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once production begins

1. In most cases time is money

Be prepared to begin when the crew arrives. Have areas intended for use in the video cleared of clutter and people who are to be included in the shots ready and familiar with their roles in the production.

2. Good communication helps

Make sure that you have good communication with your production company regarding locations they intend to use and be aware of special considerations for these areas.

    Is there enough power to accommodate the need for additional lighting?
    Are there noise considerations that may interfere with on-camera voice elements?
    Are there any on-site transportation considerations such as golf carts, forklifts or aerial platforms that may be helpful in expediting the production?

3. Ask for time-coded copies of the days field production.

These dubs may cost a few dollars but are much cheaper than viewing the actual field tapes at the production house hourly rate. There are times during the editing process where this type of evaluation will be necessary but oftentimes a phone call from the production house in referencingyour time-coded tape is all that is needed.


4. Talk through the appropriate graphic elements needed before the production proceeds.

Animations and certain graphics can be woven into scenes if the editors are aware of the need for them before footage is shot. Some of these elements may take time to create as well and the more time you can give the graphics people to create and execute them the better your finished product will be.

There are three basic types of graphics for inclusion in you video.

Standard character generation.Paint elements

     that may involve character generation and full motion animations.

Character generation and paint elements are built and executed in a relatively short time and at little cost.

2D and 3D AnimationAnimations take longer and may cost several hundreds or thousands of dollars for a few seconds on the screen.

Determine which is right for you and if a “real time” CG with a switcher effect may meet your animation needs at a fraction of the cost.

5. In post-production be aware of the effects and transitions being used between scenes.

    Do they provide for a smooth flow through the piece?

Transitions should not distract from the message but provide a logical progression from one scene to another. Effects if over used result in the viewer becoming “dizzied” by a series of flips, twirls, spins and other assorted aerobatics.

6. Ask Questions.

At any point in the production, feel free to ask questions and offer suggestions. Successful and effective productions are not based solely on skillful shooting and editing but depend on a steady flow of information from those who know the subject material the best to keep the project on course.


7. Communication, Communication, Communication.

Maintain two way communication during the production process to ensure that project goals are being met in a timely manner.

A timeline should be set before the production begins and periodic checks should be made to make sure that these have been met and that all components are coming together to fulfill the completion deadline.

8. Back ups.

Once the project is completed and approved for duplication make sure that appropriate back-ups have been made for the master.

Once the project has been edited on a non-linear system, ask if a digital backup of the project has been made. This will prove invaluable if modifications are to be made in the future.

The digital backup allows for the entire project to be restored on the computer based editing system. Components needing to be changed can then be easily replaced and a new master copied as opposed to re-editing the entire production.

Two masters should be made, one copy most likely will be kept with the production house, the other should be kept in another location.

9. Ownership Policy.

Determine your production company’s policy on ownership and the storage or field tapes relating to your project.

Some will store these tapes indefinitely while others will retain them for a specific period of time before disposing of or recycling them.

You may wish to store them yourself for future use. Make sure that you are clear on these issues before the project is completed.

You can download all of this information, plus some helpful production tools here: Downloadable PDF

considerations before starting your production

Before you start shopping for a production company it’s best to do as much groundwork as possible to determine your needs. Try to define your goals in the project and select the proper vehicle to convey that message. Read More


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