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  • Writer's pictureAshley - Caldwell Media

It's just a video, there's not that much to it ...right?

There are so many factors that go into great video production. Planning, as with most things is a key player to the success of all video production. Along with planning, is a couple of other key elements:

  • Lighting

  • Audio

  • Post Production


Lighting:

Great light can be achieved from something as simple as planning the right angle, at the right time of day in the right location. More often than not, lighting modifiers are required to 'shape the light'. A couple of key components to shaping the lighting in a pleasing way is to dial in the right amount of light that falls on each section of the frame.

  • Diffusion - This is typically a fabric that is used to place in between the light source and the subject, ultimately softening the light source and creating smoother, more flattering light.

  • Bounce - This is quite simply (as it sounds), a type of material either soft or rigid that is used to bounce light back into the frame from a light source.

  • Negative Fill - Although the name makes it sound like it may not be a good thing, negative fill when used correctly has a significant impact on the ratios of light and contrast across the frame.


Audio:

Often the importance of great audio is undermined or neglected yet when watching a video audiences have a much higher threshold for being able to tolerate a lower image quality than they do with low quality audio. There is a lot to getting the audio just right. Choosing the right equipment for capturing audio is a good start but understanding how to isolate the right sounds, selecting appropriate locations, understanding the best mic placement for different scenarios and lastly but probably most importantly, understanding 'levels' and avoiding clipped audio is critical.


Post Production:

This is where the grey hairs are grown. Perhaps that's a little dramatic but post production is a very critical aspect of the production process. This is where all of the hard work up until this point will be put together and refined until it is the best it can be. Post production can be loosely broken down into the following categories:

  • The Edit: This is where all of the assets and clips are brought in and trimmed down to the best of the best. It is also where the story and message really starts to take shape. In the edit, the right amount of suspense and/or tension can be built around the way the edit takes shape.

  • Mixing & Mastering: Often there are several layers of audio to each project. Some projects may be as simple as having a track for the score (the music), another for the voice over and a final for foley or sound effects. These audio tracks each need to be balanced respectively and once the right amount of balance has been achieved, the dynamics need to be refined in order to meet volume standards for specific platforms.

  • Colour Grading: As we film on cinema cameras, they shoot in a very flat colour profile which allows a lot of flexibility to refine the look of an image. In the most basic essence, contrast and saturation are added and the white balance is amended, but it goes well beyond that.

Colour Grading Raw Footage:

The first is a snapshot within the software, the second is the raw footage and the third is the final, graded shot.


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