The Art of Post-Production in 2020: How to Create Better Videos

If you’ve decided to invest money into creating a video, it’s important to have a clear vision for your post-production process. At this stage, many video projects come apart, so you have to develop a strong plan to stay on track. Let’s dig deeper into the art of modern post-production.

What Does Post-Production Mean?

The post-production process refers to all of the tasks associated with video production that come after shooting the raw video. During this phase, a range of profiles will pool their talents to complete a number of tasks, such as editing, sound design, special effects, and animation.

Although the planning and production phases present their own challenges and take a lot of time, the post-production phase will often take the longest. Since post-production tasks are often very complex, they will require multiple drafts, which is why it’s so important for project managers to develop a rigid approach to the post-production phase.

To execute a successful post-production phase, project managers will need to create a plan that is:

Informed

Above all else, the project manager compiling the post-production strategy needs to understand the technical aspects of each task. This compilation will help him or her create a timely, realistic plan.

Transparent

The best post-production teams work in complete harmony because important planning documents are widely shared. Therefore, everybody stays on the same page and move forward as one entity.

Comprehensive

It’s very important to make sure that no one leaves anything to chance during the complex post-production phase. The best plans should cover all of the key tasks. Then nothing will be left out.

Post-Production Workflow and Process

Ready to dive into the most common post-production workflow? Here’s a look at the post-production workflow for video.

1. Take stock of your footage.

You’ll want to begin by assessing the footage you captured during the production process. Your video engineers will need to extract the footage from your various hard drives and SD cards, then sort through it.

Those video engineers should take this opportunity to methodically work through the footage, in order to identify any potential errors or mistakes. They should also verify that you have all of the key shots you outlined in your shotlist.

You should perform this step as close to the actual shoot itself as possible. The earlier you perform it, the more efficiently you’ll be able to rectify any issues related to the footage.

2. Develop your video-editing plan and timeline.

Now that you’ve taken stock of your footage and confirmed that everything is okay, it’s time to develop your video-editing plan and timeline. It’s important to create a realistic schedule that takes the existing workload of your video team into account.

In the next section of this piece, we’ll take a closer look at the exact ways you can develop this editing plan and timeline. But for now, we’ll take a look at the next step of the workflow.

3. Allow your video team to edit.

Now that you’ve created a logical video-editing plan and timeline in collaboration with your video team members, you should let them get to work.

This section of the process can be divided into three distinct phases.

Organize project files and create backups.

First things first. Your team members will need to carefully sort through all of your project files. They should organize and name them according to the conventions you outlined earlier. It’s also important for your team members to create secure backups in as many places as possible.

Perform an initial rough cut.

With all of their project files laid out before them, your team members can start creating a rough cut. They’ll use this opportunity to order, prioritize, and de-prioritize their clips. Your engineers will then need to trim the footage and add transitions.

When those steps are completed, your team members will have a rough cut that you might need in order to get initial approval.

Add polish.

During this stage, your video will really come to life. Your video engineers will use their skills to correct the colors in your video and add any special effects. They might also collaborate with an audio engineer, in order to execute immaculate sound design that’s timed to your footage.

Looking for more information? Take a deeper look at this comprehensive guide to the video- editing workflow.

4. Collect feedback and make edits.

Now that you have a rough cut ready without the polish, it’s time to collect the initial feedback from your stakeholders. You should use a powerful review and approval platform to expedite the process, collect the clearest feedback possible, and track approvals.

Now that you have excellent in-context feedback, it’s time for your team to respond to those requests and perform the final touches.

Filestage is a great example of a powerful review and approval platform. You can use it to invite your internal and external stakeholders within seconds. Once inside, those team members can leave useful in-context feedback within just a few clicks.

5. Secure final approval.

Now that your video has the appropriate level of polish, you’ll need to start securing final approval from your stakeholders. It’s important for every stakeholder to be given the opportunity to make his or her voice heard and share his or her insights.

Again, you’ll want to call on a feature-rich review and approval platform to effectively execute this step. Efficiency is the name of the game here. All too often, the review and approval process spirals out of control and pushes projects beyond the initial deadline.

6. Deliver your video

Congratulations! You have a finished video. But it’s not quite time to celebrate yet, since you need to get that video where it needs to be. When it comes to delivering large video files, there are lots of hurdles to navigate. So you’ll need a strategy.

