Q: We are a research organisation and we need to produce a series of training videos. I need to know a bit more about the steps in production we can expect.
A: One of the most important things about making training videos is making sure that their content is thorough.
Every step-by-step process of what your are teaching must be explained in explicit detail.
What do they need to know and how are they going to learn it?
You must make sure the information your provide is detailed yet accessible.
Whatever you do, don’t make it unnecessarily complicated – keep it simple.
These considerations must start with the script writing process and continue into the storyboard process and shoot.
Writing the script for training videos
Some things to remember when writing the script for training videos:
> What may be obvious to you will not be obvious to others.
You will know what you are describing inside and out – whereas those who are watching your training videos will be seeing it for the first time.
> The script must be accessible and easy to understand
But not patronizing. Though you should keep it descriptive and simple – it shouldn’t insult the intelligence of your staff.
> The importance of the script should not be underestimated
The script is the engine of the training video. If the script isn’t right, then none of the other stages of production will be.
A storyboard is a selection of images detailing the shot-by-shot structure of the video.
It should be seen as the ‘visual guide’ for the video’s production.
The storyboard itself should use the script as its blueprint.
When both the script and the storyboard have been completed – and have been approved by all those involved with the video’s production – then the shoot of the training videos can begin.
Shooting the video
This depends on the length of the video and the type of training that’s taking place.
You may not need to ‘shoot’ a video at all.
If it’s a software training video or something of that nature, then a video based on shots of the program may be better as it:
> will not deviate from the content of your training message
> and will be cheaper.
Producing a training video for something that is physical and away from the computer screen – however – will probably require an actual camera and crew shoot.
For this, planning really is the key.
A production schedule will be needed – and this is something you have to stick to.
Any deviation from the schedule will be costly in both time and money.
Make sure the director of the shoot is experienced enough to know what they’re doing – and that they can back up their words with actions.
Though a technically difficult process – as long as writing the script, making the storyboard and doing the shoot went well then this part of the production should naturally fall into place.
But the post-production has to be done professionally.
The post-production involves editing, sound and the implementation of visual effects (such as graphics, animations, titles etc.).
If this isn’t done correctly then all of the hard work you have done previous to this will be worthless – so make sure you have a post-production schedule.
But do it correctly and you will have something you can be truly proud of.
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