Producing an Educational Video – Part Two

In Part One we took care of planning our project. We identified the target audience, proper medium (VIDEO!) and the goals for our project. Now, in PART TWO, we will move into the actual production process:


If you have a script, a draft of a script, or at least an outline this will help us estimate the cost of producing your video. If you need help with scriptwriting RMAVP has a host of scriptwriters at the ready.  We will meet with you to discuss your project and talk about the costs involved in writing the script. Here are some of the things we will discuss before we start the scripting process:

  • Decide what type of approach your video will need. Will the program consist of narration only, covered by video? Will it be hosted on screen by someone on your staff or by a professional? Will you include interviews? While a straight-narrated script with no interviews is much easier to write and control, the use of interviews can make a much more interesting piece for your audience.
  • Consider your audience. This is imperative throughout the entire production process. At the scriptwriting stage, such questions as the following arise: What will the audience members’ interests be? How long will you be able to retain their attention? An adult audience’s attention span will last about 8 to 10 minutes. For children, plan for three to five minutes. If you produce a video that is designed to tell audience members everything they will need to know about a particular topic and the program is too long, you’ll lose your audience. This is often one of the most difficult aspects of writing a good script; there is often too much information to include in a short time-span.


Once the script is finished, use the following as a checklist to evaluate if you need to make any changes:

  • Have I explained myself in simple language? (When I read the script aloud, does it sound as if I’m talking to an audience or just reading to an audience?)
  • Have I avoided technical language, jargon?

Applying finishing touches to the script

After you’ve read the finished script, why not let someone in your intended audience read it over? You may learn that you have included jargon or inadequate explanations in some areas, or you may have left gaps in the content. You also can determine what areas your intended audience will find the most and least interesting.

Before you have a narrator record the script, double-check the script to make sure it is exactly how you want it. This is an important step, because once your video is edited, it is very difficult (and very expensive) to change.

Shooting  (Please stop calling this filming- unless you are shooting on FILM!)

The shooting stage is what most people consider the production phase of a video program. It’s the glamour stage, the “lights, camera, action” stage. However, as you have already read, much planning goes into the program before any video is ever shot. If you have hired a production company, you may be asked to accompany photographers as they shoot video to make sure they get everything the way you want it.


Editing a videotape is a creative process. It’s where you put all the various parts together into one, coherent, comprehensive program. It’s also time-consuming. The industry rule of thumb is that for one minute of finished video in a program, it takes at least one hour of editing time. So for a 10-minute program, expect a minimum of 10 hours of editing time to complete it. Depending on the number of special effects you want to include, that amount of time may double. Other editing options are available to you if you can’t afford a production company.

What’s left?

After the program has been edited, it needs to be duplicated. Several video duplicating companies operate in Colorado. Shop around for the best deal. Keep in mind that the tapes have to be distributed in some way — through the mail (if the program is on videotape), by satellite or by network television. Duplication and distribution costs must be considered when developing an overall video production budget. And if the web is you initial destination- be sure your production company knows all the right things to maximize your web video- compression, size, file size, etc.


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