Prep packed up! Filming finished! Now it’s time for your editing stage, also known as “post-production”.
Post-production is where you pick which shots you’ll use, assemble them, and add any graphics, animations, or captions you want in your final video. In a perfect world, this would be simple. But in reality, it’s almost always the longest phase. Lighting and audio may vary between shots, and you’ll have to correct them. Or transitions you thought would make sense, don’t. The more careful you are during pre-production and production, the faster this phase will go.
How to Prep for Post-Production Success
Before you think about editing, it’s time to get organized. Create a folder for the project and name each file using the same convention, such as “Project name – item name – date”. Trust us. You don’t want to have to go digging, wondering what the heck “Video123” is for.
As an editor, you’re likely super detail-oriented, but try not to get bogged down in perfection. When editing business video content, don’t worry about every little ‘um’ and ‘ah.’ Sometimes those human elements can add to the personal connection video offers as a medium.
You may not need all these steps, but we find this workflow helpful when getting ready for post-production.
- Upload video to your editing software.
- Trim clips as needed.
- Arrange clips in the right order.
- Add your effects if you’re using them.
- Get feedback from fresh eyes.
- Edit your audio.
- Do color correction.
- Export and save multiple copies.
The Editing Process
Now that you have a basic overview of the workflow, let’s break it down so you have all the information you need to start putting together your video content.
Upload Your Raw Video Footage
Before you import your footage, make sure it’s all organized in somewhere easily accessible on your computer. That way, uploading is quick and easy.
If you want to make your life even easier, name each clip something unique that tells you what is included within that file. That way, even though the thumbnails might be hard to see, you know which file you’re moving around without having to actually preview it.
Once you’ve got your raw footage straightened out, import the media into your video editor. This should be as easy as dragging and dropping, but it depends on the software you’re using.
Important note: if you have any graphics, audio-only files, or other video elements you need imported upload them as well. It’s easy to edit when you have all your assets at your disposal from the very start.
It’s time to start trimming, right? Well, not quite.
You need to make sure the aspect ratios and resolutions are consistent across all your footage. The most common aspect ratios are fullscreen (4:3) and widescreen (16:9). If you have clips that use different aspect ratios, you will need to edit one group to fit the other. This shouldn’t be an issue if you used the same camera to shoot all your footage, but if you filmed some screen share video, that might be 16:9, but the video from your camera may be 4:3.
The same is true for resolution. 1080p and 720p are the most common, with 4K becoming more and more normalized. You can shrink higher resolution video down, but you can’t do the opposite, or else you’ll make your image really grainy. Ideally, everything you shoot will be at least 1080p, but don’t be afraid to shrink a 1080p clip if you need to match up with some 720p footage.
Trim Your Clips
Okay, now it’s time to start trimming. Watch through all your footage and see what needs to be removed. Basically, you’re going to want to cut anything that you don’t want your audience to see. This might include the start of a video where you’re getting everyone set up, or the end of a video when your subject asks, “Was that good?”
Hopefully, you shot more than you needed during production, so there’s a lot of shots and clips to choose from.
If you come across any funny bloopers, you might not want to cut them completely. Instead, you could cut them out of your main clip and drag them to the end of the timeline to create a blooper reel as well.
It’s Time to Arrange Your Clips
Now that you have your clips all cleaned up, it’s time to assemble them. Keep your storyboard and script close so you can make sure your video timeline matches up. Once your clips are arranged in the proper order, watch through again and see how the scenes flow.
You might find that you want to trim some more to improve the pacing. You also might need to sync up your audio with the video. This is most common if you recorded a demo or an audio voiceover and all your audio was recorded independently of your video.
Don’t forget to add your intro and outro if you have one. Whether these have your own personal branding on them or your company’s, they help differentiate your content from videos in the same vein. If this is the first time you’ve made intro and outro files, make sure you save them so you can use them next time!
Add Effects to Your Videos
When you think of effects, you might think of big-budget movie special effects or fancy transitions. But really, effects are anything visual that appears over top of your footage, which can include graphics, speaker titles, images of your product, animations, or transitions.
