Video Production: Everything You Need to Know

Written by
Elly Henriksen
Published on
November 29, 2023
Table of contents

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It's the digital age. Video is everywhere. And people are watching about 84 minutes of video content daily.

Video can generate you a LOT of attention.

So much attention, in fact, that 89% of people say watching a video made them buy a product or service 🤯.

Learn to make great videos, and you'll see the benefits for years to come.

This guide covers everything you need to know about producing videos. You'll learn the basic stages of the video production process and the tools you need to craft captivating videos. Plus, along the way, we'll give you some techniques for video performance. Let's dive in!

What is video production?

Video production is the process of creating video content. It includes everything from planning and filming to editing and distribution.

Video production varies in complexity based on the output you need, though each video you create typically has one of these purposes: to educate, to inspire, to engage, or to entertain.

All video productions go through the same 3 stages — whether you're planning to create vlogs, short educational micro-videos, or large-scale cinematic film productions. 

These are the 3 stages of video production:

  1. Pre-production: The planning phase where you develop the video concept, write your script, create a storyboard, do the casting, and strategize shooting logistics. Specific activities include setting the budget, scheduling casting/shoot dates, gathering all filming equipment, etc. 
  2. Production: In the creation phase, you set up the stage with lights, a camera, and props and do the actual shooting. Specific activities include setting up the equipment, installing decor elements, applying costumes/makeup to the actors, filming, etc.
  3. Post-production: In this video creation phase, you take your visuals and audio, put them together in the sequence you've planned in pre-production, and polish them to look flawless. Specific activities include using computer software to cut and combine footage, clean up the sound, sync audio, color grade, add visual effects, etc.

Why is video production important?

85% of marketers believe videos are the best way to stand out online. And there's plenty of proof to back up their beliefs. Here are 4 key reasons why video production is important:

Videos are the most shareable type of content

Video content has viral potential and encourages sharing across social platforms. People are 52% more likely to share videos than other content types.

Videos are super impactful

Videos evoke emotions and are more likely to help you achieve your goals. Executive search firm Grunewald Consulting used Synthesia to create 125+ outreach videos weekly, scoring a 200% response rate increase and 30% more candidates.

Videos are surprisingly memorable

Videos favor long-term retention. After watching a video, people will remember 10% immediately and an impressive 83% later. Video ads are the #1 way consumers discover brands they later purchase from.

Videos are shown to boost conversions

Marketing videos have helped companies increase conversions by 34% and gain a 50% boost in search visibility.

Pre-production: 3 steps to plan and script a great video

The pre-production process is where clever video makers lay the groundwork for successful content.

Step 1: Develop your video idea and goal

Every compelling video relies on a well-thought-out idea with clear video objectives and goals.

Your video idea guides every other step in the production process.

For instance, if your audience profile consists of new hires in a corporate setting and the video goal is to familiarize them with company culture, your video idea might revolve around a day in the life of a seasoned employee. This idea will help you do location scouting, scriptwriting, and choose interviewees.

To start outlining your concept, ask yourself: 

  • "What is the primary purpose of this video?"
  • "Who are we aiming to reach?"
  • "What reaction or action do we want to inspire?"

These questions help you clearly understand the value of your video in relation to your target audience. A video that's tailored to an audience is most likely to be relevant and engaging.

Use the FOCA Framework to lay the foundation of a great video

The FOCA framework is a 4-step design process for creating videos based on multimedia theories. Check out this webinar with insights on audience, outcome, and message format when making videos.

Step 2: Write a video script and draw a storyboard

A video script feels like a step that's easy to skip — but taking the time to write one means that your production phase will be faster, and you'll produce a better result. 

Scriptwriting isn't a basic step, so we have a few resources you can use to make it a bit easier: 

  • Check out this guide on writing a video script if you have to write a longer video script and want more detailed instructions. Keep your writing simple and fill in the blanks in one of these readymade script templates.
  • Make a simple table and write down each scene's visuals and narration. Check out the picture below for a template of what your table could look like.

When your video script is written, share your script draft for feedback with your team — they can help you spot sections that might not fit logically together. 

It's a great idea to create a storyboard if your video is animated, visually complex or is longer than 5 minutes. A storyboard is a visual representation that outlines the sequence of scenes in a video or film, serving as a blueprint for the production team.

You can also use AI to generate a script and a storyboard at the same time.

Step 3: Write your video pre-production checklist

Checklists ensure a smoother production process and a more polished final video. Break down your script and storyboard into lists for what equipment is needed on set, what crew roles you need to fill, and what actors and locations you need to source.

Production: How to direct and film your video

The planning is done. Now it's time to make the video 🚀. 

Production is all about sourcing and creating the visuals you outlined in your script. You can follow a few different paths to do this: 

  • Option 1: Use a video editor and images/footage from stock media libraries like Shutterstock or Pixabay.
  • Option 2: Automatically generate your visuals from plain text by experimenting with an AI video maker like Synthesia.
  • Option 3: Film in a professional studio or a chosen location like your office building.

Options #1 and #2 work best for simpler projects like basic how-to videos, tutorials, or promotional clips. 

Option #3 is for more complex video projects like marketing video campaigns, explainer videos, or full-length documentaries.

4 tips for filming a great video

1. Set up the scene for a flawless shoot

For a flawless shoot, start by setting up your equipment — place cameras, lights, microphones, and other key gear in their optimal positions. Ensure your audio levels are set to capture crisp recordings free from disruptions. Finally, focus on framing and composition, making sure each shot aligns seamlessly with your storyboard and script's vision.

