7 Tips for Video Producers

Whether you are producing a one minute infomercial or an hour long documentary, here are 7 useful tips to make your video production workflow as effective as possible.

1. Be an Educator
Clients are often unaware of the workflow and time involved in producing a video. Walk the client through the production process, document and share each step during implementation, conduct regular production meetings, and demonstrate editing and animation techniques. Encourage questions and ideas and respond in a friendly, professional manner.

2. Be Thorough in Your Research
Identify, collect and verify information from multiple sources (libraries, databases, individuals, professional associations), and record each source carefully (title, author, date and place of publication). Be aware of sychronization and/or mechanical licenses needed for still images, news footage and music. Create Google Drive spreadsheets for contributor contact information, production research elements and production task list items.

3. Be Organized
Develop a naming protocol for your files, create folders for different media types (Photoshop, Motion5, narration, interviews, music), include the date in the filename to identify revisions for production documents, and create keyword collections for your media files in post-production.

4. Stay Current in Post-Production Techniques
Watch productions similar to your program genre and use your iPad, iPhone or screen-capture software to record segments that use new editing techniques. Replicate the recorded segments in post-production with original media. Clients equate professionalism with what they see online and on broadcast TV. Incorporate the latest compositing and motion animation techniques to stay current in your field.

5. Be Creative
Take the best of current camera and editing techniques and improvise to create your own production style. Experiment with blend modes, compositing and motion graphics to make your work stand out.

6. Fact Check and Spell Check
Review your production multiple times with a critical eye and ear. Watch for flash frames, text typos, and transition overlap errors. Listen to each audio track individually and collectively. Balance and clean as needed. Check all captions, materials and sources. Ask individuals who are not affiliated with the production to review the program. Often, a fresh pair of eyes and ears will catch an error overseen by the production team.

7. Stay True to Your Profession
Video production is a rewarding but challenging profession. Blending narration, visual imagery and music to tell a compelling story takes creativity, resilience and hard work. Perfect your skills and be insightful, empathetic and ethical in your production approach.

Written by Kate Lee, Senior Media Producer at Smith College

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