Timeframes, scale and production values

Video production can be a quick and effective process or it can be time-consuming. Your video will be a worthwhile project if it achieves the intended outcomes with in a "reasonable time frame" and at a "reasonable cost". Therefore it is always worthwhile to properly plan your video and to manage the production process accordingly.

What is a "reasonable time frame" for video production?

The time invested in producing your video should not outweigh the impact of your video.
The impact of your video can be considered in terms of:

  • The size of your audience and/or;
  • The potential lifespan of your video.

The lifespan of your video is the duration of time for which you make your video available for view and the duration it maintains currency i.e., how long it remains useful, topical, current or relevant. The lifespan of your video will usually impact the size of your audience: the longer your video is topical, the more likely it will be viewed by higher numbers of people. Hence in terms of time and effort, it probably wouldn't be a wise investment to spend three weeks creating a video that will only be viewed by five people and only viewed once before it ceases to be of use.

Video should not be overly burdensome on your workload. It should lighten your workload, if not initially, then certainly in the long run. It is advisable to seek advice or guidance from specialist staff, particularly if you are new to video production and you are concerned about managing your video project. Specialist staff can help to guide you and ensure you achieve your intended objectives in the most efficient way possible.

Consider the following:

  • What production quality should you be aiming for?
  • How long should it take to produce? Minutes/hours/days/weeks etc.
  • How long is the intended lifespan of your video?
  • Can you make sustainable choices in the production process to reduce the production time, cost or to extend the potential lifespan of your video?

What do we mean by video production quality and what are the expectations?

Production quality can apply to every aspect of the video including the content. However, the term production quality mostly refers to the technical quality of the video, particularly with respect to two key areas:

  • Audio (sounds and sound control)
    • Device choice: Different types of microphones are used to capture different types of sound.
    • Controlling audio levels – the volume of each sound in relation to other sounds (e.g., the volume of a person's voice, which should generally always be clearly audible over any background or environmental sounds e.g. a busy road in the background.)
    • Directorial choices:
      • Subject's voices/tone/volume
      • Sounds from objects that help to convey meaning
      • Environmental sounds that convey important meaning, and
      • "Noise" (unwanted distractive sounds that do not convey meaning or add value to the production e.g., the air conditioner or fan in the room.)
    • Suggested devices and formats: View more information on this topic
  • Vision (what can be seen by the viewer at any given time)
    • Device choice: different cameras bring different levels of quality to the vision; e.g., standard definition web cameras will produce lower quality images with fewer pixels than high definition web cameras.)
    • Directorial choices: framing, zooming, panning etc. and how these help to convey intended meaning to the viewer.
    • Suggested devices and formats: View more information on this topic

There are several things a video producer can do to improve the quality of audio and vision.

It is important to appreciate that there is no expectation for videos to be of "broadcast quality". This is the quality that is achieved by full-time professionals with specialist crews and equipment, and this would not be a viable or sustainable expectation. However, it is still important to try to create and produce videos that are of a reasonable quality for their intended purpose.