Process Overview Animation
Check out this animated overview video of the Sparkhouse video making process. Then scroll down to dive in deeper on each phase.
Where it all gets started
In the all-important discovery phase, our aim is to learn as much as we can about your needs and goals as we start to conceptualize your video or video series. We'll bring together our account, strategy and creative teams and sit down with you to learn and collaborate. We will explore the unique value proposition of your product or service, discuss competitors and strategize about the type of video options available. Ultimately, the discovery meeting ensures we start off on the right foot, with all parties weighing in and shaping the video marketing mission.
Our north star for the project
The creative brief is your project’s north star. This will include the project's background and objectives, key differentiators, main hurdles, target audience, brand values, market positioning, competitors, as well as the channels that the campaign will be distributed. From this point on every team member will be referring back to this document to assure we are accomplishing the project’s goals.
Created just for you
The process starts by throwing out a slew of concept ideas from mild to wild, debating the merits of each, and envisioning how they’d play out. During this phase, we’ll incorporate the details from the Discovery meeting and creative brief, craft and conceptualize concepts that lead towards the client's goals. After we settle on a solid direction, our team will go back to work to refine and tweak the variables until it's perfect. Depending on the project and scope, the creative concept could be very straightforward or may require a few weeks to flush out more complex storylines. Regardless, the goal is to refine a concept that will accomplish your goals.
Once the concept for your video is solidified, our creative team develops the mood board — a more in-depth project summary that integrates the following elements:
- Video Concept
- Style Boards (graphical interpretations of your video's flow)
- Music Style
- Graphic Styles
- Cast Description
- VO Description
- Wardrobe Style
- Cinematic Look & Feel
This will be the main reference for most of the creative team moving forward to assure we stick to the overall tone and feel outlined in the mood board.
Crafted word by word
Whether your video is interview-based, animation or a narrative commercial with a voice-over, we need to start with a solid foundation — the video script. The script could have several versions as we move closer to the shoot date and will be shared with your team for input and collaboration via Google Docs.
Actors, Permits, Releases
Talent and Locations
Once the script is locked in, Sparkhouse will get to work on the following:
Casting Voiceover Talent – With many years of experience vetting local talent, we'll select the best voiceover artist for the job and consult your team for the final hire.
Casting Actors – In casting hundreds of videos, we know the local talent pools well. Whether we pull from our existing actor base or hold a casting session to audition new talent, we'll find the perfect fit for your video and collaborate with your team on final selections.
Searching for Locations – Our location scouts will search for the optimal background to tell your story — whether it be an in-studio or on-location shoot, we'll figure out a solution that lends credibility to your message and also respects your budget.
Lets get visual
AV (Audio-Visual) Script
With your video script locked down, the Sparkhouse team will get to work creating the AV script, a two-column table that includes the script copy on the left side and descriptions/ references of the visual aspects of the video on the right side. The AV script is essentially your video's blueprint. This will also be shared with your team for input and collaboration via Google Docs.
Its all in the details
Props and Wardrobe Sourcing
Props – A prop, short for "property," refers any of the physical materials that will be included in the video for specific effects. "Set props" are larger items that work to build a cohesive scene, such as furniture, while props generally include items that the characters will interact with during the video — like a pen, bike, bottle of water, product, etc.
Wardrobe – "Wardrobe" refers to the clothing and accessories the principal actors and background artists wear to add depth and believability to the messaging. Wardrobe design involves in-depth knowledge of how colors translate on screen, how certain colors interact with the environment and skin tone, and what styles and fabrics complement various body types.
Last step before production
A visual outline of the story about to be told, the storyboard is the closest we are going to get before heading out to film a video. Depending on the project, the storyboards could be full-size sketches, thumbnail illustrations, or visual composites of mixed media such as still photographs, text and other reference types. At this phase, we'll double check everything to be sure we're ready to roll — confirming location, actors, products, props and shot angles — so that when production day arrives, everything runs smoothly. Ideally, at this phase, there are no last-minute changes or adjustments and we can proceed confidently with a successful shoot. We'll be sure to share the storyboard with your team via Google Docs.
Lights, camera, action!
After all of the groundwork has been laid, it's time to make the script come to life. Depending on the complexity and scope of your project, production can last one to several days, but at this point we've got a solid schedule so there should be no surprises. Now that we're production ready — it's time to roll camera!
Let the editing begin
After a successful production, it’s time for our team to move into the the post-production phase. Also known as “editing” or simply “post” for short, this is where all of the great footage we collected is pieced together to make a crisp, clean video that tells the client’s story. Without talented digital and sound editors, even the most beautiful shots and tight scenes won’t amount to much. Everything comes together in post, starting with a post-production meeting.
During the post-production meeting, we’ll assemble our post-production team to hand off the video footage, audio and shot notes, along with any notes about updates or changes from the initial production plan. At this time, the project manager will build out a schedule and provide the client with estimated dates for reviewing the video versions.
It's a collaborative process
For client reviews, we use a highly interactive system (easily accessible via PC, tablet or mobile device) that allows every team member to view the video, mark notes on specific timecodes and even draw right on the video to point out specific areas that need to be discussed.
The finish line
Once everyone involved approves the video, Sparkhouse will export any and all needed video types for final distribution — delivering them via a downloadable link. We also offer the option of full asset delivery if the client would like the raw video files, project files, images, music or other pieces for future use. All we need is a hard drive to transfer the files and mail them off. Following the final cut, you get to see all the hard work come to life on your website, YouTube, social media sites or TV channels!