When I joined Cloud in the Sky Studios last year, it was an exciting yet intimidating experience. It still is at times. I was stepping into a world I knew nothing about yet fascinated by its technical and artistic beauty. Joseph and Julien are incredibly talented at what they do. They’re creative and imaginative, and armed with the knowledge and skills to work the camera and their subjects. They understand that emotions are what drive human behaviour and peak our curiosity. Emotions make the video. You can have all the special effects you want but if you haven’t captured and translated genuine emotion, there’s no connection and no real audience.
My first video shoot with the guys was for a corporate video. It was my first time working with a corporate client. She was a joy to work with as we connected on a professional and personal level.
In terms of who was in charge of what, I was responsible for developing the client relationship, and ensuring the project’s goals and deadline were met. This allowed the guys to focus on filming and producing the video.
As we moved through the project, I gained a better understanding of the three video production stages. It was eye opening and exciting.
Note: the descriptions below generally apply to any client whether it be a corporate, wedding or artistic client.
The pre-production stage encompasses all the work that’s required before actually filming the video. Here’s what we had to establish before filming:
- Client consultation: What does the client need and why? What is the business all about? What are the project requirements?
- Vision, look and feel of the video
- Goal and message of the video
- Target audience
- Shooting locations
- Storyline and narrative
- Resources: budget, schedule, equipment, manpower
Much thought and planning goes into pre-production. As a project manager, I was adamant that we plan the shoot once and plan it well…which leads to executing once and getting it right the first time. Turns out there’s only so much planning you can do before you choke the video of its life force and free flowing creativity. Sometimes, you have to let go for the magic to unravel.
Sometimes, you have to let go for the magic to unravel.
In other words, time to shoot!
Like anything, go in with a plan. Skill and foresight are required during a shoot. You must have an idea of the frames you need to capture while still being flexible to let things grow organically – sometimes, it’s the spontaneous moments that make the video.
When filming, focus on the story, understand the emotions and mood you are trying to achieve. If you don’t know what to film and how to film it, then you won’t have much of a video. The end result: an unhappy client and a poor finished product.
Other things to consider during a shoot, whether indoors or outdoors, are lighting and sound – both of which can change depending on your environment and time of day. How will you adapt to these variables? Which techniques should you use? What equipment do you need?
focus on the story, understand the emotions and mood…
Post-production includes editing the raw footage so you have only what you need, colour grading, sound, finding the right music (we always buy the rights for songs we use) and narrative.
This stage isn’t so much a difficult process but more of a tedious one. You must remember the bigger picture while composing all the details that will produce the final product. As they say, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
As video producers, we heavily rely on our artistic vision, experience and technical skills during the production stages; all three stages are closely intertwined and one does not function independently of the other. Like a composer, we must see and understand all in our orchestra.