There is nothing worse than walking into something without knowing what to expect. Nonetheless, many people walk right into the unknown when dealing with video production contractors. As I mentioned in my last post the process is part of the conversation you should have when you sit down with a producer. And I’m going to lay it out for you right here.  


In the Pre-Production period, the goal for both the producer and the client is to set each other up for success. This is the most important part of the process. There is a saying in the film industry: you make your movie in pre-production. 

The producer will provide an outline, or script, from which to work. This document should originate from the initial consultation and subsequent conversations you have had. The key for you as a client is to approve the outline, or script, with the understanding that this is where you have the most control over what will be on screen. You want to ensure your mission will be accurately portrayed. You also want to ensure that your campaign goals are being met through this outline/script.

Beyond creating an outline/script that is compelling and meets the client’s mission and goals, the producer will be planning how to execute the concept. Locations will be scouted, the equipment secured, the crew hired, and the scheduling will be finalized. If the project requires interviews, the producer may conduct pre-interviews, which are essentially a chance to brief the interviewee on the content of the interview.

Pre-Production is usually about 2-3 weeks.


Well, this one is simple. The Production period constitutes the days in which the producer executes the video recordings.  It is a good idea to have a representative of your organization (ie. a Communications, Marketing, or Development contact) on set on production days. It is best if this person has been the go-to contact for the producer and is fully knowledgeable of the concept. Sometimes interesting messaging opportunities arise during Production and you will want to have a staffer on set that can approve or help identify them.

Production is usually 1-2 days.


In the Post-Production period, the movie gets assembled with all of its elements. The producer will likely oversee the editing process. But they might not necessarily perform the edit themselves. The elements that comprise the final movie are the executed video recordings, graphics, photos, music, and your organization’s branding.

Once an edit has been assembled, you should expect to review it with flexibility to request revisions. You want to give clear and concise feedback the first time since you will only have the chance to tidy up the video with minor edits after the first round of revisions. Nothing muddies a revision process like having several people communicating feedback to the producer. Appoint one person to deliver the information all at once, even if it requires a quick communications staff meeting to hammer out all of the points. This will ensure a more fluid process for all parties involved.  

Post-Production usually takes 2-3 weeks.

I hope this was helpful in making you feel more comfortable with the filmmaking process. I have also provided a graphical document you can download to keep in your back pocket. Click here to download.