Why Every Good Video Needs Development

by Craig Dehut November 18, 2015
November 18, 2015


I have recently moved into the role of Director of Production Development at 12 Stars Media. When my title is given, it’s not uncommon for me to get those polite, slow head nods, paired with slightly confused expressions. I get it, I really do. What in the world is development?

It’s easy enough to understand the “Production” part of video production. That’s when the cameras and lights and mics come out and the magic is made! But for many, the concept of “Development” in video production may not be quite as clear.

Every phase matters

Every good video is broken up into five phases: Development, Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and Distribution. Hollywood does this. Television does this. You need to do this.

While each phase deserves it’s own blog post, put simply: if you fail to dedicate the appropriate amount of time and resources to any of these five phases, the quality of your video will suffer. Each phase is necessary and each phase must be completed in order.

What is development?

Development is digging down beyond the “I want to make a video” and asking honestly “why do I want to make a video?” The vision of your entire production is determined in this phase. Skip past Development and you risk either telling a story that your audience won’t understand or (worse still) telling a story that your audience won’t care about.

Creating a story

Before you pull the cameras out in the Production phase; before you even start scheduling your shoots or prepping your talent in the Pre-Production phase, give your project the proper Development by asking yourself these questions:

– Why am I making a video and not simply taking a photograph or writing a blog?

– Who is my audience and why should they care?

– What am I trying to communicate to my audience?

– What do I want my audience to do after watching my video?

When we meet with our producers in order to develop their video, we encourage them to fill out the following statement. This will become the Purpose Statement for the entire production.

People who watch this video will ________________ because I will show them and tell them _______________.

I would encourage anyone considering making a video (and that should be all of you) to take some time and really think about the above sentence. Only after you can clearly and purposefully fill it out will your development be complete. Here are some examples:

“People who watch this video will donate to our cause because I will show them and tell them about people whose lives have been positively impacted by our services.”

People who watch this video will visit our website to learn more about our company because I will show them and tell them the welcoming and energetic culture of our employees.”

We often will tell our producers that for every hour that you spend in Development and Pre-Production, you will save 3-4 hours in Post-Production. You’ll need less time for revisions and potential reshoots when you begin with a clearly defined Purpose Statement and stick to it.

If you need help developing your next video production, I happen to be a Director of Production Development and I would love to help!

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