how to make a video

How to Make a Video Using the 5 Stages of Video Production

Written by: Amy Hummel, Video Director


Making a video is not as simple as hitting record and rendering out an end product. You need to have a plan.

Whether you want to create something as small as a how-to video or something as big as a blockbuster movie, you have to formulate a plan that will address the cost of the production, the quality, the skills needed to create and complete the project, what you are communicating to the audience, how you are working with your crew, and your projected ROI.

In order to do all this, you must strategically work through the 5 stages of video production.


1. Development

In development, you have three main objectives. First, you have to generate an idea. Most likely, if you’re even thinking about making a video, you already have an idea generated. Maybe it’s just a log line (one sentence that describes your story.) or maybe you have pages of notes specifically outlining what you want to create. 

The next step of development is to write a compelling story. This is your chance to expand on your idea and literally sit down and type or write out your story as you envision it. Finally, it’s time to pitch the developed idea to your boss, production company, family member, or whoever is paying for the production.

In my case, there have been a handful of times where I had to just ask my manager to trust me. Putting an idea down on paper is not as easy as it seems. For me, the creative moments are happening in my head. I can see exactly what a scene is going to look like and how to balance everything in a shot. But, to put that down on paper is tough. You have to find a way to show someone who may not have that creative flair, or just wants to know the details of your idea.


2. Pre-Production

Pre-production is a beast. If you have hit the pre-production stage, congratulations! You have funding and a green light to move forward. Now comes a lot of hard work.

In pre-production, you will:

  • Hire a crew
  • Scout Location
  • Storyboard
  • Cast
  • Script Breakdown
  • Rehearse
  • Budget
  • Plan, plan, plan


3. Production

In production you are trying to accomplish three things: lighting the event, shooting the video for the event, and recording the audio for the event. At Leverage, we are lucky enough to have an in-house studio with plenty of controlled lighting. Still, we often shoot on-location and have to go with whatever lighting we have – the regular lighting of the room or occasional daylight lighting. This changes depending on your location. Shooting the video brings all of your storyboarding to life. Consider camera angles, zooms, pans, close-ups and wide shots, etc. For audio, we always record on multiple devices to ensure good quality audio and so we have a backup copy.


4. Post Production

If you were to walk by my desk on an average day, there’s a good chance you’d see me working on something that looks like this:

how to make a video

This is Adobe Premiere Pro Editing Software. Looks overwhelming, but it’s my absolute favorite stage of the production cycle. I love editing. I love seeing a story come together. It’s so satisfying.


In this stage I’m editing the story, piecing everything together, cutting out the bad, enhancing the good, adjusting color and editing sound. If you have ever been on camera with me, you’ve probably noticed that I almost always have two cameras rolling. They are recording the same thing, just at a different angle. I do this so if you’re in the middle of a great story and you mess up, or it goes really well with what you said in a previous spot, I can cut the footage, grab the secondary camera footage, piece the two together and the viewer has no idea that there was a cut! Stay tuned for a more in-depth post on editing in the future.


5. Distribution

For Leverage, distribution is all about getting the video out there for our followers and customers to see. We post all of our videos on Youtube,  multiple social media channels, and add many of them to our website. The more places your video lives, the more chance people have to view it. 

So there you have it. A simple breakdown of the 5 stages of video production.


Still sound overwhelming? Leverage us to easily ensure each stage of video production is completed with an exact degree of excellence.


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