What To Expect From The Video Production Process

by Justin Kelly
Video Production Process

As Ansel Adams said, “You don’t take a photograph. You make it.” And that’s Production: The stage of the video process where ideas and planning are set in motion. Where the story we’ve talked about, scripted, and planned for is given its first breath of life.

Think of video production as a milestone on your calendar that falls, as you will have guessed, after pre-production and before post-production. It’s the only time certain technical and creative choices are made. These choices give your video—be it an event opener, 30-second PSA, or short-form doc—the character and depth that will make it stand out.

When you work with LAI Video, there is one big decision that will ultimately inform what production will look like for you:

Will your project be documentary style—in other words, will it be distilled from live interviews with real people telling real stories to support your message in a candid, unscripted way? OR will your message resonate better if it’s told through the performances of actors working with scripted content?

Let’s call these different paths documentary style (or docu-style) and narrative productions, respectively.

There is some overlap, of course! In either type of production, you are sure to encounter the following:

  • Cameras
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Microphones
  • A Producer
  • A Cinematographer and/or Director
  • A Creative Director
  • A Production Assistant
  • Real, live human subjects (professionals, paid or otherwise)

The list above, broadly speaking, contains all the moving parts and personalities that make production production. Something is going to occur—a sit-down interview or a staged baseball game—and LAI Video is going to capture it. The difference is in how that something unfolds and the structure the video will eventually take (in post-production). Let’s dig in more to each type of video.

Production for Narrative Video Projects

How The Production Process Works For Narrative Projects

Kind of. If by narrator, you mean a very constructed and specific message, then sure, there’s a “narrator.” And actually, there really might be, in the form of a voice over. All the work that goes in to create a typical “live-action” television or internet advertisement—that’s a narrative. And even if you want to make a quick, 30-second spot, to do it effectively, you need talented actors, producers, creative directors and cinematographers to stage an engaging and coherent storyline.

In a narrative production, a script has already been created and finalized to shape your piece. On location, your director will also be using storyboards, created in advance, to better visualize each scene, guide the action in the frame, and inform the placement of cameras. At LAI Video, we do not use megaphones. We use a producer, and he or she will have already lined up all the details in pre-production. And while our team always comes with a solid plan, there’s nothing paint-by-numbers about it. Conditions on set, schedules, and logistics can shift without warning; your producer will be running point to keep everything, and everyone, in line.

Creating a narrative piece is a time-intensive process. It’s likely to involve multiple setups and tear-downs as we reposition cameras, lights, and audio recording gear. Compared to a two-camera interview, you’ll probably encounter more complex lighting solutions, and depending on the talent, more takes (which also means more outtakes!).

Here are things that are generally unique to narrative production:

  • A script
  • Storyboards
  • Props and set dressing
  • Costuming
  • A teleprompter
  • Actors and extras

The narrative style provides an opportunity to tell your story in the exact way and with the exact words that you choose. It’s a chance to take your brand some place new, try on a new visual style, or tell a story in a way that will evoke real emotions.

Go ahead, inject some humor, or deliver a concise and high-impact message. Narrative production lets you dial it all in at the volume, tone, and intensity that suits your needs.

Production Process for Docu-Style Video Projects

How The Production Process Works For Docu-Style Projects

Yes. Exactly. LAI Video has excelled at capturing unscripted and informative stories through candid interviews for, like, ever. And we’ve also got our first feature-length documentary under our belts. Our docu-style work wins awardsfor our team, and our clients.

If production in the narrative genre is about asserting more control over your story, docu-style is about giving it the opportunity to emerge. Or at least letting it ride that candid interview wave. With some coaxing, LAI Video will help you discover an authentic, seemingly extemporaneous voice (who also happens to be articulate and get the point across) for your corporation, non-profit, association or academic institution.

Of course, making your brand look good starts with the people who speak for it on camera. A little powder and blotter paper goes a long way. But the real trick is helping interviewees feel comfortable being the center of attention. Our process is designed to do just that. LAI Video’s crews come in all shapes and sizes, but we always aim for efficiency. A producer, a cinematographer—maybe two. This keeps it feeling intimate. Casual. So conversation flows naturally and the messaging feels authentic.

But docu-style doesn’t mean we’re limited to talking heads and b-roll. We have a variety of tools and techniques that will enable us to tailor your content to your unique goals. For example, something as simple as incorporating a motorized slider into a standard two-camera interview, or shooting so that our editors and animators have a lot of blank canvas to work with later in post-production.

For communications with a human-sized story arc, we have a number of documentary-inspired flavors to choose from. By no means comprehensive, this list should give you a feel for the range of docu-style corporate video:

Whether we’re travelling across the country or keeping it local, we always come prepared. Our goal is to capture just the right content to tell your story. When we drop the footage on the desk of one our makers, they’ll be ready to dive right in and quickly assemble a solid first draft. Sure, there are always things we can fix after the fact, but we don’t lean on post-production to make good videos—we plan ahead and shoot efficiently. That way, our editors, designers and animators can focus on taking your story to the nth degree of fire. Or, you know, top drawer, best-in-corporate cool.

You’ve worked too hard defining your brand, sharpening your message, and proving your value to expect anything less. Let LAI Video treat your brand with the loving care it deserves, at every stage of the production process.

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

Are you ready to deliver that big sound with your video marketing strategy? Take your production process to the next level by contacting us now.

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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