How to Produce an Explainer Video
Once your company has decided to commission an animation video there are a number of steps involved between getting budget approval to final deliver of the video. This article will demonstrate a practical approach to producing animated explainer videos. We will concentrate on explainer video production, however the principles apply equally to other forms of video production including corporate videos, tv commercials and infomercials.
Although the process can become very detailed and intensive we have deliberately aimed to simplify the workflow into the following three simple phases.
Explainer Video Production
PHASE 1: PRE-PRODUCTION
The pre-production phase is often over-looked but is one of the most important steps and is worth spending time on brief/script development. This is where the purpose of the video is established and establishes the framework for the whole production.
Designing a Brief
Describe the concept you have in mind, how many videos you are after, what general feel you would like to create.
Also provide a description about your company, where you sit in the market, who your competition is and what separates you from the others. The more information you provide here will allow the production company to understand how the videos can help your business.
Some questions to ask yourself include:
Who is your target market?
What is the purpose of the video and your call-to-action? eg. increase sign-ups, improve brand awareness etc.
How will the video be distributed?
What is the budget for the video?
When do you need the video completed by?
This involves brainstorming with all involved production staff. Different ideas are suggested and analysed to determine which idea best addresses the issues identified in the client brief. It is important to ask yourself, “Is animation the best tool to satisfy our brief and if so should the video be character based, text based, music based or a combination of all three?”
A storyboard is a graphical representation of the key scenes in the video. It will show the setting, characters, what actions are to take place and when. The storyboard can be detailed and include a scene by scene depiction or a simpler version highlighting the major scenes
When creating your storyboard determine a timeline and establish the key scenes that are to occur throughout your story. Think about how best to get your message across in these key scenes using the characters and actions determined in the concept creation stage.
The success of an Animated video is largely dependent on the quality of the script. If you do not feel comfortable writing your own script consider employing a professional copywriter to help get your message across in the most efficient and effective manner. Remember the script should be easy to understand and straight to the point.
PHASE 2: PRODUCTION
Create the background and general elements of the explainer video. This will include the introduction, branding (eg. logos, contact details etc.) and soundtrack. Laying these down on the timeline in your chosen software will form the backbone of the story in which you can overlay characters, text and symbols.
If your explainer video production is driven by a voice over it is helpful to record the voice over first. This will allow you have the voice over on your timeline and adjust the timing of the animated scenes as you create them.
Create the animation
Depending on the complexity of your video the animation can be created using templates or DIY animation services. If the animation is unique and detailed it is often best to employ a professional motion graphics editor or production company to create the your animation. This can be a time-consuming phase of the production and paying a professional can save you days, if not, weeks of trial and error.
Mix the Audio
Combine the voice over, the soundtrack and any sound effects to drive the flow of the video animation. Ensure that the audio track is synchronised with the change of scenes and length of the final video.
PHASE 3: DISTRIBUTION
Output the video file
What type of video file to be output will be decided by the method of delivery chosen.
Output the explainer video from the editing software to create either a digital file such as mp4 or quicktime, or in a Blu-Ray/DVD-friendly format.
For online viewing a digital mp4 file is the most versatile format. The video can either be self-hosted on your website or uploaded to video hosting sites such as Youtube and Vimeo. The video can be embedded and shared on blogs, websites and social media channels. Digital files can also be easily transferred to usb thumb drives for quick distribution.
Blu-ray/DVD can be created for offline viewing. These can be delivered to your target market with branded labels and covers.
Encore Media has an experienced team of explainer video producers, artists and editors to help create an awesome video for your company. Contact our team to get started on your next production. Call 1300 189 700 or email at info (at) encoremedia.net.au