Essentially, you’ll need to find the best delivery method that makes sense for your team and stakeholders. Here are some of the key ways to approach this situation: 

  • On a hard drive
  • Using a cloud-based storage platform
  • On a DVD
  • Using an FTP server
  • Via email

7. Store your work.

Now that you’ve delivered the project, it’s time to securely store all of your working files. If you logically organize them, you’ll find that’s it easy to quickly access them in the future.

You should ensure that all of the files are named properly, and that you store your work in multiple locations. At a minimum, you’ll want to have a copy in the cloud, on a server, and on a physical device.

If you want to dig deeper into the mechanics of the post-production process, you should be sure to read our key ways to streamline your post-production workflow.

How to Create a Post-Production Schedule

Wondering exactly how to go about creating your post-production schedule? Here’s a simple overview of the steps you should take.

1. Collaborate with your video team, in order to understand their needs.

Your video and audio engineers are the stars of the show, and they’ll carry most of the weight during the post-production phase. Before you start developing an ambitious post-production schedule, you’ll need to know when they’re available and understand their estimates, based on their creative briefs.

Take the time to walk through the project with your video team. Then you’ll be able to create a schedule that fits their work.

2. Examine the production schedule.

It’s important to make the transition between the production phase and the post-production phase as seamless as possible. To find opportunities to transition quickly and unlock new efficiencies, take a closer look at the production phase. 

For instance, you might find that your video engineers are able to store and review footage on the day of the shoot. To learn more about the production phase, be sure to read our guide to the video-production workflow.

3. Create a rough schedule.

Now you have a good idea of when the post-production phase can actually begin and how your video team can tackle it. So you’re ready to create a rough schedule.

You should make sure that your schedule is clear and easy to read. You’ll want to use a powerful project-management platform that offers Gantt chart functionality. This tool can help you reveal dependencies and avoid running into roadblocks along the way.

4. Share your planning documents.

The post-production process is often stressful, due to a lack of communication and a sense of urgency. Once you’ve captured the raw footage, the pressure is on, and your stakeholders will want to see a video right away.

So you need to share your post-production planning documents and schedules as early as possible. If you make sure that everyone’s on the same page here, you’ll avoid stress throughout the editing process.

5. Make small tweaks.

You might receive some important pieces of feedback after you share your planning documents. For instance, an audio engineer might not be available during the time you requested, so you’ll have to find an alternative.

If you incorporate these little changes into your planning, you’ll be all set.

5 Post-Production Best Practices for Teams

You can make countless adjustments over the course of the post-production process, which will improve your efficiency and boost your results. Here’s a look at five practices you can follow.

1. Master review and approval.

The first tip is to really focus on mastering the review and approval process. The post-production process consists of countless back-and-forth interactions between different stakeholders. So if you can speed up those interactions and reduce any miscommunication, you’ll save lots of time and improve your results.

You should choose a powerful tool that can help you in this area. To eliminate any potential barriers, it should be simple to use and easy to access. t. Filestage’s tool is used by both marketing departments and film industry veterans who want to harmonize the review and approval process.

2. Practice good media management.

Over the course of your post-production workflow, your working files are going to be passed from one team member to another. So you’ll have to practice good media management, in order to reduce confusion and ensure that everybody is using the appropriate file.

When it comes to practicing good media management, here are the key factors you need to think about:

  • Choose clear file-naming conventions, and stick to them.
  • Ensure that your files are stored in the right locations.
  • Compress files as necessary.
  • Carefully consider who has access to files.

3. Unlock editing efficiency.

Remember, your video engineers are the stars of the post-production phase. They’ll apply their technical skills and abilities to the transformation of your raw footage into an attractive, polished visual story.

You should ensure that your video engineers have everything they need during this phase. So sit down with your lead engineer before the post-production phase begins, and work through a checklist of requirements. This checklist will often include things like:

  • Powerful editing machines
  • Specialist software
  • Specific keyboards and mice
  • Portable hard drives
  • Surge-protection extension cords

This video offers a great look at the most common equipment you’ll find in a video-editing studio. Make sure that your video-editing team has the right tools. Then they’ll be able to work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

4. Identify your obstacles early on.

One of the most important parts of the post-production process is the “first pass.” Here, your video engineers look through the raw footage, in order to confirm you’ve captured the right shots and identified any issues with it.

You’ll give yourself more time to react and find a solution if you identify those problems early on. So you should look ahead, in order to identify issues as soon as possible throughout the post-production process.

5. Make the most of templates.

The post-production process is often very complex and hectic. So you should make good use of templates, in order to record important information and share details with your team members. There are lots of quality templates out there that can help you expedite your post-production work and achieve superior results.

