in question and how we’re going to subtly address and overcome these. And this is even before we start to think about logistics….

We also plan everything for the shoots – crew, kit, locations, risk assessments (yawn), any permissions that might be needed, checking insurance (double yawn), ensuring everyone is fed and watered on the day (v important). Even what’s the weather going to be like!

There’s then talent – who is going to be in the video? Have we got all the necessary releases from them? Do we need a script? How is the talent going to be briefed in advance? All of this needs to be thought about and planned for.

Production

This is often the most exciting stage as it’s where the big guns (if guns were cameras and lenses) come out. Our clients are often surprised by the amount of kit that arrives on a shoot day, and I know it can be quite daunting (kit on shoots is usually £40k+ in value). This is just part of the process though – ensuring lighting is right, audio can be picked up cleanly and the right lenses are there to get the different shots needed.

We will normally have blocked out our production days into a full schedule. We know what content we need to get, and we then plan out the day to take the best advantage of the time we have.  For example, if we need to interview 3 people and also get B-roll of them, we may do the interviews one after the other, and then get the B-roll of each of them in turn. This means we don’t have to keep re-setting –  moving lights around, switching cameras etc.

As I said at the top – good pre-production planning will always help production days. The result of this is we make the best use of the time we have and get the best possible footage for us to take into….

Post-Production

Yep, you’ve guessed it; this is what we do after the production day. But the process often starts as soon as the cameras stop. The files from the shoot need to be backed up (Safety First!), and need to get to the editor.

Most people may think this part is really just the editing, but there will be more to it. It also covers adding music, and ensuring the audio is correctly mixed (volume levels are right at the right points). We will usually add graphics of some kind, as well as animated company logos at the end. There will usually be some kind of colour-grading required as well to make the colours consistent throughout, and as vibrant and engaging as possible.

Once we then deliver a draft to the client, there will then usually be at least 1 (but often more – the record so far is 34!) round of changes requested.

All of these ‘draft’ versions are done at a lower quality than the final version will be, purely because even with really powerful computers, the higher the quality, the larger the file sizes and therefore the longer it takes to export them, upload for viewing etc.

Finally, when all is done, agreed, signed off, checked again, signed off again – we deliver the final film and enjoy the rapturous gratitude we then get from our client.

I never want the blogs I post to be too salesy, but I feel this final point (for anyone who is still reading this – hi mum!) is one I want to make:

Possibly the most important service we provide as an experienced video production company, is we take all of the above off the hands of our clients. We involve them as much or as little as they want. We know what we’re doing and it’s our 20+ years of experience that means we can do all of this efficiently and reliably.

Thank you, and goodnight.