Ready to start creating high-quality videos for your business? Whether they’re for marketing or training, customer service or social media, videos are one of the most effective ways to get your message across. And it’s easy to get a polished video produced from start to finish entirely with contractors. Here, we’ll give you the tools and tips you need to get started.
What type of video should you produce?
First, think about the message you’re trying to communicate and the best way to visually represent that message. A few formats you might consider are:
- Live action uses footage you capture (e.g., a product video) or source online (e.g., stock clips edited along with a storyline seen here)
- Animated uses motion graphics or digital animation, like a whiteboard video
- Hybrid video uses a combination
How to get a video produced?
What goes into getting your video made will depend on the above, but generally include:
- Pre-production: First, draft a creative brief and scope, which will inform your timeline and the talent you’ll need. A video producer can be a great source for guidance and product management as you navigate the process.
- Storyboarding: A storyboard tells your editor, animator, or videographer how you want your video to flow. A storyboard artist can create a series of sketches that represent each shot you have in mind, along with any dialogue or voice-over (VO). These can be as detailed or loose as you like, with directions for camera angles, lighting, and transitions.
- Scriptwriting: Whether your video is all text or voice-over, you’ll need a script that outlines the dialogue in a succinct, engaging way. Find a scriptwriter to polish up the non-visual (but very important) parts of your video
- Voice-over: Hire a professional voice actor or narration specialist to deliver your script. Pay close attention to things like cadence and tone—you want the voice-over to reflect your brand and your message.
- Videography and direction: For live action videos, having someone who understands angles, shots, lighting, and expertise with frame rates, lenses, stabilization gimbals, filters, and ultra-HD resolutions like 4K.
- Animation: An animator will bring your storyboards to life and line up visuals with your voice-over. Animation can overlap with motion graphics, which also includes animated visual elements and typography.
- Audio editing: Many videos only need a bit of music to be a finished product, but those that require voice-over, sound effects, or have live-action audio can require the help of a more skilled sound editor to ensure the right mics, mic covers, and recording equipment are set up so wind and background noise don’t ruin your audio.
- Editing: Here’s where a video editor brings it all together: footage, audio, and motion graphics like title cards or subtitles. A video editor will ensure the right tempo, transitions, color grading, and sequence.
Estimating your video’s cost
Here are a few cost factors to consider as you frame up your budget.
Cost Factor #1: The type of video you’re producing
A full-blown live action video with videography, storyboarding, and scripts will be more expensive than short stock clips edited together with transitions and music. Similarly, it can be easier to produce interviews and screen capture videos than it is to create original animation and motion graphics.
Cost Factor #2: Expertise and technical know-how
Do you need an editor or a videographer-slash-editor? How involved are the concepting and story arc going to be? Do you need next-level 3D animation or live-action sound recorded in a tricky environment? When it comes to video, expect to get what you pay for. More polished, high-definition video with complex requirements like transitions and timed cuts require a bit more know-how.
Cost Factor #3: Live action videography, direction and production needs
Live action videos will require from a production standpoint than videos that can be created from stock clips on a computer. Shooting high-definition footage may require professional videography equipment, and you’ll have to take into account talent, locations, studio requirements, props, costumes, and other technical details that go into filming live actors.
Who to Hire on Your Video Production Team
Have a video marketing strategy ready to launch? It’s time to build a bench of skilled talent to start creating your content.
Whether you have a few video experts in-house and need extra talent to supplement or you’re looking for video experts to help with the entire process, freelance talent might be a good option because you can find the skills needed for each step of the process.
Who do I need to create my video?
In case you’re not sure exactly which services you need, here are some considerations:
- Does your video require original footage and videography?
- Are you mostly using motion graphics, animation, and screen capture?
- Do you primarily need editing of live action clips?
- How much of your video will be scripted voice-over or narration?
Narrowing down what your video will include will help you match your requirements to the skills you need. Below is a quick rundown on the types of video freelancers you might need.
Video producers can provide guidance, insight, delegation, and product management as you navigate the video process. For more complicated video productions, they can be a valuable liaison between you and all the talent contributing to the video, and can help with everything from renting equipment to storyboarding and editing. Find a great video producer and you’re setting yourself up for success.Video Editors
For more straightforward videos, an editor can act a lot like a producer, collaborating with other contributors like the voiceover artist and scriptwriter. They’re the art directors of your final video, using editing software to bring all of your video’s creative assets together into a polished piece. They’ll set the pace and tone of your video and maintain the vision and mission for the video every step of the way.
Tip: Check out video editors’ demo reels and portfolios to get a sense of their style.
A writer who specializes in content for video can help brainstorm concepts, collaborate with editors and producers, and ensure your video is on brand and on message.
Choosing the voice of your video is very important, and is a great way to set the tone for your video. If your video leans heavily on narration, be sure you’re engaging the voice-over talent who can deliver the style and cadence you’re looking for.
Tips to keep in mind before launching production
The length of your video will play a big part in both the scriptwriting and voiceover recording processes. There’s no magic number when it comes to ideal video length, and research varies. The key is not letting the video drag on too long, and not cutting it too short. An editor will be able to weigh in on pace and length, which can help speed up production.
Upwork video producer Harry Yu says “Many say between 30 and 90 seconds, but there are lots of top-performing videos that are multiple minutes long. The rule of thumb: Viewers have a short attention span. Keep your videos to the recommended time, but if you believe your content is compelling and entertaining enough to go longer, you should definitely do so.”
Sourcing Stock Clips Online
If you’re creating a short video on a budget or tight timeline, one excellent option is to purchase high-quality clips and b-roll footage from stock video resources online.
“There’s a huge variety of clips out there that are high quality and well produced,” says Yu. “Some even offer batches of videos with the same actors in them for more character continuity, consistency, and flow.”
These content-rich resources make it possible to produce a large number of short videos relatively easily. Check out sites like Videoblocks, Dissolve, Shutterstock, or Adobe Stock.