What Really Happens In Video Post-Production?

by Justin Kelly
Video Post-Production Process

After all that pre-production—the research, planning, story boarding and pre-interviewing—and after the video shoot we planned and executed with surgical precision, are there really any big creative decisions left to be made in post-production? A misconception we have sometimes encountered about the post-production process is that it’s nothing more than pushing buttons to connect the dots that we laid out earlier in the process. So, what really happens in post-production?

You don’t need to understand every aspect of the video production process. But, wrapping your head around the range of creative decisions we make during post-production will help you collaborate more effectively with us. Together, we’ll create awesome, award-winning, and most importantly, high-impact video content that will help you achieve your marketing goals.

The Big 3 Of Video Post-Production

Here are the three big components of the video post-production process:

  1. Motion Graphics
  2. The Video Edit
  3. Color Correction 

Keep reading for a deep dive into each of the big three items involved in the video post-production process below.

1. Motion Graphics

Videos utilizing motion graphics and animation are one of the coolest and most versatile marketing tools that businesses, trade associations, and non-profits can use to take their video communications strategy to the next level. With animated content, you gain access to visual tools that can bring the biggest, most out-of-the-box ideas to life. Animation is particularly valuable if you need to present complex ideas in an easy and even fun-to-consume package. It’s also a powerful tool for evoking emotions and connecting with viewers at a gut-level. Animation gives you the power to transport viewers to a different time and place and bring big, complex ideas down to Earth.

For the 65% of the population who are visual learners, animation can be the key to cracking open the data that showcases your organization’s value. LAI Video’s team of talented designers and motionographers excel at making tedious topics visually interesting, and delivering data in ways that will help channel audiences toward deeper brand engagement.

Typically, corporate animation falls within these two broad categories:

  1. Custom Animation—Featuring original design elements and illustration for a hand-crafted, perfectly-branded look and feel.
  2. Hybrid Animation—Bringing together motion design, kinetic typography, and photo or video content to create a dynamic, category-bending messaging tool.

Both approaches will provide you with a lot of control over how you tell your story. But, just as it sounds, custom animation allows for more granular control over the look, feel, and action going on inside your animated world. And it’s in post-production that we set that world in motion.

Yeah, sure, we made some big decisions in pre-production. Working with mood boards curated just for your project, we pinpointed the design elements that suit your brand and message perfectly. And from there we plotted your story, frame-by-frame with storyboards. But it's in post-production that LAI Video’s graphic designers and animators bring these storyboards to life. This is a demanding and time-intensive process, especially because getting the right look and feel for your content extends beyond graphic design. Our animators have to fine-tune the physics of your animation. For instance, how will design elements interact with each other? Will kinetic typography appear with an elegant flourish, leaving other design elements in the scene undisturbed? Or will it land with a thud, sending ripples through the frame?

Just know that when someone compliments the design of your finished video by saying it looks slick, or smooth, or just plain cool, you can chalk that up to the magic of post-production, and in this case, to our sweet, sweet motion design.

Hybrid animation projects use motion graphics as a kind of visual framework to hold together a wide variety of video and audio assets. Photos, charts, news clips, user-generated phone footage and, of course, our own professionally-shot footage can be combined to create extremely dynamic content. We might transition between full-frame animation and video content, allowing the unique storytelling properties of each medium to inform your message. Or we might use animation and other visual assets, composited to occupy the frame together. Used in combination, or individually, these hybrid animation styles are a potent way to show and tell your story. 

While hybrid animation is typically just a little simpler, and potentially more cost effective than a custom animation piece, this approach still offers plenty of room to play with design and emotion. Take these quirky, hype-inducing, kaleidoscopic show graphics, for example. And for fact-based, well-ordered promotional and even docu-style projects, the graphic packaging of hybrid animation is an amazing way to inform, persuade, or inspire, whether you’re promoting a cause, or paying tribute to an industry.

Bold character animation, elegant kinetic typography, enhanced interviews, and custom lower thirds and bumpers, and more: LAI Video has a reputation for creating smart motion graphics. And we make it all happen in post-production.

