Misunderstood: What It Actually Means to Produce Video

Multimedia / 11.07.16 / Arvin Sepehr

When it comes to video production, most folks don’t realize how much work goes into a well-made video.

I had no idea what being a producer meant until I realized I wanted to be one. I’ve learned that when it comes to video production, few jobs are more misunderstood. Outside the industry, few know what it actually means to produce. Ask most people what it means to be a producer, and you’ll usually get a bunch of nothing in response.

Video Production is a lot more than just aiming a camera and pressing record. And creating quality videos that leave impressions on your audience is about a lot more than having a good story to tell. The art of storytelling through moving images is very different from traditional verbal storytelling, and this is perhaps where the misunderstanding finds its origin.

The elements of video production include a lengthy pre-production and post-production process. Before anyone presses record, the work of a producer involves organizing and coordinating all the different parts that’ll need to be in place on the day of shooting. Figuring out which materials and tools, locations and sets, and team members you’ll need for shooting all needs to be done long in advance to make sure shooting goes smoothly. Failure to prepare correctly means your shooting process may very well be compromised, take longer than expected, and start a domino effect that’ll ultimately push you far over your budget.

Post-production is also an area ignorance will cost you. I’ve worked on several different kinds of film shoots in varying capacities, and the conversation that is most difficult to execute each and every time has been that of explaining the post-production process (and the cost it incurs) to clients. Many don’t realize how much diligence is involved in correctly editing a sequence, piecing together seconds of shots to make one cohesive piece. And even after the editing has taken place, other time consuming actions must be accomplished for your video to look polished and professional. Color grading, for example, makes sure the lighting in each shot, while having been executed during the shoot itself, is uniform and correct. Good color grading is completely unnoticeable, which is why a lot of clients will be surprised when their budget includes time spent color grading. “Is that really necessary?” I’ve heard before. “No, Gerald, none of this is necessary. Everything is meaningless and your entire life is a giant hamster-on-a-wheel situation. But in the mean time, if you want this video to be quality, yes, you need color grading. Sound mixing also takes a lot of precision and care. The uniformity of volume and mixing with sound effects is not something you want to treat as common. It matters and makes a difference.

All of it does. Well-made videos are worthwhile, but only if they’re executed with precision and care.