Skillman Video Group is more than just a video production company – we are a true “video agency.” While we are also masters at the craft of video, SVG specializes in everything that happens before the shoot. The four steps before production – Discovery, Strategy, Creative, and Planning – are where we put in the legwork to fully understand our clients’ needs, their key values and messages, and where we figure out how to transform the “soul” of their business into video.
Each Skillman Video Group project follows a set of six steps.
During the Discovery phase, it’s our job to learn as much as we can about the client. We ask a lot of questions – what is your product or service? Who is your audience? What are the technical details of what you’re trying to explain? We seek to get an overall sense of the task at hand, who the brand is, what they do, and why their audience needs them.
In the Strategy phase, we work with the client to realize the key themes (overall values, ideas, visual cues, or moods) and key messages (what is directly communicated) of their video project. We learn what the needs are of the client and what kind of video they want to produce. Is is it explaining a specific process or giving an overall sense of the brand? Is it an animation or live action? Is it scripted?
The Creative phase is where we decide how to use video to visually reinforce the key themes and messages. In other words, how is the video going to look, and what is the content going to be? Who might be interviewed, and where? Will we use a Steadicam or a tripod? Is there a style of filmmaking – documentary style, for instance – that we’re trying to emulate? We’ll also gather a shot list to help us make sure we’re capturing all of the right material on shoot day, and set out a list of interview questions that will be asked, if relevant.
The Planning Phase comprises all the technical and logistical details our crew needs to make the shoot happen. Who needs to be where when? Are people scheduled at the right times, and do we have the rooms booked that we need?
For an animation project, “production” might look like an animator getting started on their work. More often, production consists of one or more often, several, shoot days in which we capture the footage we planned in previous steps.
Finally, the post-production process is where the narrative and final look of the video come together. We’ll typically have four rounds of revisions in our videos. First, we hone the footage from our interviews into a narrative that covers the key themes and messages we talked about in our Strategy phase – this will look like a “talking head” video, and get two rounds of revisions. Next, we color correct, add the supporting footage called b-roll, music, and graphics according to brand standards. These also get two rounds of revisions.
Most video production companies start at Step Four, and leave companies to figure out everything before that themselves. If you’re already there, that’s great, but for many businesses representing their brand with video for the first time, the guidance that a video agency like Skillman Video Group offers allows them to make content that not focused and purposeful but also shows the world who they uniquely are.
To get started with your project, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.