The Director has called out ‘That’s a wrap!’ The lights have been struck, and the camera and all of the gear have been put away. You’re excited to see the video, but what happens next? What can you expect from the post-production phase?
Post-production is everything that happens to the video after capturing your content. An editor assembles the footage, a motion designer may create custom graphics and animation, and an audio engineer makes sure everything sounds its best. Post-production can be similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Ready for Review
We refer to your first round of review as the Alpha stage, the producer and editor have collaborated to assemble the story. In an interview based video project, that could mean going through hours of interviews and footage. In scripted projects, there could be multiple takes that we review to find the right one for the story.
With so much raw content to go through, you can probably imagine that video editing takes patience and attention to detail to do well. Every project is different, but a 2-3 minute video can take many hours to put together. In general at Spotted Yeti, you can expect to see your first look at the video within two weeks of the final day of production.
The alpha stage is really about finding the story. You may notice that colors aren’t as rich as you thought, graphics or text may have placeholders, and the audio may be unbalanced. Don’t worry, those steps tend to happen when we have what we refer to as ‘picture lock’.
When you receive the alpha version of your video, it’s your team’s first opportunity to provide us with feedback. With frame.io, it’s never been easier. Frame.io is a collaborative tool that allows you to give feedback at specific time marks in the video and even draw or mark-up frames to call attention to specific visuals.
If your project has several stakeholders, we encourage you to bring them in as early as possible. This allows us to address those notes efficiently and make sure that everyone’s perspective is represented.
Feedback is in, on to the Beta round.
After we receive all your feedback, our post team will begin work on revisions. Depending on the scope of the revisions, this stage can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. At Spotted Yeti, we look at every project as a collaboration with the client. We try to incorporate every client note into the finished product, but there may be some give and take. If that pops up, our producers will talk through it with you to find the best way to share your story.
When the revisions are complete, you will receive a new frame.io link to the beta edit. The beta provides the second opportunity to provide feedback. By this point, we should be massaging those fine details and tightening up the video.
Motion graphics are a great way to emphasize key points and elevate your visuals. With so many people watching videos on their mobile devices without sound, it's important to have attention grabbing visuals that convey the story. Sometimes the solution is motion graphics which can be a time intensive endeavor. Depending on the scale of the motion graphics, we may share storyboards or frame mock-ups before diving in to ensure our designs are on brand.
The End of the Road
We’ve tightened the edit and worked together to fine tune the video. You’re happy with the story and visuals. We’re ready for picture lock. Picture lock is exactly what it sounds like. The visuals will be ‘locked down’ with no further content changes and prepped for the final touches of color grading and audio mastering. We save the final touches for after picture lock because any additional content changes could alter the timeline, requiring a re-master of audio and color.
Audio is the yin to video’s yang. If you can achieve the perfect balance between what you see and what you hear, that’s zen. In pre-production, one of the questions a producer will ask you is - how will people watch your video?
- Will it be broadcast on television?
- Will it be posted to social media?
- Will it premiere at a live event, such as a fundraiser?
How the audience interacts with your video influences how the audio is mastered. We not only want our videos to look impressive, but sound impressive as well.
The color grade is where we make it pop. When we first share the alpha, we often warn you that colors may look a little flat. During the color grade, we’ll go through the video shot by shot, scene by scene, and bring out the best look for your video.
"Welcome House PSA" Color Grading Example
A color grade can dramatically alter the look and feel of the scene. A vibrant saturation may evoke feelings of happiness, or an emphasis on shadow and mid-tones may be more somber and emotional.
That's a wrap!
When the video is approved and finalized, we’ll deliver it in any format you need. Some platforms may have specific requirements such as dimensions, frame rate, bitrate, etc. Our team can make sure your video is ready for wherever it may call home.
From pre to post, we’ve worked together to create something that’s uniquely yours. Now it’s time to show the world you exist.