Post-production can seem like something of a black box to clients that aren’t familiar with the process. My goal here is to break down our post process and shine some light on how we put a video together. It’s worth saying up front that this process doesn’t apply for every video and client. Some clients like to have a lot of control in the edit and want to see every step, whereas other clients want us to put the final video together without any input from them.
Our go-to editing platform is mostly Premiere Pro & After Effects. The first step is to create a project file and import the media. Once that’s done we start laying out sequences to organize the footage. Organization is based on what makes the most sense for the particular edit, it can be based on shoot dates, interview subjects, scenes, location or something else entirely.
The content cut is the first draft of what will become our final video. Generally we will already have a solid idea of what we are trying to achieve in the edit because of the thorough pre-production work we have done to establish the goal and message of the video. The content cut is where we work with our basic raw materials i.e. the footage we captured to start piecing the video together.
Videos are made out of all sorts of different types of content. We could have sit-down interviews, broll, product shots, direct address pitches, scripted scenes, animation, music and more. In the content cut we’re only trying to work with the foundational footage of that particular video to craft the message.
A very straightforward example is a testimonial video. Let’s say we shoot an interview with your happy customer and then get footage of them going about their day using your product. We know the finished video will have a sit-down interview component, a product shot, broll of the customer using the product, animated stats of product engagement, music, lower thirds and your custom logo.
However, the first step in the edit is to piece together the interview content into a concise and engaging message. We want to make sure you are happy with what your customer is saying (what they are saying, how they say it, when they say it) before we worry about adding in the additional illustrative elements.
Once we have a chance to show you the content cut and you give notes we’ll move on to adding in all the layers that will flesh the video out. We don’t do this right away because it saves us time and keeps the budget down. But now that the content has been approved we can add in professional voice over narration, include broll to help illustrate and support the message, lay in music, animation and all the other elements we want to include to tell our story.