Video Production Workflow
PreproductionPreproduction is everything that happens before actual shooting begins. This usually includes the following:
- A treatment is a simple description of the action in a video. It usually does not contain extensive dialogue and is intended primarily to give a concise description of the entire video.
- A script is usally written based on the treatment and primarily focuses on the dialogue/narration of the video. Multimedia scripts often have 2 or 3 columns so that you can describe the narration or dialogue in one and the graphics and audio in the other two.
- A storyboard is a visual representation of the action or graphics in a script. For a narrative video it may consist of cartoon-like sketches showing the approximate framing of the characters and action in each shot. For a multimedia project the storyboard is often made up of still graphics taken from the preliminary design comps.
- The budget simply describes the total cost of the project, from pre-production to delivery, and breaks it down into individual expense items.
- Location Scouting
- Selecting the locations to shoot in, and securing permission as neccessary to use those locations. If done before storyboarding you can use photos taken in the actual locations as reference or part of the storyboard to better convey the look of each shot.
- Finding the actors, voiceover talent, extras, etc who will be onscreen or narrating your video.
- Planning when to shoot each scene (often done out of order of the actual script), coordinationg cast and crew availability with location availability, etc. The better your schedule, the more smoothly things will run - as a general rule of thumb, estimate the ideal amount of time neccessary to complete everything, then double it.
ProductionThis is where you shoot the video. The more time and attention you've put into your preproduction, the smoother your production will go. Something will always go wrong which you couldn't possibly have forseen. However, by minimizing the problems you can plan for you make it that much easier to deal with the one's you can't.
DeliveryWhen you've finished your video you have to get it to your audience somehow. There are a variety of ways to do this and each requires that you prepare the video properly:
- Almost every project will be mastered to tape, as it is the cheapest way to archive a master-quality version of your video. Usually nothing further needs to be done to the video.
- DVDs use MPEG2 compression, which maintains very high quality at fairly low data rates. Higher data rates result in higher quality video, but you need to use a rate which will allow you to fit your entire video, plus any additional assets, onto a dvd disc. You can use a program such as Apple's "compressor" to turn your video into DVD-ready MPEG2 files before taking it into DVD Studio Pro for authoring (adding menus and additional materials to the disc)
- Bandwidth is your primary concern on the web, so you need to compress the video much more than you would with DVD. You will often need to reduce the video size as well as it's frame rate in addition to using high compression which reduces the image quality. You will usually go to formats such as Quicktime (.mov), MPEG4 (.mp4), Windows Media (.wmv), Real Video (.rm), or Flash Video (.flv).
When compressing for the web it is easy to lose so much quality that your video isn't really useful anymore. The majority of internet users are still on 56k dial-up connections, so for general internet delivery it is often more effective to use some other means (text, Flash, audio) to communicate your message. For narrower audiences (corporate or education users, for instance) you may be able to count on a faster connection and maintain decent video quality.