The Ultimate Video Post-Production Checklist
Do you have everything you need to produce an exceptional video? Are you sure? You have to consider sound quality, meet copyright guidelines, get the formats right… With so many moving parts, it’s easy to lose track of something vital.
But don’t panic, we have a tool for that.
The ultimate video post-production checklist will help you make sure you have all the details worked out. At the end of this blog, you can download a simplified video post-production checklist.
How to use the post-production checklist
Let’s be clear. Nothing on this list should be new to you. You’ve probably thought about and made decisions around every element of this list at various stages throughout the production process. But the post-production checklist serves as your final quality check.
Even if you’ve thought about all of this before, this is your opportunity to double-check your work. Don’t just check the boxes. Stop and think about each one so you can be sure that you’re producing a high-quality video that launches your message into orbit.
1. Get your story straight
Story is the most vital element of your video. It’s what captures viewer attention and makes them keep watching. For live action video, the choices you make in final editing can make or break your story. Make sure that your editing and post-production team are crystal clear on the story you’re trying to tell. Give them the tools they need including:
- shot list
These guides help them stay focused on the story and make decisions that let it shine through. If you’re working on an animated video, you probably have the story elements well established. But be careful if you’re creating a shorter version of your video. Make sure the story still carries through.
Pro tip: A shot list is a list of shots that you particularly like and want to see included in the final edit. When creating your shot list, remember that story should always come first. It’s better to remove an amazing shot than to let it detract from your story.
2. Invest in quality sound design
If you’re creating an animation, you’ll likely record voice over early on and then add sound effects and music in post-production. For live-action, audio may be recorded during the shoot or added in post. Either way, make sure that the quality of the audio matches the quality of your video. Select or record music and sound effects that help tell the story, but don’t overdo it. Audio should support the overall story, not detract from it.
- Sound effects
Pro tip: Music and voiceover can add richness to your video, but don’t rely on it too heavily. Videos are often watched without sound, especially on social media sites. According to Digiday 85 percent of Facebook video views happen with the sound off. So include those amazing sound effects, but make sure the story still works without them.
3. Confirm brand alignment
Hopefully, you started it with a vision for how this video would represent your brand. You may have included some branding elements in the video itself, for example, by using an animated mascot or dressing the presenter in brand colors. In post-production, check that your brand still shines through and nothing was lost during the production process. At a bare minimum you should make sure that your video includes the following:
- Splash screen
- Contact information
Pro tip: It’s possible to go overboard with branding. Don’t let it detract from the story you’re trying to tell.
4. Identify a CTA
It’s easy for viewers to finish watching your video and immediately scroll to the next thing in their feed or click away to a different part of your site. Keep them focused on your message by including a call to action.
Tell viewers exactly what you want them to do. For example: Buy now, follow us, read more, call today. Then give them an easy way to do it. Include your web address or other relevant contact information in the video so viewers can easily take the action you suggest.
Many video sharing platforms, including YouTube, allow you to embed a CTA directly into the video. If you have access to this technology, use it. Don’t rely just on the write-up on your social media or website. It’s possible that your video alone will be shared, so make sure the relevant information is visible.
Pro Tip: Your CTA should be a single, simple action. Giving people options might seem like a good idea on the surface, but when you provide too many options, most people will take the simplest action of all: doing nothing.
5. Double-check legal
Double and triple-check that you’ve met all legal requirements for your video. Get legal releases or contracts signed by anyone featured in the video. Also, make sure that you have evidence to support any claims you make. Show your raw footage to your legal department or a lawyer specializing in marketing to catch any issues before they cause problems.
- Talent releases
- Music releases
- Other media releases
- Evidence to prove your claims
Pro tip: Pay special attention to legal matters if you’re working in a regulated industry, for example, pharmaceuticals or medical devices. These industries have strict guidelines about the claims you can make and what disclaimers you need to include.
6. Assess video quality
When you think your video is done, share it with members of the team and maybe even with a few select end users. Ask them to look for quality issues. Can they easily follow the story? Is the video engaging? Is it too long or too short? Does the music complement the voiceover, or detract from it? Does the quality of the sound match the quality of the video? Now is the time to spot issues, before your video is widely distributed.
Make sure your video is:
- The right length
- Of consistent quality
Pro Tip: If you do find quality issues, do your best to give targeted feedback to your team. Saying the video doesn’t “feel right” isn’t very useful feedback. You’re much better off saying, “this music is too cheerful when we’re presenting the solution to a serious problem.” This type of targeted feedback gets better results.
7. Export in the right video format
Export your video in the correct format and aspect ratio. Different social media and hosting platforms have different criteria for video formatting. Make sure your file type and dimensions meet platform requirements and reads well in all formats so that your video appears at the highest possible quality.
Pro Tip: 16×9 (vertical) and 9×16 (horizontal) are the most common video aspect ratios. If you export a 1080p or above video in those dimensions, your video should look good on most platforms.
When to use this post-production checklist
Use this post-production checklist to create a quality video every time. We’ve created a downloadable version that you can customize to meet your needs for each video. Grab it and start organizing your post-production process. Then check out the Ultimate Video Promotion Checklist to help your target audience discover your video.