How do Video Production Companies work?

choosing clients
HOW DO VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANIES GET CLIENTS?
July 29, 2019
Video Production crew art
What is a Video Production Company?
August 1, 2019

production company working parts

So you want to know how Video Production companies work?  You have come to the right place, my friend.

Video Production Companies have three major stages of production

  1.  Pre-Production
  2. Principal Photography or Physical Production
  3. Post Production

If you need a quick overview of What is a Video Production Company, check out the link.

Pre-Production

In the pre-production stage, Video Production Companies plan the entire shoot.  This is where all details are written down and an entire shoot is scheduled.  Some of the most important things during pre-production are.

Locking the script

A working script will have been greenlit in Development, but a final polish happens before the start of the next stage

Finalizing the budget

Once the script is locked, the line producer finalizes the budget according to the script changes

Form Business Entity

Each production is set up as a separate business entity for tax purposes and liability for all involved

Hire Key Production Heads

These individuals provide leadership to each department in a production

Break Down the Script

Scripts are dissected so the AD (Assistant Director) can start to plan shoot days and shoot schedule

Scout and secure Locations

Each scene of a script takes place at a distinct location.  These locations must be found and reserved

Casting

Projects are usually secured with principal cast, however, supporting roles are cast during this stage of production

Create a shot list

Shot lists give everyone involved, an idea of what to expect on any given day of principal photography

Tech Scout

Serves as the DP’s roadmap to Key Department heads regarding where

Hire Remaining Crew

The crew is the heart and soul of every production company.  Writers, directors, producers etc are the most important people during development and pre-production.  To make an automobile analogy, when it comes to principal photography, the writer and director are the engines and the destination.  The crew is your frame, your suspension, the body, the paint job, and the wheels.  The crew is everything else.  If you are starting a production company, you should check out this article.  However, if you are simply looking to hire crew.  Check out this resource.

Additional crew positions are but are not limited to:

Best Boy Electric – Assistant to Gaffer
Best Boy Grip – Assistant to Key Grip
Boom Operator – Holds the microphone on a boom pole
Camera Operator – Operates a designated Camera
Costume Designer – Designs Costume for the production / Different from Wardrobe
Composer – Composes music to the video production
Dolly Grip – Technician who operates the dolly
DP (Director of Photography) – Head of Camera and Light crews on set
Editor – Pieces the story together.  Editor of the video assets
Gaffer – On set electrician
Key Grip – Lighting and Rigging specialist reporting the DP
Production Assistant – Gets coffee for everyone on set.  Just kidding.  PA’s help more seasoned crew get things done.  They fill in the gaps

Principal Photography or Physical Production

Commercial being filmed with on camera talent and production company and crew

The script is finished.  Actors are on set.  Lights are hot, and the cameras are rolling.  This is where the glitz and glamour take place.  When you think about a film or television show being filmed, this is what you think of.  Actors are on set, lights putting stars in the talent’s eyes, and at times hundreds of people are on set.  Everyone there has one goal.  Produce the best video possible.

Post Production

Video Post production room

Post-production is the phase in video production that receives the least amount of praise, yet remains equally important.  Stories you see on television or in films are literally put together in this step.  Sure, the writer creates the characters, storylines, world and character arcs.  But editors create the beats between words.  They are the ones that make the writers words and actors performance have a greater impact.  Editors are as important as a great actor.  Trust me, I have been seen editors absolutely destroy a great project.

In the right hands, editors can make a mediocre script look good.  Conversely, they can make a great script look like crap.  create the timing, edit long-winded scenes and moments that feel reel and dynamic.

Some of the usual suspects that work in post-production are:

Editors – Edit the film shot during principal photography
Dialogue Editor – Finds the cleanest audio recorded during principal photography and syncs it to video recorded
Foley Artist – Records sounds in post-production to apply to scenes/video recorded during principal photography
Foley Editor – Edits sounds recorded by the Foley Artist.  The whole idea is to accentuate sounds to bring viewers closer to a scene
Mixer – Mixers tweak the audio.  Dialogue, background noise, and music.  The idea is to make an actors voice shine ever other sounds
Music Editor – Edits music to start, stop, and fade into and out of a scene seamlessly
Post Production Supervisor – Supervises everyone listed here
Sound Designer – Similar to a foley artist, but use more of a digital approach whereas foley adds the human touch.  Sound Design would create a car crash, whereas foley will create someone walking
VFX Artist – This stands for Visual Effects.  These creatives create things that are considered ‘not humanly possible.’  Mars, Hogwarts, Transformers.  Get it?

If you are just starting out and want to learn more, check out our article on How do Video Production Companies Make Money.  If you are looking for a way to get started check out the following articles.
How to Start a Video Production Business
How to get started in professional Video Production
How to get started in Professional Video Production using Social Media

Make sure to share these with a friend who may also need to learn a thing or two about the world of Video Production.

Til next time. . .STAY CREATIVE!

 

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