What happens after a video shoot often makes the difference between a decent video and a great one. And by after, I mean post-production. This is when you actually build and shape your story and add the graphics and music that make your video stand out.
No matter the size of your project, it’s crucial to always plan the time and resources for post-production. If you don’t, you put the quality and value of your work at risk.
This is when you hone the narrative structure and craft the overall story. Keep in mind that the steps and level of effort will vary depending on whether you’re making a scripted or non-scripted video.
Editing a scripted video is more straightforward: Select the best takes from the shoot and assemble them in the correct order according to the script. A non-scripted video, on the other hand, usually takes more time to edit because you’re not necessarily adhering to a predetermined narrative. You can move sections around in the order you think works best.
Because it’s a more liberal creative process, it requires good editorial judgment. You have to be able to identify when the talent is at their best—when they are being candid, articulate, and have good energy—and then you have to stitch their thoughts into a cohesive narrative.
Second camera and b-roll
Most corporate videos—even short, 30-second talking-head videos—will drag on and feel boring when there’s only one camera angle. That’s why shooting and editing in a second camera angle and b-roll is key.
Doing so lets you vary the audience’s perspective and create a dynamic visual experience. The addition of contextual b-roll reinforces what your speaker is saying. It provides a visual story to accompany the message.
For instance, if your subject is talking about a business strategy, show him or her outlining a strategy on a whiteboard. Or perhaps your subject is talking about customers, in which case you’d show him or her in a meeting with colleagues or customers.
How using a second camera and b-roll can create a more dynamic video.
Graphics, screenshots, and reference material
One of video’s major benefits is the flexibility with which you can integrate different visual and audio elements. Static or motion graphics, visual and audio effects, still images, and screenshots of software applications, UIs, and websites can all be composited into a video.
You won’t always need these elements, though, and the complexity with which you use them will vary. But they expand the visual palette of your video, making it more engaging and interesting. It’s always worth determining in pre-production which of these elements you might be able to use and plan the time for developing them in post-production.
How motion graphics can visually engage and reinforce what’s being said.
Color and sound
People won’t necessarily notice a good color or sound edit. And that’s the point. They’ll simply like your video. But they’ll definitely notice if your video has poor sound or color. On a big production video, a color edit can be a very involved, painstaking process.
But for most corporate videos, it involves two primary things: exposure correction—making sure all of your scenes are evenly lit and not too dark or too bright; and color grading—the process of enhancing color so that it has richness and depth. When done well, quality color will make your video pleasing to watch and give it a polished, professional feel.
Similarly, a sound edit typically involves two main tasks:
- Correcting your audio: This means you’re making sure it’s consistent throughout your video. Every space or room you record in will have a different tone, which is basically a room’s ambient or background noise, and you need to ensure you don’t have any noise spikes or muffled sounds.
- Adding music: You score your video with music to establish a desired mood or feel and to signify transitions. The music plays a significant role in setting the feel of your video, so it can’t be overlooked.
Titles and CTA
No video is complete without thought-provoking titles and a compelling CTA. The title should give the audience an idea of what the video is about and also serve as the hook—the reason why they should watch it.
In addition to the main title, section titles provide context when transitioning from one topic to another, and break up your video so it doesn’t drag.
And lastly, you should always include a carefully chosen CTA. Just like with every piece of content, your video should provide a clear next step and give your audience the opportunity to keep engaging with your brand.
To see what a video that went through all these steps looks like, check out the one below.