As you plan a video production project, staying on track, with a clearly defined production schedule will ensure that you achieve your message goals, make your deadline and meet your budget. At the Birmingham video production company Vulcan Media, we’ve learned that a well-planned schedule starts the moment our clients begin shopping for a video production company. Here is an overall schedule that will guide you through video planning and production to guarantee a smooth project:
14 Weeks Before Deadline:
Search for production companies online. Helpful key search terms include “video production (your city).” Take a look at their online video examples and their demo reels which are highlights of their overall scope of work. Check their client list to learn if their work jives with your message. Consider their awards, staff bios and service area (some companies like ours work across large regions without any added travel expense).
Call or email companies you feel might be a fit. Explain your project, deadline and budget.
Ask for a ballpark quote.
Set meetings with companies that impress you.
Ask for a contract proposal, review it with your team and negotiate if appropriate (most video companies these days will give you their best price up front).
12 Weeks Before Deadline:
Decide which company you’ll hire, sign the contract and send the deposit.
Deposits cover the pre-production costs of script writing, creative meetings and video crew.
Begin working with your video production company on the concepts, plan and script.
Over the next few weeks, work from a draft script or plan the finished version.
9 Weeks Before Deadline:
The script and creative concepts should be final and approved by you.
Plan locations and dates for camera work.
If using a voice artist for narration, work with your video company to secure this.
Finish other pre-production plans. Your video company should guide you through.
7 Weeks Before Deadline:
On-site video shoots occur.
In some cases, your video company can handle much of this alone, but it’s always helpful for you to have a staff member be on location to keep you fully involved with the process.
6 Weeks Before Deadline:
Your video production company may request specific items from you.
E-mail ALL elements to be used as graphics, such as your logo, names and words to be typed on the screen, Power Point slides or material to be used as a basis for graphics.
Send photos or images to be edited into the video.
5 Weeks Before Deadline:
If using a voice artist for narration, it will be recorded at this stage.
Music, if desired, may be chosen at this point.
Approve or request changes to narration and music.
Remember, you already approved the script/plan, so extensive changes at this point may delay your deadline.
Editing will begin and this will take time. This is when your video company will work on their own to create your video. Some clients wish to observe the editing process and this is fine, but it’s often long and technical over several days.
3 Weeks Before Deadline:
Your video company should send you a draft version, usually via an Internet link.
Review it carefully and make final changes. Don’t delay!
It’s back to editing for your video company.
Over the next week or so, you’ll likely get a few revised versions to keep you informed of the progress.
1 Week Before Deadline:
You’ll receive the final, polished, professional video you’ve been planning.
Review it closely—this is it.
Approve it. Don’t delay!
Your DVDs, if any, will be burned this week.
Your web files, if any, will be encoded and sent this week.
A professional video production company will beat your deadline, but remember…in these final weeks of production, your approval and clear communication can make a deadline difference.
Pay the contract balance upon delivery or invoice, as agreed.
Enjoy the show, share it and see your results!