2. Give clear instructions to your team

Before you hit record, make sure your actors or presenters grasp the mood and expectations for each scene. As you film, actively communicate with your crew, ensuring everyone is clear on their tasks. Once filming wraps, review the footage together, highlighting what nails the vision and discussing areas for enhancement.

3. Be comprehensive when filming scenes

To ensure thoroughness when filming, capture each scene several times, giving you both a range of performances and a safety net for unexpected hiccups. Employ dynamic camera techniques such as pans, tilts, and dollies to add depth to your visuals. Tweak your lighting to match the desired mood or atmosphere. Always prioritize crystal-clear sound quality. Additionally, secure some B-roll footage; it's a lifesaver in the editing room when you need to strengthen your story or bridge content gaps.

4. Wrap it up at the end of each day for projects spanning multiple days

At the end of each day, make sure to back up the footage you've captured. Take a moment to discuss with the team, reflecting on the day's successes and areas for improvement. Lastly, boost morale by acknowledging the hard work of your cast and crew, setting a positive tone for the next day's shoot.

Post-production: How to edit and prepare your video for distribution

Post-production is where the video comes to life — video and audio are edited, effects are added, and the project is finalized for distribution.

To do post-production, you'll need to master the 6 following skills: 

1. Edit raw footage into a cohesive visual story

Watch all footage to pick the best takes, do rough cuts, and piece them together. Fine-tune with precise pacing, transitions, and continuity edits like special effects and animation.

2. Audio enhancement to make your video sound perfect

Review the audio, remove unwanted sounds, and correct audio levels. Add relevant sound effects to make certain scenes or actions stand out, and choose and integrate your background music.

3. Color correction and grading to refine the visual mood

Adjust the color balance to keep your desired color balance consistent. Use color grading to set the mood and make the video look more joyful, motivational, authoritative, or innovative.

4. Graphics and titles to add structure and make content accessible

Design and integrate opening and closing titles, necessary credits, lower thirds, and watermarks. Add captions and check that the text on screen and subtitles or transcriptions are in sync with the narration and visuals.

5. Quality assurance

The editing process ends with a final review of your video that involves quality and consistency checks and approval from the higher-ups.

Tip 💡

Once everyone's on board with your video content, share it with a sample of your audience to get valuable real-world reactions and feedback. Insights from a test group are your last chance to tweak the video before distributing it on all channels.

6. Set everything up for distribution

You need to export your finished video from the editor before you can distribute it. Video editors typically give you multiple formats, like MP4, MOV, etc. Each format can be used for different purposes, such as high-quality uploads to YouTube or lower-quality social media thumbnail videos. Here are the steps you'll need to take to export your videos for distribution:

  1. Export the video in your chosen format — save a final copy with all project files for future revisions or use.
  2. Compress the video for online distribution on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or your company's intranet — use a 1080p resolution for high-definition viewing and 480p for mobile users with limited bandwidth.
  3. Add the metadata and optimize for SEO — relevant titles, descriptions, tags, and captions make your video easily searchable and accessible.

How to set up a viable video production workflow

Knowing how beneficial video can be for businesses and seeing what it takes to create one, the question is: How can you produce engaging videos effectively and efficiently?

First and foremost, kickstarting with a solid pre-production is a must. It saves you from those last-minute scrambles and unexpected bills. The second most important factor is to get really clear on what your workflow looks like — when everyone knows the game plan, everything just flows smoother and faster. Digital storage is one great way you can streamline workflows. With cloud solutions and smart file management, you’ve got all your video treasures right at your fingertips.

On top of those tips, there are a few strategies you can use to reduce the time you spend filming and editing. These strategies could easily cut your video production time in half:

  • Choose efficient equipment: Invest in versatile, durable equipment that provides long-term value.
  • Repurpose content: Repackage and reuse existing video content for different platforms or audiences.
  • Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage your employees to share their knowledge and create videos based on their workplace experiences.
  • Use AI tools: Experiment with AI video makers to create videos faster, using fewer resources and being able to edit or customize them with fewer costs.

How AI is revolutionizing video production

With AI tools, you can reduce the time and effort needed to create a video. Some companies have even reduced their training video production time by 62% (that's 13 to 5 days!).

For example, the AI video maker Synthesia helps you create presenter-led training videos in minutes. You can generate a video based on your script or let it handle the entire process, from generating a script to breaking it down into a scene-by-scene video.

Check out the video to see how it works.

Discover Synthesia in 4 minutes | Product Tour

By experimenting with Synthesia, you can:

  • Cut costs: You no longer need to source actors, studio space, or a sophisticated video camera. Synthesia gives you access to 140+ human-like AI presenters.
  • Repurpose content: Synthesia can create videos from your existing written training content or let you edit and modify older videos quickly.
  • Implement UGC: Because it's so easy to use and comes with a training Academy, you can rely on Synthesia to enable more team members to create videos.
  • Speed up pre-production: Synthesia automates scriptwriting and storyboarding with its AI script assistant and a library of 60+ professional video templates.
  • Streamline the actual production: The built-in templates and text-to-speech technology that supports 120+ languages and 400+ voices will let your team jumpstart production while still waiting for script approval because they can do video editing at any moment. 
  • Scale without breaking the budget: Synthesia requires only one flat monthly fee as a subscription-based tool. You know your expenses from the start.
Case study 📚

DuPont, a global science and innovation leader, uses Synthesia to upskill their global workforce, which brings them +$10,000 savings per video (vs. third-party vendors) and an 80% faster video creation.

Take your video creation to the next level with AI

In 2023 and beyond, everybody's making videos. The only question left is how will you make better videos than your competitors?

See how AI can help you scale your video production and use Synthesia to create videos in minutes for training, marketing and internal communications.