I received an email from a reader after I wrote the post, “Making a Video – Do it fast!!” He asked if I could talk about my video workflow in greater detail. What caught his attention was a statement I made at the end. I said the video I made took two 8 hour working days.
In my freelance days, I use to spend up to a month on one video. Since working at church with a high demand of request for videos, two days is the minimum length for a 30 to 1 minute video.
At church the demand of quantity is greater than quality. But that doesn’t mean the quality of the production is poor. There are elements in video production that can not be compromise such as un-fixable white balance, bad exposer, focus and horrible audio. All those things can cause hours trying to fix, and there are even times that its easier to just re film.
When I say quantity is more important than quality, that really means, we don’t have a lot of time to spend on graphics for one promo. We can have an average of six videos every week that are due that weekend. The demand is high to complete videos fast.
We achieve every due date by time manage every hour. Here is a snap shot of a week on the calendar.
You have to estimate each task. Such as, “I’m giving myself an hour to write up the script and record a voice over.” Arrange your lunch when an item has to render, export or upload. You have to be smart on using every hour given to you. If you are a freelancer with no boss pushing you, beware of spending too much time on a project.
I found the most time consuming element on a video are the graphics. I wait until the end to do that. Then I am able to see how much time I am allowed to create something. Our graphics are usually simple and basic but for special events we try to spend more time on creating something amazing.
Here is a practical break down –
My workflow —
1 hr- Create the script.
15 m- Book the filming.
30 m- Film: ask a volunteer who you trained to set up filming. Give them an hour.
30 m- Log and Capture: multitask by answering emails or look for music.
30 m- Find music: We have a hard drive called, “Sonic Pro”, that is full of stock music that allows us to change the track length.
1 hr- Normalize Audio levels: Normalize your audio on dialog so it can be louder than your music underneath.
1-3 hr- Edit: Depending on what it is, interviews may take longer – save time by having a volunteer add and name markers that will help you scan through your footage.
1-3 hr- Overlay footage: If you logged and captured well, this won’t take to much time. No “Untitled” footage is allowed. We keep overlay footage very organized by event name and date on a network that we can access to copy over to our hard drive. Example: “ConnectGroups_031413”
1-2 hr- Color Grading: I have saved presets in After Effects for each camera we own. Even depending on our studio backgrounds. I adjust colors depending on the person skin color and the way the lighting was set up.
No more than 3 hrs- Graphics: All depending on how much time we have until its due and the importance of the project. We use logos and colors that the graphic design dept. created for that event. I like to export this separate from the footage color grade just in case changes have to be made. Export lower thirds with an alpha channel so next time the video is used, you can change out the details.
2 hr- Render: Create a folder where all your renders will go. Place them on the project. Make changes if animation doesn’t work, etc.
30m- Export: Export a .mov, create an mp4.
30m- Upload and send for Approval: I upload to vimeo, sometimes I add a password -avoid letters and use numbers just in case the person you send it to has their caps lock on.
4 hrs- Changes made: Don’t get upset when you are told to make changes, it is apart of the editing life, set out a day for changes but try to send them another verison for final approval within 4 hours.
1.5 hrs- Approval: Once the video is approved, export to final format and deliver the video by letting who ever know that its completed and ready for show time.
There are times when a video can be made in a shorter amount of time given. The next time you work on a past project, your editing time should cut in half. The video I did that took two days, I saved time by having good audio, markers on the interviews, no changes were needed, and the submitter walked by and gave me approval instead of uploading and emailing a link.
Hope this helps those who work in video land. Feel free to share any tips you’ve develop over time in your work place.
One more thing, if you’re faster than your computer, maybe it’s time to upgrade.