1. Preproduction v
vp1-1. Five skills
vp1-3. Keeping track
vp1-4. First impression
vp1-5. Successful scouting
vp1-6. Words of wisdom
vp2-1. Five production skills
vp2-2. Pep talk
vp2-6. Words of wisdom
vp3-1. Five skills
vp3-3. Grading and graphics
vp3-6. Words of wisdom
vp3-6. Words of wisdom
At this point, the most important thing is to check your work before sending it out. We cover that from a variety of angles.
What you will learn
You’ll learn the importance of outputting and reviewing your movie on different platforms in different lighting and having professionals and lay audiences double-check your work.
At some point, you’ll want to check how your movie will look to viewers. Output, upload, and watch it on as many devices as possible. Review each device in different lighting situations.
Yes, it is a big effort, but it is the only way to know how it might look. This gives you a first-hand look at making adjustments and seeing what the viewer sees.
And obviously, how the audience views, it is what counts. Compare the results to the original, so you can learn to estimate adjustments.
Make Sure the ‘Final Script’ is Final
Double-check everything, especially the text. Then have someone else double-check what you double-checked.
You absolutely, positively want to have that final script proofread and fact-checked before your final narration or translation. Trust me. You can not imagine how long just changing one word can take.
A documentary I worked on for a year, Venice Souvenir, was finally finished.
I am watching the final version, and within the first few minutes, during the Boardwalk story, I narrate, “On the other side of the Boardwalk, you can rent space and sell your artwork.”
I realize that you don’t rent the space. It’s available for free. I set up the microphone, narrated, imported, adjusted, and replaced one line. It took over 12 hours to redo and have a new "final version."
The moral of the story: double-check early. Double-check often.
Four Eyes Are Better Than Two
Fixing mistakes after all is done can double and triple your postproduction time. Likewise, fixing mistakes before encoding can avoid time-consuming do-overs.
The sooner you find and correct mistakes, the less time you’ll be wasting. Get into the habit of double-checking all your work at every stage.
Nowhere is this more important than the final review before sending it out. However, even before that, you might become stale. And because you know your material so well, you will be the last person to notice faults.
Consider hiring an outside editor to watch your movie and provide notes and comments. Have them watch for continuity. Can they follow the storyline easily? Do they get a sense that something is missing anywhere?
Helpful comments can include
“It needs a close-up here.”
“It needs an establishing shot there.”
“Shorten this scene.”
“Cut down this speaker.”
Consider them a consultant. They make the suggestions, and you do the work. The more you edit, the better you will become.
So, the film is done. You’ve double and triple-checked everything. You even hired a professional editor to review your work and make the adjustments.
Everything is perfect. Don’t send it out just yet. Big movie companies spend a lot of money on test screenings. That means they show audiences their films, get feedback and then make more adjustments.
You can do the same cheaply. Have a ‘pre-release’ party and show your movie. While playing, notice if anyone falls asleep or checks their email.
The movie ends. Everyone wants you to succeed. They are there to help.
After watching your movie, if the audience wants to see more, that’s good. If they wish they had seen less, that’s bad. And if you have to wake them up, keep your day job or find a different audience.
There you have it. A thoroughly double-checked movie, and it still needs changes. More editing, outputting, encoding, and uploading. So mull it over. If you agree with the audience, then make the changes.
Keep in mind no film is ever finished. However, at some point, enough is enough. Life has to move on. And it’s time to start telling, and maybe selling, your video story.