Three Stages of Video Production

It matters not what KIND of video you are producing, or where it will end up being viewed. The three stages of video production are:

Pre-production – Planning, writing, scheduling, location scouting and all of the preparation and details before a frame of video is ever shot.

Production – The actual video shoot. Depending on your needs and budget, this could be anything from a home camcorder shoot to a multi-camera Hollywood extravaganza. For this reason, it’s hard to generalize about how much a video spot will cost.

Post-production – While on the shoot, you may hear the common refrain, “We’ll fix it in post.” Post is where everything comes together to produce the video – editing, graphics, music, titles, voice over, special effects and, eventually, a “final cut.”

As you plan your video production, keep the following 5 steps in mind:

1. Set clear goals

Know and communicate your marketing objective. Determine your budget and develop a plan. What do you hope to achieve with your video? Where, when and how frequently will it run? For a handy (and free) Video Planning Questionnaire, visit

2. Determine your target audience

Who are you trying to reach, and will your message resonate with your intended audience? Is the video specifically for the web, or for broadcast television? With video for the web, you’ve got a lot more flexibility when it comes to cost and quality.

3. Consider your content

Craft your message and determine your content. Be sure to refine your script and storyboard – a visual representation of each shot in your ad – until you’re convinced the video is ready to shoot. If you’re not a copywriter, consider hiring an ad agency or a freelance copywriter to craft your script. To locate an ad agency or a copywriter, visit or

4. Plan your shoot

You’ll need to decide on the “creative” for your video production. Considerations include tone, pacing, mood, style, music, etc. Should it be humorous? Dramatic? Animated? The clearer your vision before the shoot, the better television you’ll ultimately produce. The television marketing and promotion pros at are some of the best “promo producers” in the world. See what ad producers from NBC, Discovery, MTV, Fox and others are doing and tap into their collective knowledge.

5. Fix it in post

Post production is “where the magic happens.” Edit the footage from your shoot, adding music, graphics, effects and finishing touches. Hire a pro editor, or do it yourself with a program as simple as Apple’s iMovie, or Adobe Premiere for the PC. Many states offer directories of local production specialists; do a Google search on “video production” or “commercial production” with your state or city.

Follow these five steps and you will be on your way to producing a compelling video that can enhance your image, build your brand and boost your business! In addition, be sure to check out other tips I have posted with specific details and info on each of these areas of video production. Remember, the better PLANNING you do, the better your PROUDCTION will be at the end!


Special thanks to our Production Manager, Doug Pagano, for his input and thoughts which brought this all together!

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