Video Production Workflow: A Guide From The Start To Finish Of Your Video

Video Production Workflow

Last updated on March 12, 2020

Ever wondered how people get from a great idea for a video to the finished product?

Want to know how to plan your workflow correctly to produce effective videos?

Then you’re in the right place.

Now, you might have an amazing idea for a video.

Follow these steps and you can go from idea to fantastic video in no time at all.

This guide will talk you through the video production workflow process from start to finish.

Let’s get started!

The Idea Needs To Be Watered

An idea for a great video is the first step on the road to success.

Video Production Workflow

They say that everyone has a good book in them.

In terms of video, everyone has several good stories to tell.

Most people don’t get them out there for a number of reasons.

An idea for a video needs work.

Going from idea to the finished product can be a long journey, made even more difficult if you don’t get the planning stage right.

Brainstorming is the first step on this road.

You should think about what you want your video to deliver.

If you are creating a video for a business, then you need to think about several things –

  • Who the target market is?
  • Where they hang out – what platform you will use? It’s not all YouTube.
  • What you want them to do as a result of the video?
  • How you can move them to do this

Breaking down the idea into these elements will help you to flesh out the initial concept into something that will deliver results.

But even if you are making a video for your own purposes, maybe for growth on YouTube, then you will need to take the time to think this out and come up with ideas on how you will generate the desired growth.

Proper Keyword Research

An Idea is fine, but you will also need to think about what exact phrase you will be targeting if you plan to put your video on YouTube.

First have a think of what your potential viewer may type into YouTube when searching for information that your video contains.

If you have a rough idea but are struggling to come with exact phrases then there are plenty of free keyword research told that you can use such as:

One of the best tools for keyword research though is Tube Buddy.

Check your Competition

Even if you think you have come up with a winner, still go to YouTube, enter the phrase you are targeting and see what competition you have.

Some keywords do not get a lot of volume yet have super stiff competition.

Low hanging fruit will be your friend and many streams make a river so once you get several videos up and ranking, you’ll be able to get some good traffic.

Planning Will Help Turn The Idea Into A Timeline

Once you have a grip of the idea and where you will take it, then the planning stage comes next.

This will cover items like –

  • What medium will you use? Live action? Animation? Text?
  • What tools do you need?
  • What props might you need?
  • Who will you need to appear in the video?

A plan will pull all of these things together in one document.

It might sound like this is adding an unnecessary step in your workflow, but planning lets you work efficiently from this point onwards.

A simple look at the plan will give you the lowdown on where you are – and where you need to be.

Remember to add dates to the plan so you can see the progress in real time.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once a plan is made then it is set in stone.

We’re all creative people and creativity flows all the time.

If you have a great idea to add to the video, then don’t be afraid to just go with it.

If you are working with others, then a workflow management tool such as Trello is a great addition to your team.

Storyboarding Puts Meat on The Bones

Moving on from your plan, the next thing you need to pull together is the storyboard. These have been in existence since the 1930’s.

But, like anything that simply works – there is a reason people still use the storyboard.

It helps visualize the video you are designing.

Don’t think that you need to come up with an image for each and every slide of the video. That will turn this into a massive project.

Instead concentrate on the flow of the story.

Putting this together scene by scene will allow you to see and feel what the finalised video will play out like.

This is the time in the process where your creative juices will flow most. You will visualize the video as if it was real.

Make adjustments for movements, think about the colours involved and get creative! The more you work on this, the better your finalised video will be.

The Script Will Help Engagement

Now you have a great idea of what the images will look like, the words must come next.

Unless you’re making a silent movie, you will need to consider what words will get the desired message across.

If you are unsure about what to write, then don’t be afraid to hire a copywriter to get this just right.

It is vitally important to your success.

The script for a video is far different to what you might write for a blog or website.

You have fewer words to get your point across.

Succinct and to the point is the key.

Think about how the words marry the images to get the best effect.

The last thing you want is a mismatch.

Scripting can take time.

Don’t be afraid that you are taking hours pulling it all together.

You will know when you have the right words.

Collecting Assets Might Be A Consideration

Depending on what you need for your video, procurement might come next.

