You understand how important video is. People today expect to see videos when they’re deciding whether to work with a company or buy a product. In fact, in a recent survey by Wyzowl, 78% of marketing professionals say video has directly increased sales and 86% say videos help boost traffic to their website. A good video grabs attention, tells a story, connects with the audience, and inspires action. This doesn’t happen by accident. It requires careful planning and execution of the video production process.
Sightline Commercial Solutions is a Minneapolis-based business that provides a variety of products for entertainment venues. From theaters to stadiums and arenas, Sightline transforms event spaces. Their products impact how customers experience events and they are truly items that you have to see to fully appreciate. Video was an ideal communications platform to show prospective customers Sightline’s capabilities. Bringing their message to life for their target audience required careful planning and execution of the video production process.
The Three Phases of Video Production
Generally speaking, the three phases of video production are: pre-production, production, post-production. Pre-production starts with laying out the goal for your video. It could be to inform people about a new product, highlight your team and customer service abilities, or attract potential employees to come work for you.
Sightline’s goal was to produce a video that would appeal to prospective customers–both who were familiar with the company and those who know little to nothing about the company. The video was going to be prominent on Sightline’s new website. They also wanted to have the ability to share it via social media channels, and be used as a presentation asset in meetings. The video had to showcase their engineering abilities, creative chops for custom design, and world-class quality.
Pro Tip: Think about how you can use the footage you capture in as many ways as possible to get the most value out of your video. Good video producers will be able to recommend ways to repurpose your best shots.
We categorized what Sightline needed as a “Hype Video,” which can be a powerful brand builder and awareness play for companies that have trouble fully telling their stories with just words or still photos. Hype Videos are also an outstanding way to inspire the viewer and get them “hyped” up! Sightline’s drone footage and candid shots of beautiful venues in use transport people to these places and make them feel like they’re there themselves.
Resource: 17 Essential Questions to Ask Before Creating a Video
The Video Pre-Production Process
Pre-production starts with setting the goal for the video. This is also when you think about budget, production timeline, possible storyboarding, script writing, who will appear in the video, where you’ll shoot, and what equipment will be needed. This is also a time to identify details and possible impediments that may impact the shooting or completion of the video. For example, are there any special permissions or licensing for images, footage, or music?
This is also an ideal time to audit any existing video you have captured in the past to see what can be used for your new video. Depending upon the scope of the project, pre-production could require multiple meetings.
One of the objectives of Sightline’s video was to instill confidence in their targeted audience, which includes professional architects, general contractors, and leaders in these industries: sports, live entertainment, commercial spaces, and theater. Sightline wanted to demonstrate the scale of its work by showing their products in nationally recognized venues to communicate the message that “no job is too big” for its team.
Pre-production meetings included Sightline’s marketing team and StoryTeller’s video producer. The first meeting focused on setting the objective for the video, describing the target audience, and the pain points that the video must address for them. Together, Sightline and StoryTeller established key messaging, developed storyboards, and audited the existing video footage Sightline had at its disposal. StoryTeller also researched stock image libraries to determine if footage found online could augment any footage captured while recording on location.
With a network of professional videographers across the country, StoryTeller tapped into these professionals to determine availability and schedules. Coordinating this effort would yield additional footage, reduced travel cost and ensured actual footage rather than relying on stock video.
Pro Tip: It’s easy to get distracted by the flashiness of creating a video and let the scope creep beyond what is actually needed to get the job done. An experienced producer will keep your budget in mind and offer editorial suggestions that will help you stretch production dollars further.
StoryTeller’s approach to producing a “Hype Video” relies heavily on using a combination of memorable shots and motion graphics. By matching the right words that appear over superior footage, the production process can be expedited. As a result, a script was created and edited and a shot list was created and approved for the shoot.
Video Production Process
All the planning is done and it’s time to get the footage.
There are a number of methods and processes that producers may use to put a video story together. However, the production process used by StoryTeller for most documentary-style videos begins with recording interviews and gathering the necessary footage that helps illustrate your story, we call this b-roll footage. This is the footage that viewers see when they do not see the person speaking on camera.
Pro Tip: The use of professional lighting and microphones dramatically help to separate the quality level of professional looking videos from amateur ones.
The production phase includes:
Set creation and shot set up
Sound/lighting/video equipment set up
Recording voiceovers (if they are needed for your project)
Capturing b-roll (extra footage to support your story)
Resource: Behind the Scenes of the Video Production Process
The “Hype Video” produced for Sightline was not a documentary-style piece, however, a number of the production steps were similar. Sightline’s project required a mix of recording video footage on location with a videographer and field producer, along with the use of stock video footage and customer provided footage. Capturing this content and auditing existing footage was also part of the production process.
Videographers captured new footage of Sightline’s work in the Twin Cities at Target Field, Xcel Energy Center, and US Bank Stadium. Sightline also has customers across the country so footage was added from New York, Seattle, and Nashville.
Once the footage has been captured, interviews have been recorded and all other audio and visual assets are secured, it’s time to begin post-production. This begins with the evaluation of all the b-roll footage, review and transcription of interviews, story development (and storyboarding if necessary), script reviews, and editing.
The producer and editor collaborate to tell your story by using the best video and sound in the most compelling way. They make sure the video showcases the most captivating images and sound, that the storyline follows a distinct arc and that the most memorable and or moving interviews stand out in the final edit. They also ensure that the closing moments of the piece leave the viewer with the intended emotion.
The post-production phase includes:
Evaluation of b-roll footage
Reviewing and transcribing interviews
Collection of all branded graphic assets
Graphic and animation creation
With a diverse collection of video footage and no interviews to review, the first part of the post- production process was evaluating all the video footage to be considered. It was important that the footage that was captured matched the script that had been approved. The script focused on Sightline’s broad capabilities, including engineering, fabrication, and on-site installation. It also highlighted its range of clients and the unique aspects of the venues. All of Sightline’s products are made in the United States and that messaging also needed to be made clear.
Sightline’s success relies on delivering world class experiences. It was imperative that the video transports the viewer to each venue so they can virtually experience the sights and sounds present in those venues. This requires the eyes, ears, and discretion of a good editor.
The post production process for this video included complex motion graphics that help communicate the transformative nature of Sightline’s work. Purposeful visual effects demonstrate Sightline’s expertise in a visual way. While the video clip that the viewer sees may last just a couple of seconds, for some of these edits, hours of work may be involved.
As is the case with all “Hype Videos,” music selection was critical to Sightline’s video. With an intent to inspire and “hype” up the viewer, high-energy music that matches the edits was selected. Careful audio editing helps to pace the video and also draw the viewer deeper into the visual elements of the piece. Just as the video and images can weave the viewer through the story of the piece, so too can the music.
Remember, not all videos or production companies follow this identical process. As you consider a production company for your project, it’s critical that the organization or individual you work with can explain their process clearly. Video production is a creative process and communication is critical as you work together to bring your story to life. Be sure to work with a partner who follows a process that you can plug into at any given moment and know what is happening.
If you are ready to take your marketing to the next level with professional video but are unsure of where to start, we’d be happy to hear what your goals are.