Be sure to take a closer look at these 46 free post-production templates for filmmakers.

Post-Production Checklist

Handling a video project is often a nerve-racking experience. With so many important tasks to keep track of, you might start feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

Here’s a sample post-production checklist you can use to keep track of your tasks. Then you’ll never miss a thing.

  1. Create and share a detailed post-production schedule.
  2. Back up and safely store raw footage.
  3. Organize footage according to your established naming conventions.
  4. To confirm the footage is correct, perform the “first pass.” 
  5. Perform the main editing process.
    • Order the footage.
    • Prioritize the clips.
    • Trim the footage.
    • Incorporate the transitions.
  6. Collect feedback on the rough cut.
  7. Add polish.
    • Audio design
    • Color grading
    • Special effects
  8. Collect feedback and implement requests
  9. Secure signoff. 
  10. Deliver the finished video.
  11. Archive your work.
post production checklist

Here’s the Post-Production Checklist as a Google Sheet you can simply copy.

Best Post-Production Software

There are a number of cutting-edge tools (general and specialized) you can use to truly master the post-production process. Here’s a look at some of the key options you can rely on to get the best possible results.

Filestage: Video Project Management Software

Filestage Screenshot Videos

Over the course of the post-production phase, you’ll find that your team members will regularly need to share drafts and clips. Filestage is a content-review platform that can help you conquer the tricky review and approval process.

This tool makes it incredibly easy for you to spin up new projects and create review workflows within seconds. You can invite your team members within a few clicks, who can start leaving in-context feedback on your videos right away.

Adobe Premiere Pro: Video-Editing Software

video editing software

Adobe Premiere Pro is the world’s most famous timeline-based video-editing app. This tool was first launched way back in 2003. Over the years, it’s grown to become a true editing powerhouse that offers a host of plugins and extensions.

This tool is so popular that it offers users many ways to accomplish their editing goals. It’s also got a gentle learning curve, but it still contains a lot of complexity. And it’s a great editing tool for beginners and experts alike.

Adobe Photoshop – Image Editing Software

image editing software

Adobe Photoshop is also a part of the Creative Cloud Suite, and it’s a favorite among creative professionals. This tool is infinitely complex, yet still easy to use. So it gives your creatives the power to create attractive and on-brief images.

Over the course of your post-production process, you’ll probably have to create a range of images, such as thumbnails, posters, stills, and more. Photoshop may offer the simplest and most effective way to create these collaterals.

Apple Logic Pro X: Sound Editing & Mixing Software

sound editing and mixing software

Audio work is going to be a big part of the post-production phase for your video. So to get the best results, you need the best possible recording studio and a talented audio engineer. Apple Logic Pro X is a very popular recording studio for the Mac.

This audio workstation is very popular. But it’s a specialist tool, so it’s tricky to navigate. Nevertheless, it will often by the best choice for your audio needs. Specifically, your audio engineer will be able to use this tool to create professional-grade audio.

DaVinci Resolve: Color-Grading Software

color grading software

DaVinci Resolve is a color-correction tool that’s developed by Blackmagic Design. This tool is available for all the key operating systems, and it was first released 15 years ago. So it’s enjoyed impressive growth, and it’s become a mainstay in post-production studios.

This tool is compatible with all key video formats, and it supports a range of plugins. It’s also a specialist tool that needs an expert to unlock its true potential. But over the years, it’s been used on big-budget movies to great effect.

After Effects – Motion Graphics and Visual Effects Software

motion graphics and visual effects software

If you need to add any type of digital visual effects to your video, your video engineers and creative professionals will probably want to use After Effects. This powerful platform is also part of the Creative Cloud Suite, and it will seamlessly integrate with Premiere Pro.

A huge number of plugins and presets available online can help your video engineers expedite the post-production process and create flawless visual effects that will take your video to the next level.

Google Drive – Video Archiving Software

video archiving software

Google Drive is an immensely popular, free cloud-storage solution that’s available to anybody with a Google account. This platform works seamlessly with Google Docs, and it has very competitive pricing.

If you need a safe way to archive your footage in the cloud (as well as on physical hard drives and servers), you might want to consider using Google Drive. It’s a slick platform that’s safe and relatively cheap, compared to other cloud-hosting options.

Hungry for more? Dig into 24 of the best post-production software solutions.

Conclusion

We hope this closer look at the art of the post-production process helps you get the results you’re hoping for! If you want to reduce confusion while you’re working on your project, be sure to request your free Filestage trial and demo today.