The different stages of successful video production

December 6, 2023

At first glance, making a video - whether it's a YouTube commercial or a short film for the cinema - involves just a handful of steps, such as scriptwriting, filming, and editing. However, in the competitive industry of video production agencies, these stages are merely stops on a long journey that involves dozens of people and tons of equipment. The final destination is, of course, the creation of an audiovisual work that will captivate, entertain, or inform the audience. Check out the different stages of professional video production.

Breaking Down the Video Production Lifecycle

Video production typically follows several key stages broadly categorised as follows.

Ideation and development

The dream of making a video starts in the ideation and development phase. This is when the people behind the cameras come together to understand the message they want to convey. Here, it is important to remember that creativity without a goal is a waste of time and talent. Therefore, before even starting to have ideas, it is necessary to understand what the piece aims to achieve. Is it an audiovisual work that seeks to convey a message, provoke a discussion, or simply entertain the audience? If it is a commercial production, what are you trying to sell, and to whom?

Once these questions are answered, it's time to develop the script. Again, creativity is vital, but the answers to the previous questions guide the narrative. A screenwriter's job is to detail everything that will be seen and heard in the video, including the text of the dialogues, the description of the scenes, and the actions – and emotions – of the characters.

When the script is completed, it's time for storyboarding, a visual representation of what will be produced. This piece contains drawings or illustrations that help the team visualise the scenes, camera framing, and how the story will be told visually.


Start the pre-production as soon as you have developed the idea, defined the objectives, and created the storyboard. It is the step that precedes filming or the actual creation of content and involves a series of essential preparatory activities to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

The critical elements of the pre-production phase are casting, scouting, planning, scheduling, budgeting, equipment, crew and rehearsals.

Casting involves the selection of the right talent to bring the characters in the script to life. Meanwhile, scouting comprises finding the ideal location for video scenes and securing permission to shoot there.

Planning and scheduling refer to the systematic organisation of all the activities and resources required to complete the project within a specified timeframe. This involves determining the job's overall scope, including key deliverables, and establishing a realistic timeline for completing different stages, from pre-production through post-production.

A budget must be established to cover all costs. Expenses include equipment rentals, salaries, location fees and post-production bills. The staff must decide what equipment to use - cameras, lighting, sound equipment, and other technical needs - and who will operate it.

Regular meetings with directors, producers and cinematographers are essential to ensure everyone is on the same page. If the project involves actors, rehearsals are crucial to prepare for the actual shooting days.


Production is when the magic happens. Directors guide actors, camera operators capture the necessary angles, and sound technicians record audio, all working in unison to materialise the project.

Managing a diverse team of professionals, including lighting technicians, sound engineers, makeup artists, and others, is challenging. Efficient leadership is indispensable.

Crisis management is also paramount. Technical glitches, weather disruptions or sudden changes in schedules will happen all the time. The agility and problem-solving skills of the crew are put to the test.

As if all this were not enough, the team must also be mindful of time management, lest they risk going over budget and getting caught in an endless loop of logistical problems.

Finally, but no less important, there's the task of documentation and monitoring continuity. Being aware of the pace of progress and any deviations from the planned course, as well as repeatedly checking if continuity is being maintained between scenes, are good practices that will significantly facilitate post-production work.


In post-production the captured footage is transformed into a polished final product.

First comes editing, a task performed by editors. They meticulously scrutinise hours of footage, selecting the best takes and piecing them together to form a coherent narrative. It's worthwhile to highlight, though, that the editing phase is more than just cutting and joining clips; it's a skill that dictates the video's pacing, mood, and overall storytelling.

Colour correction and grading come into play after the edition. Correction ensures consistency in colour and lighting across different shots, while grading gives the video a specific look and feel.

Sound design and mixing are equally crucial. This stage involves adding sound effects, background music, and fine-tuning dialogue levels. Sound designers and mixers pay close attention to every auditory detail, from the nuances of ambient sounds to the intensity of a musical composition.

Visual effects (VFX) may also be part of post-production, especially on projects that require graphical enhancements or special effects.

Lastly, the video undergoes a final review and quality check before it's rendered and exported in the appropriate format. The production is, finally, ready to be seen by the public.

Distribution and marketing

Creating a great video nobody sees is like writing an excellent book nobody reads. That's why we need distribution and marketing.

Distribution begins with choosing the right platforms for the video. This decision is heavily influenced by the target audience and the nature of the content. For instance, a short film might find its home in film festivals or streaming services, whereas an ad might be best suited for social media platforms or television broadcasting.

Simultaneously, marketing strategies are rolled out to promote the production. This process often starts even before the video is fully completed. Teasers, trailers, and behind-the-scenes glimpses are shared to generate buzz and anticipation.

Done! Your video is ready to enchant crowds.

Choose Sunday Treat as your video production agency

The production of a video is an intensive and complex process that involves a broad and diverse team. Therefore, when it comes to producing your video, select a London-based agency that transcends mere media creation - aim for one that crafts visual narratives designed to resonate with viewers and etch brands into their hearts and minds. Choose Sunday Treat.

Our interdisciplinary approach brings together unique perspectives, ensuring your content is not just seen but felt. We offer the reach of a large agency coupled with the personalised care of a dedicated team. Contact us today to start your video production journey!

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