The Video Production Process
We are committed to working with our clients to produce videos that meets their brief and exceed their expectations. Our work offers an excellent return on investment and is delivered on time and on budget, to the very highest technical and creative standards. We employ the best crew and equipment and apply a pedantic, obsessive attention to detail. Quality assurance and creative collaboration are the cornerstones of our production process.
Stage One: Pre-Production
Taking a Brief
The first stage in the process is perhaps the most important; clearly defining the requirements and objectives of the video. We like to devote a lot of time and attention to this stage of the process as we feel it is crucial to the success of any project. To get the very best end product it is vital for us to share with the client an in-depth understanding of the aspirations and purpose of the video. Our initial focus is on examining the intended outcomes;
- Who is the video aimed at?
- How and where will it be seen?
- What do we want the audience to think, feel and understand?
Once we have a clear idea of this we explore effective ways of meeting these goals. At the outset we present a range of possibilities to the client and work together to define an initial style, content and approach.
Script & Storyboard Development
The next crucial stage is the development of a script, concept outline or storyboard (depending on the scale and type of project). We work with a range of specialist researchers and writers to develop concepts, content and scripts. During the development of the script and storyboard we like to collaborate with the client team, reviewing and discussing draft documents to make sure that progress is heading in the right direction. We also involve key members of the production and post production teams to incorporate any technical considerations and ensure that everyone shares in the overall vision. At the end of the ‘Pre-Production’ stage we produce a full ‘Production Plan’ that describes every aspect of the video, including a production schedule, locations, contributors, script, style, content, ‘mood’ and storyboards. This document is presented to the client team for review and sign off.
Stage Two: Production
The second stage of the process is production, in which all the elements of the video are created or sourced. Depending on the type and scale of the project this can include location filming, sourcing of archive stills and video, specialist photography, visual effects, 3D animation, graphics and music production. For specific productions we employ a range of specialised crew and equipment, including aerial platforms (planes, helicopters, balloons, drones or para-gliders), stabilised camera systems (dollies, cranes, gimbals) specialised high and low speed cameras (to shoot slow motion and time-lapse) and a range of lighting equipment, crew, locations and studios. Production can take as little as half-a-day or stretch over the seasons. Where possible we prefer to work with small, low-impact teams, to keep the process simple and minimise disruption.
Stage Three: Post-Production
In the post-production or editing stage all of the elements that have been created in the production stage are assembled and the video is shaped, crafted and completed. We operate two 4K edit suites, based on Adobe Creative Suite software (Premiere Pro and After Effects), with the addition of DaVinci Resolve for colour grading and Avid Pro Tools for sound mixing. Post-production is divided into two stages.
The Off-line Edit
The first part of the process is known as the ‘off-line edit’, in which all the elements (original video, archive film and photography, music, voice-over, animation, etc) are brought together and assembled into a first full version of the video. This is the creative part of the editing process in which the mood, pace and style of the film are defined. At the end of this stage the video will have its final duration, structure and content, but the edit remains flexible so that there is scope to adjust every aspect subject to client review. The off-line edit is presented to the client team for review and feedback.
The On-line Edit
After the ‘off-line’ edit has been approved the process moves into the ‘online’ stage (or fine cut) in which all the final elements are set in stone. This stage is all about refinement and attention to detail; final versions of the voice-over, animation, music, subtitles, graphics and multi-language elements, are all put in place and the whole video is given a final polish, including a colour grade and full sound mix, so that the viewer has the best possible experience.
Stage Four: Mastering, Distribution and Evaluation
Last, but by no means least, is the critical stage of mastering and publishing the finished video. Our films are all made to the highest 4K standards so the main master file can be used to generate files that are optimised for projection, TV broadcast, DVD, Blu-ray, mobile, tablet or online distribution.
In addition to the video itself the process also generates other deliverables, including;
- A series of high quality still images, extracted from the 4K video.
- Broadcast quality HD video rushes.
Online Distribution and Analysis
We also work with our clients to develop online publishing strategies for their videos and to ensure that they are seen as widely as possible and by the right people. We use a wide range of online video channels, social media networks and analytics to ensure that videos reach their intended audience and deliver an excellent return on investment. We ensure that the videos are appropriately tagged, named and displayed so that they will get noticed in all the right places. Over time we monitor and analyse their on-line performance, tracking who watches the videos, where and for how long.