Creating an Ad can seem like a terrifying and daunting task when you’re at the beginning of the process, but if you were to step back and deconstruct it down into the 3 stages of Video Production - well, it’ll still be as terrifying and daunting but this way you’ll have some structure to your anxiety.
An Ad begins with the concept. That's the prologue to the 3 stages I’ll be discussing in this blog. I’ll go more into this process of conceptualizing in another post but for now we’re going to be discussing what it takes to turn your caterpillar concept and into a butterfly visual.
That’s right, I just pulled out an unnecessary metaphor there.
This is exactly what the name suggests. Everything BEFORE production begins.
In this stage, the script is written, the location is scouted and confirmed, the storyboard is drawn out and the equipment rentals required are planned and booked. All these elements are required to get an idea of exactly what your commercial is going to look like before you begin filming. This ensures that you and the client are on the same page. It’s important to set the tone in this stage because everything that follows will be a projection of what you did here. The more thorough you are in this stage, the less surprises you'll have in the next stage.
This is also the stage where the hiring of talent and crew comes in. You have to make sure you hire the right Cinematographer, Gaffers, Sound Recordists, and Make-Up Artists that would do justice to your vision. As for talent, since the script is done in this process it is used to also audition and cast the right actor(s) that can bring your script to life.
This is the fun part.
It’s just as stressful, and there are still panic attacks waiting to surface. But, if you came into the field of creating commercials for the right reasons, then this is the stage that you absolutely adore. This is the filming of your script with the crew you selected, along with the talented actor(s) you hired. The length of this stage - or how many filming days you have - depends on the complexity and size of the campaign you’re responsible for creating. Some of these filming days will be long, so another task besides the actual creation of the visuals is to make sure to keep your crew happy.
I’ve found that food is usually the solution to that.
Fun Fact: The longest Production stage we’ve had in the past year was 1 week in which we had 3 shoot days in order to finish the 3 digital Ad campaign for our client.
Putting it together. That's what this stage basically exemplifies.
You wrote a great script, you put together the crew (and fed them), you filmed some great shots, and now you must put it all together piece by piece. Post-Production is not only editing the visuals by putting clips together, it also involves going beyond that to make sure the sound is mixed and that is sometimes a whole different department and editor - especially if you are also creating the music from scratch for a Commercial.
Once the visuals and sound are mixed, there’s still 1 final step left to put the icing on the cake - the colour. The colour grading step is underrated. It can sometimes be the added link to help give your Ad the look that suits the message you’re delivering. Some brands are colourful and vibrant, while some want it to look crisp and real. Make sure to spend just as much time on this part of this video production stage as the others.
In Conclusion ...
Knowing and understanding these 3 stages of creating an Ad will help you separate your tasks and focus on what’s important. Each stage requires careful planning and execution but just like building anything, you need to make sure the blueprint is perfected before the construction and that the construction is perfected before the use of it.
Let me know if this blog helped or if you'd like more clarification in future posts!