2. The Video Edit

When LAI Video’s editors dive into a batch of raw footage, there’s already a lot of creative baked in. But outside the basic rules of storytelling in conventional promo videos, explainer videos, and day-in-the-life videos, to name a few, the talented people editing your content have plenty of opportunities to let all the creative juices flow.

In post-production, our editors set the tone by selecting the right musical underscore, establishing the pace of a story, using novel transitions, adding graphic overlays, and making subtle (or bold!) choices when it’s time to apply color correction.

So it should go without saying that LAI Video is not a post-house hired to create content on an assembly line while clients call the creative shots. Our editors are master storytellers and video marketing gurus—and in most cases, accomplished videographers and animators too! They see the world a little differently than the rest of us. They’ve helped us amass an impressive portfolio of work and earned the complete confidence of our clients along the way. LAI Video’s editors have proven their ability to make real-time decisions on behalf of brands. Even in an overnight capacity, they can create amazing stories on-site, while everyone else is asleep.

When it comes to the edit, the ability to coax a story from a shapeless mass of content may not put them on the same level as the great Michelangelo, but he pretty much sums up the work of our editors when he writes, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”

Discovering the story in a jumble of candid interviews for docu-style projects can send an editor on a bit of a scavenger hunt. Guided by production notes and an outline of your messaging goals, they’ll comb through hours of interviews and b-roll footage. But digging out the most insightful soundbites, delivered with the most confidence or the right emotion, isn’t the end of their work. These must be assembled to create a cohesive and compelling story. Editors support and enhance their choices by adding relevant b-roll, graphic elements and visual effects—all of which can be tweaked and tuned to support your message.

The success of a scripted, live action video hinges on the skill of the editor. For projects with humor, the editor plays a big role in delivering laughs with just the right comedic timing. And for more dramatic storylines, our editors excel at making the most of subtle creative decisions. In this example, simply inverting the usual narrative structure by starting at the end, so to speak, the editor cranks up the viewer’s curiosity early. Small editorial choices like these will help keep viewers hooked.

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3. Color Correction

The process of color correction provides yet another avenue for creative decision-making during post-production. While we always light our subjects to look their very best, almost every image will benefit from some adjustment in post-production. Basic color correction is key to achieving the clean, professional look that will position your video to win the confidence of audiences and showcase your brand.

How much color correction we apply falls on a spectrum. At one side of this correction spectrum is the process of fixing flaws to achieve the most natural, life-like image possible. At the opposite end of the spectrum are corrections made to achieve a distinct aesthetic. Every video falls somewhere on this spectrum.

One of the essential goals of color correction is to ensure consistency between multiple cameras and different shots. When a project uses footage captured at different locations and times of day, color correction is used to create a seamless look between lighting environments. Ensuring flesh tones look natural and that the features of interview subjects are well-defined in our compositions are some of the most important fixes we make in post-production.

More assertive color correction techniques, like the color palette we used in this PSA, fall on the opposite side of the spectrum. Here, we’ve thrown out the natural “in-camera” colors and manipulated the image to create a striking, high-contrast look.

Bold, subtle, or somewhere in between, color correction is an extremely effective way to create visual interest and draw the audience into your story. It’s one of many post-production tools that LAI Video uses to deliver world-class video content.

And this list is by no means comprehensive. We do plenty of audio correction and add sound effects in post-production too—whatever it takes to delight, surprise, or bring your audience to tears.

LAI Video is a full-service video communications firm. Every member of our team takes pride in producing awesome video content that’s devised, from pre-production through post-production, to fulfill each of our client’s unique marketing and communications goals. Sure, your content will truly begin to take shape in post-production, but great video marketing content is always the culmination of a well-planned production process.

In post-production, the efforts of our producers, writers, designers, shooters and editors reach a creative boiling point, and from all that frothy creative energy we deliver powerful and professional video storytelling.

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That’s it for our breakdown of the importance of post-production. Don’t forget to check out our pieces on the pre-production process and production process to get a better feel for how each step of the campaign process works together.

Let’s talk about your story. Connect with a video marketing expert and let LAI Video help you find the audience your message deserves today. Contact our team here!

You can also call us at 202-416-4660email us, or live chat with a member of our team right now.

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