Lost In Post-Production? A First-Time Client’s Guide To Drafts, Feedback, And Getting The Most Out Of Your Video
We’ve finished filming and your video’s been sent to the editing room. What next?
After filming is done, we move onto the editing stage of the post-production process.
At this point, we should have a very clear vision of what we’ll be creating (as determined by the creative brief), but there are always some smaller creative decisions to consider in the editing process. If you’ve never worked with a video production company before, you might feel a little nervous about providing feedback. We try to guide our clients through this process as much as possible to help you through the learning curve. We’ll have a series of different touchpoints with your team to ensure the final video is everything you’d hoped for.
This is the third of our four-part blog series for first-time clients. We’re covering all the details you might want to know before you get started on a project with us, from pre-production, film day, post-production, and FAQs. If you’re just stumbling upon this post, we recommend you go check out part one, New to Video? A First-Time Client’s Guide to The Pre-Production Process.
Here are five key steps of the post-production process to know about?
1. Receiving your first draft.
For most projects, we take 2-4 weeks to complete a rough draft of your video.
If we’re missing some fine details or additional graphics, our project manager will contact you for clarifications. A very common clarification we’ll ask for is job title listings for interviewees, so getting that information to us from the jump will help make our post-production process go smoothly.
The first draft we’ll send you is the ‘main’ or most complex video in your package. We like to make sure that we can fine-tune this video before doing smaller cutdowns or additional versions (if they’re included in your package).
2. Providing feedback.
When reviewing drafts, we ask that you quickly (but thoroughly) look through the video and provide feedback.
Here are some common points of helpful feedback we receive from clients, with some prompts to guide your notes:
Does the flow of information feel natural? Does anything feel missing, out of order, or unclear? Can you identify any changes that would help resolve any narrative inconsistencies you’ve noticed?
Do featured interviewees contribute to the larger narrative structure? Do any quotes feel used out of context, or do any anecdotes require further explanation?
Choices of clips used:
Does B roll match narration and audio? Do any scenes or characters feel like they have too much or not enough air time?
Do transitions match the overall style of your video?
Are titles accurate and legible? Does typography match the overall style of your video and brand?
How do volume and tempo feel? Do music choices match the tone and aesthetics of your overall video style and brand?
Please note that we can change most things, but will not be able to do a re-shoot of any content without amendment to your contract terms. For each project, we have a cap out of available “re-edit hours.” We make sure to estimate the necessary editing hours for each project to be a number that’s high enough to be unlikely to hit.
We’ll give you a warning if we’re getting close to your allotted hours, at which point we can talk about additional options. This would be a scenario that typically only happens if the desired video is significantly different from details planned out in pre-production. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to voice any and all concerns you may have in the pre-production stage so there are no big surprises when we get to post-production.
3. Receiving your second draft.
After we receive your first round of feedback, we’ll recut your video and send a second draft for another round of fine-tuning.
We’re usually able to change any final details and produce the final cut from here, but we may create a few more small iterations, depending on the scope of the project. We like to make sure you’re very happy with the final video.
4. Final delivery.
When your project is complete, we’ll send all of the final deliverables to you online in an .mp4 format.
We ask that you download these as soon as you receive them, as we may remove them from our Drive storage or rearrange them a few weeks after project completion. You should be able to upload these files to most social media platforms, YouTube, or Vimeo. If you have specific requirements for aspect ratios or codecs, we can typically deliver these too, but please note that file formatting is often something agreed upon in the pre-production process.
You may have purchased an additional option to have all raw footage sent to you. We will do this by loading all of your content onto an external hard drive, which we’ll mail to one address. You’re free to keep this hard drive, but we recommend backing it up to a computer so it doesn’t get lost. The hard drives will be exFat format, which means they can be accessed on mac or PCs. You’re free to use the raw clips for anything you like in the future!
You also have rights to use our final videos for any internal or commercial purposes. The only exception is that you can’t re-edit any of our final videos and redistribute them commercially. This is due to the licenses attached to royalty-free music or clips that were likely used in your video. Our team is available to answer any questions you might have about how you may or may not use your final video.
5. Let us know what you think.
After your project is wrapped, we’ll send you the final invoice and also share a feedback form to share about your experience.
We take your feedback seriously and appreciate your honesty. We review feedback as a team and continuously improve our production process based on your input.
Still have questions about our production process? Read the final blog post in our series for first-time clients, Dazed and Confused? FAQs for First-Time Video Production Clients.
Feeling ready to launch your next video project?