If you need to find actors, get your hands on the gadget you are featuring or have to find a location then these come before the filming.

Procurement on behalf of a client runs pretty much the same as if you are doing it for yourself – every penny counts.

Don’t overspend.

Production values are vitally important.

Your video needs to look and feel the part.

But remember, the viewer doesn’t have the opportunity to scrutinize the objects as much as you do.

If they look great on screen, then it doesn’t matter if they aren’t the real deal!

Producing The Video

It is time for the production!

Once you have all the elements you need for the video (Storyboard, check! Script, check! Assets, check!) then you are ready.

Filming the video can often be the shortest timeframe of everything on the list.

If you have planned correctly, then you should just be ready to roll.

The plan you made at the very start comes to the fore here.

It has given you the direction you need.

The storyboards and script are the tools you need to direct the video.

You can lean on them to manage the whole shoot.

It is, in many ways, the most exciting part of the process too.

For many, this is the time when all the other stuff comes together.

If you love making video, then we’re sure you’ll love working on production day.

This is where you get to see that initial idea really take shape.

You will need to consider many different elements here, including –

  • The way the movie is lit
  • How you capture the sound
  • The weather conditions if you film outside

Producing a video always seems to take longer than you first expect.

Leave some time at the end of the day for this.

The last thing you want is for all your assets to disappear and you have to start again.

Your planning should take this into account.

Don’t end up with half a video and back to the drawing board.

Your time is far too valuable for that.

Editing Is as Important as Filming

The day or days of shooting the movie will deliver you with a stack of footage.

But won’t give you the finished article.

The editing room is the place where this magic happens.

Be prepared to spend at least as much time editing as you have shooting the footage.

Video editing

The job of an editor is to make a coherent story out of the footage shot.

Of course, the storyboard and script will make this a whole lot easier.

Lean on these as you edit, and they will guide your footage into the coherent piece that you first imagined.

Always go back to the initial brainstorm and remember the purpose of the movie – and what you want to achieve with it.

Don’t forget that this part of the process might mean voiceovers, intros and outros and other effects to get it to the finished state.

Distribution of The Finished Product – Judgement Time!

Getting your finished product from your computer to the rest of the world is far easier than it used to be.

YouTube and other channels have made sure of that.

Video Social Media

We’d suggest there that you look for others to cast a critical glance over the movie before it is unleashed on the world.

They might spot a thing or two that can help you later on.

The means of distribution will have been decided early on in the process.

Now it is time to enact the plan.

There is a little bit of judgement at this level.

Once the world sets eyes on the video, they will vote with their feet (or fingers by clicking to view).

Then Start All Over Again

Once your successful video is out there for all to see, the next step is to go back to the top of this article and begin again!

There’s something intoxicating about producing video.

You’ll want to do more and more of it.

And the more practice you get, the better you become.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

A Final Note

Now, do not let this post scare you.

If you are just getting started, a one person band or just simply do not have the skills or budget to do many of the things we talked about, still take action.

Many people resonate with imperfect videos due to the human element. A video that is out there is better than one that remains a thought in your head. Click To Tweet

PS…If you liked our video production workflow guide, then please let us know by sharing it.


Comments on Video Production Workflow: A Guide From The Start To Finish Of Your Video

  1. Mark Beniston says:

    Excellent Information. This really does break down the elements required perfectly. Thank you!

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Cheers Mark. Glad you liked it.

  2. Garry B says:

    It’s great how you went thru each step and then at the end put it all into perspective with taking action…

    Hopefully that message resonates with everyone that reads this post, so they know the things they need to be doing but at the end of the day, as you stated;

    “A video that is out there is better than one that remains a thought in your head.”

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks Garry. Yes, without taking any action it’s all kinda pointless and we all make mistakes or could have done something better.


  3. Albertus V says:

    Great article, clear and to the point. The main thing is to just get started. Get your first video out using these guidelines, ask for feedback and keep improving. Don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed.

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thank you Albertus.

  4. Dana Cassell says:

    Very helpful, Adam. A keeper.

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thank you Dana.

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