Considering a professional video? Here's what to expect from the production process.

Updated: Feb 7

The first time you have a video professionally made can be daunting.

Your video producer may use technical language that doesn’t mean anything to you. It might even feel so overwhelming that you’re tempted to give up before even starting the process.

But, the quicker you get your video on your website and social media, the quicker it can serve its purpose and get your message out there, so let’s get right to it.

Determine what your goals are:

Why do you need a video? Is it because everyone has a video? That, by the way, is not a good enough reason.

Or is it to share a message with your staff? Is it to reach potential customers with information? Are you using the video to educate or to inform?

Answering these questions will help you to wrap your head around what kind of video would be appropriate and whether shooting a video is necessary in the first place. You won’t have all the answers, so this is a good time to start talking to your video producer.

Tell them why you want a video, who you would like to reach with the video and what you want to accomplish by making the video. They will be able to offer you helpful suggestions to simplify the process. Because of their experience, they will also be an excellent sounding board.

Remember you’re not in this alone, your video producer or agency are there to help you with ideas and with the execution of those ideas.

Here are two examples of videos with very different goals and how you can achieve them:

Example 1:

Let’s say you’re a business in the healthcare sector and you want to film a video to show patients what to expect when they have a routine medical procedure.

You might want to create this video to:

  • Help patients understand what to expect on the day of the procedure.

  • Address misconceptions about the procedure.

  • Allay the patient’s fears by showing them that it’s a routine procedure with minimal risks.

  • Set a patient’s mind at ease by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in this area.

  • Then, because you’ve demonstrated your expertise, you’ll persuade more patients to have the procedure done at your facility than elsewhere.

Decide on a framework:

Once you have an idea of the purpose of your video, you can start planning what you’d like it to look like and how you’re going to get there. You may want to film a patient’s journey that includes:

  • Signing in at reception.

  • Giving consent and briefly mentioning Ts and Cs.

  • Being prepped for the procedure.

  • Filming the actual procedure (or a simulation of it).

  • Recovery.

  • Advice on aftercare.

Of course, you can also interview a specialist who can answer common questions to set a patient’s mind at ease. There’s nothing like hearing from a caring specialist who knows what he’s talking about to help a patient understand what to expect.

This video can be permanently placed on your website and can be shared on all your social media channels. If done well, you will be able to educate existing patients and attract new patients. It’s a win!

Example 2:

Let’s say you’re a large corporate organisation and you would like to create a more inclusive work environment for people with disabilities.

You might want to create this video to:

  • Show current and potential employees that people with disabilities are just as capable as those without disabilities.

  • Highlight our shared humanity to foster a more inclusive working environment.

  • Improve the company’s employer branding to attract highly skilled employees with disabilities.

Decide on a framework:

You could create a powerful video by interviewing current employees who have disabilities. They can talk about their experience working for your company. But instead of just giving the facts, they can tell stories that show the viewer who they are as people and mention some of the issues they struggle with.

Someone with Albinism may talk about the discrimination they experienced in previous workplaces and how their current employer is actively working to combat that.

A person who is on the Autism Spectrum may tell viewers how they’d been marginalised in a previous team and how their current employer has gone out of their way to make accommodations for them.

These interviews can be filmed in the workplace or in a studio on a plain black or grey background. In this case, it’s all about getting the viewer to identify with someone they would ordinarily overlook. If done with empathy, this video can be a powerful tool to affect change in your organisation.

Write the script:

Now that you have an idea of the flow of the video, it’s time to write the script. The client can write the script and the agency can edit it, or the agency can write the script. Either way, this is where you need to make sure all the information you want to convey is added into the script. Where applicable, specialists in the relevant field need to give the script a once-over to make sure that it’s technically correct and it nails all the important details.

Arrange the shoot day:

Once everyone is on the same page, it’s time to arrange the shoot day. This can be tricky when there are multiple people involved. These are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you’re shooting in a hospital or a workplace, you will have to work around day-to-day business operations without creating too much of a distraction. Perhaps see if you can pick a time when it’s generally quiet like a Friday afternoon.

  • You will have to arrange the date and time with the film crew and your staff. It can be difficult to get time in a specialist or CEO’s schedule, so set the appointment with them first and then with everyone else involved. On the day of the shoot, set up the lights and cameras before they arrive so that you don’t waste their time.

  • Everyone who appears in a video has to sign a consent form. It’s often better for staff to pose as patients than to use actual patients.

  • Make sure you have permission to film in restricted areas.

  • Arrange a safety briefing and safety gear with the Health and Safety department where necessary.

Next steps:

Decide whether to use a professional voice-over artist, or whether to film the CEO or specialist and use their voice as a soundtrack. There is a lot to keep in mind here, your video producer will give you all the considerations and make his own recommendations.

Know your talent. This can’t be stressed enough - you have to know whether the people who you’ll be interviewing are comfortable in front of the camera, or whether they need some help.

First prize is filming someone who is confident and can speak off the cuff without a script. Their delivery will be a lot more natural than someone who is reciting a script. Of course, it’s not always possible, so you can always have a teleprompter with a full script or with bullet points to remind the speaker of their talking points.

When you have the right videographer, they will be able to make the interviewee comfortable by chatting with them and creating a rapport with them.

Your producer will also recommend motion graphics where necessary to engage viewers.

Once the shoot has been completed, the video will go through the post-production process, this may include:

  • Synching all the cameras so that you can easily cut to a different angle.

  • Colour grading the footage so that there is a consistent look and feel.

  • Synching the audio with the cameras and cleaning up the audio where necessary.

  • Choosing which footage to keep and which to discard.

  • Arranging the footage on the timeline to tell a coherent story.

  • Creating motion graphics to use in various places throughout the video. A good example of this is an opener where movement is added to a logo.

  • Picking a suitable music track. This can be a lengthy process, the wrong music can destroy a video’s impact so it’s not to be taken lightly.

  • Adding the voice-over track and making sure the words line up with the relevant footage.

After this, the video gets sent for client approval. The client needs to approve aesthetics and ensure that the information is technically correct. Once that is done, the video can be rendered in high resolution and sent to the client for upload.

New clients are often surprised when they see how involved this process is. It’s quite unlike quickly filming a video on your cell phone and uploading it to social media.

Then again, a professionally produced video is evergreen and a necessity when it comes to brand building.

Do you have any questions? You’re welcome to pop me a message and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

And of course, I'd also love to hear from you if you want to have a video produced for your business.

I hope this demystifies the production process and I can’t wait to see your next video online!

Until next time,