Effects open up a ton of possibilities to improve the visuals of your video but can sometimes be tricky to implement. We recommend first thinking about what your effect will be used for and what you want it to look like, and then take a look at how to insert them into your video using your editing platform.
For transitions, the simpler, the better. Sometimes, you might want something really cool, but for most videos, simple fade-ins and fade-outs will be your best bet.
Time for Review and Feedback
Once you think you’ve finished the rough cut, get someone to provide some feedback. It’s always hard to judge your own work—you might look at it too favorably, or maybe you’re too hard on yourself.
Even if you’re on a tight deadline or a seasoned video creator, always get someone to take a look. You might also need to send the video to your supervisor for approval.
Edit the Audio
Editing audio is similar to editing video. You can trim, cut, or copy anything you want, and you can add audio effects if that’s something you’re interested in. However, it’s likely that you’ve already got your audio matched up with your video at this point, and you have everything in the right place now.
However, there still might be some audio editing you need to do. Here are a few things you can do to level up your audio:
- Smooth out the audio levels. You should be able to see when your audio spikes throughout your video. This happens when there’s a loud noise, and that might be too much for your audience to handle. The process for adjusting the spike is slightly different in every editing software, but you should be able to highlight just the spike and adjust the gain to the desired level. This will make your audio much smoother!
- Correct the sound. There might be some sound you need to remove. If you used B-roll footage, make sure to mute the audio associated with that track (unless you decide to use it, of course). There also might be some ambient background noise that you can remove with the “background noise reduction” tool that most editors have. If you need to cover up something like a cough or sneeze, you can take a short clip of “room tone” (the quiet baseline sound for that audio track) and use that to replace the noise. If you can’t isolate or remove an annoying noise, you can always…
- Add music. Music can add a layer of polish to your video, and there are tons of awesome royalty-free tracks out there. You might want to consider using rock or electronic music for adding emotion and alternative, classical, or smooth jazz for supplementing a speaker. With intros and outros, you have a bit more freedom, but you want something fun and memorable. Just remember to fade the music when someone is talking or at the end of the video.
- Add sound effects. Adding a couple of sound effects can draw your audience’s attention to new graphics that appear on screen. Just keep it subtle, and don’t overdo it.
Correct the Color
This isn’t always needed, but it might be worth playing around with. For example, by increasing the saturation or the contrast of your video, you can make it pop. Color-correction can also be a great way to make your clips look more cohesive if they were shot in different environments. By using adjustment layers, you can fine-tune the saturation, color temperature, and exposure.
You can also use color grading (where you skew the color intentionally) to create a specific mood. By making your video slightly redder, you can create an atmosphere of action, or you can skew your footage bluer to make it seem more dramatic.
Save and Export
Make sure you’re saving throughout your editing process. Editing software doesn’t always crash, but it’s not something you want to risk. Make sure all your raw files and the project file itself are saved somewhere secure, like an external hard drive or a secure shared drive.
Once your video is all done, it’s time to export. Export it at the highest quality you can (usually 1080p, but 720p is acceptable), and choose the file type (such as MP4 or MOV). Now, kick back and wait for the video to finish rendering. Congrats, your video is done!
How A Video Platform Can Help
Once you have your final video content. You need a place for it to live. Platforms like Vimeo or YouTube work great and should be part of your video distribution strategy, but what if you want to get more ROI from your content? That’s where a video platform built for business can help.
Video platforms offer a single, central space for hosting, sharing, organizing, and tracking your videos. Marketers can upload everything for distribution across the website, landing pages, and emails. Your sales team can record, share, and track who’s viewed their outreach videos. With video hubs you can create and organize topic or vertical-specific content for prospects, employees, or salespeople. And robust integrations let you pull video view data back into your CRM and MAP systems.
Video platforms put all your hard work to work together and get those videos out into the world so you can see the benefits.
Not Too Hard, Right?
I know we’ve thrown a lot of information at you, but once you get into it, it’ll all start to make sense. Just be patient with yourself as you learn; it takes time to get good at this sort of stuff.
Post-production can take some time, sometimes it can be annoying, but once it’s done, you’ll have this shiny new piece of content you can share with the world, which makes it all worth it. And if you need a refresher on post-production tips and best practices as you edit, you know where to find us.