What to Expect When You’re Expecting…a Video

Published: December 18, 2023

by Justin Difazzio

You want a video. We love making videos. Already, it seems like you’re in the right place. But even a sure thing might need some details ironed out. We understand. It’s a process, and it can be scary to put resources toward an end product you haven’t even seen yet. The process can take 6-8 weeks or more to complete, especially if we have to film or animate. But we want to put your mind at ease as much as possible, so join us as we explore what to expect when you’re expecting a video.

a lit play button

Part 1: First Thing’s First

The first part of making a video is arguably the most important. We refer to it as pre-production, which is just an industry term for all the stuff that happens before a camera even gets powered on. And it’s a lot. We’ve always believed that going heavy on pre-production will save everyone time and money in the long run and help dodge common problems in video production.

So what does that look like?

Usually that involves us sitting down with you and finding out what you need in the most general sense, then working down into the specifics. Is your video for a fundraiser? A homepage? A promotional campaign? Animation? Stock footage? A musical commercial? Once we know what sort of video you’re looking for, we can chat about your budget, your desires, and all the dreams you have for your new bundle of scenes.

Our goal is to give you the highest quality video we can in the sandbox you allow us to play in. So whether your budget allows for a Fisher-Price turtle sandbox or a sparkling white sand beach, you can be sure you’re getting our best at that budget level.

This step is where we’ll work out a timeline for the production. The time it takes to make your video depends on what type we’re making. If you are an existing client and have footage you just need retooled into something else, that’s something we can get started on relatively quickly. Do you want brand new content or animation, or do we need to write you a script? That’s going to take some extra time, as the steps involved are more complicated.

The more time we have for pre-production, the better organized we’ll be, the better the production will go, and the easier the edits will be. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Once we’ve got a contract for you, we can move to the next step.

exposed film curled on white table

Part 2: Once the Deal is Sealed

This is the part of the journey where the real work can begin. You’ve signed and returned your contract. We’ve hammered out expectations and put a schedule in place. And now we can collaborate on the bits that really matter.

Think of this as the active parts of pre-production. We’re no longer talking about it. We’re taking steps toward its development. If you need a script, here’s where we’ll start putting it together. We’ll scout locations if we need to—we’ve secured everything from sprawling farms to our own cozy studio with a white sweep and a green screen. A shot list is essential at this step, so we can anticipate what needs your video will have and how to best meet them.

Every video needs good people in front and behind the camera. Our crew is practiced at working together to capture every shot you might need. In the event that we need to hire extra help, we’ve got a pretty big pool of experts we can contact for any task needed. We also handle scouting for talent, getting just the right face and voice you were picturing.

Other things you may not have considered are taken care of here, too, including gathering assets for production, creating graphics for overlays, planning set decorations, and much more.

Once the concept is approved and all the pieces are in place, we can plan for your big day!

miniatures having a photo shoot

Part 3: As Your Video Develops

If you’ve opted for animation, then this is when we start putting that together. There’s not much involvement on your part until the draft is done, most likely.

If you need video, it’s shoot day! You probably have nerves of steel, but if not, we can assure you that we’ve done this a bunch of times and will make it as painless and smooth as possible. Our job on this day is twofold: make sure we get all the shots we need, and make sure everyone is comfortable and happy in front of and behind the camera. We bring snacks and drinks for the cast and crew in addition to our professionalism and experience.

Having something filmed costs more in the end than a simple animation, because it takes more time and involves extra people, talent fees, and perhaps location fees, depending on where we are. Every person on the crew plays a role, and we want to keep that number at a reasonable amount to make sure production quality is at the level where we can all be proud. We want to do our best to pay everyone appropriately for their time, and we communicate those costs from the beginning.

This is the time when set direction gets finalized and implemented, usually using a brand color or something that will be a subtle nod to your organization. And when we’re ready, we film all the scenes we’ve planned for, maybe more, just to make sure we have enough B-roll and don’t leave anything important out, and then we wrap the production and send everyone home.

And for a couple weeks, everything on your end is quiet.

Green screen with crew in front of it

Part 4: Approvals, Revisions, and Reshoots: Before Delivery

The time between when we shoot and when you can expect a first draft is about two weeks. Editing takes time, and we want our first draft to be as close to what you envisioned as possible.

When the initial editing is done, you’ll get to see the result and make suggestions of things you want edited. Depending on your review system and how fast you can get it back to us, this step could take days or weeks. The faster you’d like the video complete, the more diligently you’ll have to be about getting those changes back to us.

Then we do another round, editing based on your suggestions and giving you another look at it. If you think there are more edits to be made, we do another round. This doesn’t continue forever, as we’ve all got a timeline to stick to, but eventually we come together on a final version. Based on that final version, we can make more iterations of your video at different lengths for whatever you need.

Just know that all of this will add time to the schedule. We might be awesome, but we’re not superheroes. Yet. Until we acquire the power to control the flow of time, you can expect a finished video 3–6 weeks after filming.

While we might be done with the video, your life with your new media has just begun.

Man with camera on shoulder

Part 5: After Your Video Is Delivered

So you’ve got a shiny new video to use and enjoy forever. Now what? The most pressing matter is deciding where you’re going to showcase your video. It’s time to revisit the purpose and see what might be best for showing it off.

Whatever you intend to do with it, make sure it’s reaching your intended audience by tracking its performance.

Once it makes its mark on the world, what do you do with a video? We recommend hosting it on a video service so you can link to it when you need to in the future. And keep a backup somewhere, because the day may come when you want to use some of that footage in another project to save time and money in the long run. We’ll be here to help you out with that when you decide to remix a classic.

video camera on a red background

Still Curious About a Video?

Obviously we can’t cover every single facet of video creation in 1500 words, but we hope this gives you a better picture of what your video production with OC Creative will look like. If you’d like to talk specifics, we’d love to talk you through any questions or concerns you might have.