Saturday, September 5, 2009

How is a Compelling Production Design Put Together?

What makes people want to see a video production? Whether it is for a music video, a training film or a commercial the same component is needed. Planning !

The estimation stage
This starts with an initial meeting between the client and the production provider. This first meeting determines the ideas of the client and establishes the exact type of production that will most likely fill the client's need. From there a prospectus is drawn up. This is a production plan starting with a script idea and worked through  to a plan outlining all of the elements that will be necessary for it to become an full production effort. Costs are detailed as well as establishing what is done and a schedule for completion of each stage of the work.

The planning stage
What kinds of things must be planned for? Well a production can be simple and low cost or fully staged and elaborate. Here thanks to is a video of one of my favorite singing groups singing a song familiar to my generation. Think about all of what had to be planned in this performance. Watchable video must be planned and that plan carried out from conception to realization.

As can be seen, there are some rather expensive elements here, however the list is much the same at any budget level. Staging, lighting, makeup, costumes, talent and equipment to name a few. But pre-planning and final planning revolve around a script, and a vision of what that script should look like on the screen.  How it is lit, how the camera and talent move, what is said or performed are all a part of the script writing process.

With good writing must come good direction. A director takes the production plan and guides the crew and cast to fulfilling the vision that he and the producer create which the client agreed to and approved. First as ideas and then recorded into the script and production plans. At which time the client still has to give full approval.

Financial concerns
But aren't video productions expensive?  That is determined at the earliest meeting. The client comes with a need. A need assessment process is completed and compared to the result the client expects, and the money that they can allocate to making their ideas real as a video product. If an agreement is found, then  a financial plan which has already been started, is then re-reviewed and finalized by both parties. Big or small productions are possible. Because the client knows what the money is going for from the prospectus they can expect to pay only for what is agreed to unless changes are made at their request. If problems arise a production can be modified, renegotiated or curtailed at the bidding of either or both parties.

Evaluation and review process
At each stage goals are set and timelines established. The client can chose to participate in the process or trust in the crew to carry out the vision and plans for it's completion. Furthermore, the more elements that the client can provide from their own resources in terms of sweat equity, shot location, props, costuming and even talent from staff whom they already employ the lower the additional costs will be. Even productions for the most simple design can be accomodated, depending upon the client's need and purpose.

Post production
And how is the work completed? That depends on what was stated as the intent and purpose in the first meeting. which was then assessed and then evaluated for feasibility and cost effectiveness. So you can understand that great attention to detail and a range of concerns is of paramount importance from beginning to end. Customers looking for video production services are well advised to know what they want. what they want to accomplish with the end product. How it will be used, and what they expect to get in return.
Whether the end is visualized as a broadcast program or commercial message, a public service announcement. employee training or promotion for business and industry or a community group message for a public cause, this advice applies. The internet provides a relatively new world wide venue for any purpose. As was exemplified by this performance of " Twilight Zone " by Manhattan Transfer in a webstreaming video right on your desktop. And individuals,groups and commercial enterprises are taking advantage of this medium to persuade and build bridges to their respective audiences. That is the magic of digital technology. New tools used in new ways to exchange information that stimulates individual and social actions very effectively.

Fade out
In simplified form that sums it up. And the stages are very similar to a process for erecting a building structure, or fabricating a bird house for the backyard. The differences being only in the degree of elaboration and finances.   © Fluxstream Communications by Fluxstringer

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