When thinking about what video production entails, the first thing that springs to mind is probably the filming process. As we’ve illustrated through our recent guides to self-filming pieces to camera and engaging cutaway footage, the tools to film decent quality video are available to pretty much anyone with a smartphone.
What happens after filming, in the post-production stage, may be a bit more of a mystery, however. This part - in which we edit everything together and create the finished video that you can display and share - is often referred to as the most creative part of the entire process. So here’s a bit of insight on what post-production entails.
The main purpose of editing is usually to take the individual parts and put them together to form a well-structured and effective story. For interviews, this is where cutaways really come in handy: as well as serving to illustrate the points being talked about, they also make it easier for an editor to cut and rearrange the video without losing that natural rhythm.
Longer-form projects require more in-depth thought and problem solving, but our aim is always to tell a tightly-structured story. For this video that we made with USE-IT!, for example, we employed a chapter-based structure and used individual stories to illustrate the bigger picture of the extensive community work that they do.
One of the key visual changes that takes place when editing is the colour grade, in which we adjust fine details like colour brightness and saturation in order to make footage look a bit more eye-catching, or to give it a certain stylistic mood. Alongside this are a huge variety of other visual elements that we can add.
We have an in-house animation and graphics specialist at Ember, so we’re proficient at embellishing videos with an array of features. These can range from things as simple as adding subtitles and incorporating a client’s branding or colour scheme, to creating more complex animated assets.
In this video that we worked on for Birmingham City University’s Black Studies course, for example, we worked on attention-grabbing dynamic typography that emphasises key messages while adding a lot to the fast-paced rhythm of the video.
Last but certainly not least, we optimise the sound. Though the key to good sound is to get the recording right on the first go, it can really be worth tweaking with the sound mix: bringing down the volume in moments that are too loud, raising it up during moments that are too quiet, and applying filters and effects to reduce (as much as possible) any background noise or flaws that have found their way into the recording. These tricks can’t save poorly recorded audio, but they can add a bit of polish and iron out smaller imperfections.
Music can also play a huge role in informing how a video communicates its message and makes the viewer feel. There are a wealth of music libraries out there that cater brilliantly to a diverse range of moods and atmospheres, but sometimes something more bespoke is in order. For this video that we made with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, an original composition from one of the Conservatoire students was commissioned, which adds a great deal of character to the finished product.
Throughout this entire process, we also strive to keep clients in the loop: running edit drafts past them and making amendments where requested. If you’d like to know more about how we can work with you at any stage of producing a video, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact via our contact page.