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7 Steps of Video Post Production

Post production video editing is the final stage of the production process, but that hardly means that you can skip out on it or limit focus as it’s a vital element of the process. In fact, video post production is likely the most important phase as this is when all of the working parts of the production, pre-production and the actual filming of the footage, come together. Here’s what you need to know about each of the 7 steps of video post production and what it means for your film.

post production

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Step 1: Establishing the Video Rough Cut

The rough cut of your video is just like it sounds, it’s a rough draft of sorts that represents the edited visuals which make up the initial selection of shots that will be used to assemble the video.

At this point, the lengthy process of sorting through, categorizing and choosing between all of your footage takes place. Editing software is used by the post production editor to select the footage that will be used, cut it and splice together to create a rough cut of your film. It’s very much a work in progress.

Step 2: Establishing the Picture Lock

The next phase in video post production is to establish the picture lock. This involves sorting through all shots and determining the order in which they will appear. Once the order is finalized or “locked” no other changes will be made to order of footage.

Post production editors know the importance of the picture lock because establishing this is necessary in order for the sound editors to begin their work on producing the final dialogue, sound effects and foley tracks.

The picture lock may include basic mock-ups of any visual effects that will be incorporated later on to help sound editors visualize special effects that can come into play later on in the video post production process.

Failure to account for the essential visual effects in picture lock may result in poor flow of music and sound effects.

Step 3: Establishing the Sound Mix

post production of event video

With the rough cut and picture lock established, the sound crew can begin working their post production magic. The sound mix will involve working through the dialogue, sound effects, music, voiceover and any other audio that will be incorporated into the layers to produce the final sound mix that aligns with the video track.

When establishing the sound mix, voice overs and the occasional need to re-record audio dialogue may occur. As the sound editor listens to existing audio tracks and repairs and cleans the tracks to the best of their ability, notes are made as to any re-recordings that must take place at this time.

Poor sound quality equals poor video quality, therefore when re-recording is necessary the best thing to do is — just do it!

Step 4: Adding Visual Effects

Once the sound mix has been produced, the addition of visual effects may take place. This includes adding effects wherever they were mapped out in pre-production as well as the addition of any effects that were discussed since that phase.

Animations are commonly added during the visual effects phase of post production video editing. Animators and post production editors work with CGI modeling and render 3D objects or shots to produce visual effects that align with the filmed shots.

In low budget productions, visual effects may be limited. A simple filter or fade of the video may be all that is added at this point. Regardless, from the simplest of visual effects to the most advanced, this is the time to add text, graphics, animations and similar visual effects to the film.

Step 5: Accounting for the Lower Third

Filming a Testimonial interview on a FS7

News broadcasting, documentary films, and interviews often utilize lower thirds to showcase important text or graphics that further engage the audience. The shot is positioned such that the important elements are added into the lower third of the screen.

Often times, titles, supporting context or details about the interview or speaker are included in the lower third of the screen.

The idea of including details in the lower thirds is to support the context of the video without distracting the viewer. Generally, lower third graphics include text only but occasional animations can be used to help convince the viewer to pay closer attention to what they are seeing.

Step 6: Film Color Correction

In the color correction phase of video post production steps are taken to ensure that the color of light in each shot matches the next. Color correction includes steps to correct exposure problems and white balance issues that may arise now that all final footage has been spliced together.

The idea is to ensure that there is continuity and all of the footage appears equally balanced in color, brightness, saturation and hue.

Much like sound mixing involves ensuring that the audio of the film maintains an equal level, color correction involves ensuring that all of the visual effects appear similar and closely aligned. No scene should appear of a distinctly different color tone or quality of another.

When color correction is complete, the film should flow smoothly with no realization of editing that took place.

Step 7: Finalizing Title & End Cards

The final step of video post production is to add title and end cards that represent any end graphics for the film such as credits or promotions of the brand. End cards generally represent the brand that produced the video and provide additional promotion to the viewing audience.

End cards are not necessary but offer a way of reminding the viewer that the video was created by a particular brand.

End cards often include a call to action (CTA) such as a button that will link to a website or some other clickable element with words such as “Shop Now” or “Visit Us.” The goal is to have the viewer perform some action as a result of having watched the video.

Once all seven steps of video post production have been completed the video is ready to be shared. A professional post production editing crew can bring all of your footage together with sound and quality color corrections and graphics to create an engaging, exciting video that represents your brand.

If you’re just starting out on your video production journey, give Beverly Boy Productions a call at 888-462-7808 to learn more about the video production process that we can help out with. We can’t wait to help you create something you can be proud of!