My Creative Process and the Balance
First off let me say that I have had the opportunity to work alongside some great collaborators who all have a different processes or steps that they take to get to the goal of a project. Over the years of my career as an Event Videographer or starting out as an AC or PA I have seen some silly ways to get to an end result and then some creative ways as well. So this is just a little of what I've picked up with my experiences and may or may not always work for you. You've been warned...
Identify the Goals (Pre Production)
To identify the goal of the video, whether it be a product that a company is trying to sell or an idea the process remains the same, it always starts with the message. Having a message to convey or a point to the video is key and is a basic fundamental to marketing. The 5 W's are a great foundation for this - Who, What, Where, Why and When.
Once I have established the goals I then take under consideration 3 points
1. content of the video - i.e. dynamics, logistics, etc.
2. length of the video- how long the video will need to be to express its point, in most cases that's usually a minute or so for a rough draft.
3. The videos tone- will it be informative, humorous, what is the best tone to convey the message.
After these steps I then continue on with a script development
Script Development (Still Pre Production)
Dialogue is one of my favorite things to do during the scriptwriting process, however this step can sometimes be the most strenuous of them all when it comes to the blend of the message that I am trying to convey. (70% message 30% entertainment etc.)
Nice thing about working writing on a laptop these days, less paper piling up near the waste basket. Before I feel that I've nailed down the script I usually go through draft after draft. Of course it helps when you have someone to proofread for you, but then again that's what auto correct is for, Thanks siri. When Im writing I always leave wiggle room for improv but always making sure that the framework of the script is intact.
Storyboarding (Yup...Pre Production)
So I use to make this really bad analogy that storyboarding is like being waterboarded, hear me out, you're sitting in a chair trying to come up with a direction of a a design of an idea of... you get it and then creating it on paper. Usually you have an idea already what you want the look and feel to be at this point. However, you never know 100% if its being conveyed correctly. I don't know maybe it's just me but once this process is completed then I feel like I can breathe and get to my most favorite part of the process.
So based on the script, whether I have written it or not, I begin to create the storyboards using a previsual application, either using ShotPro from the Apple Store or using the industry standard Cine Designer which I highly recommend. Some of my clients love being able to see more of a detailed previs of what the the final product may look like afterwards which is why I love using Previs even if it takes some extra time.
Production to Post (Finally!)
So after nailing down all the prepodution steps and taking care of the logistics like, locations, actors, equipment checklist, etc it is now time to film. In some cases I will have a crew to help film on locations or in studio, however this hasn't been the case with recent projects. Which can be just as strenuous as the writing process but enjoyable.
Once this is completed, the B-Roll is all filmed and our message is gathered together on the camera it's time to head to post to sculpt together all the steps that have been made thus far.
Each step has its own balancing act to perform because you don’t want one thing to distract from another. For example, logistics should never outweigh the quality of the work, such things should go hand in hand which of course takes a balance.