There are many different factors that could delay the launch of an online video course. We often see these delays occur in the post-production/editing phase of the overall course creation process. Maybe a content expert wasn’t present at the shoot and the instructor/on-air presenter mispronounced important terms. Or maybe a company’s brand guidelines have changed and the onscreen graphics need to be revised. Whatever the reason, delays cost time and money! At Edios, we have produced thousands of hours of educational video training and there is one phrase that always makes us cringe: “Fix it in post!”
Good producers hate this phrase because it means the planning and preparation broke down, and now the fix will be costly and time-consuming. How can you avoid this supreme hassle? Take the time to really organize your pre-production process. Time spent up front is much cheaper than paying for post-production, especially in elearning video production.
Here are 5 things to think about while you “Fix it in Prep”:
Align on the course vision: A thorough development process with all of the key stakeholders will ensure that both the content and the creative direction of the course is aligned to the overall and approved vision. Take the time to determine who has the real decision-making power, and make sure they’re involved in approvals for all creative materials. This sets the tone for all choices made down the line. If you don’t, you run the risk of having to re-do work.
Create a project plan: This is a project manager’s fancy way of saying that you need to create a detailed list of everything that needs to be done before shooting, and share it out with everyone on the team. Make sure they’re on-board with the timelines they need to hit. And if you think you gave yourself enough time, add another 2 weeks into the schedule to account for the inevitable delays. Online course creation often has a lot of stakeholders, and one missed deadline can cause an avalanche of delays.
Lock your scripts: Unless your course is entirely animated with voiceover, you can’t change what comes out of a person’s mouth on video without re-shooting. Reshoots cost money and delay your delivery. A locked script or detailed and approved talking points ensures all stakeholders are aligned with content. And it can prevent instructors from rambling, improvising,or mis-speaking, which also takes more time in the editing process.
Do a location scout: Take the time to scout the space where you’ll be shooting. Check for noise issues, problematic light or shadows, and see if it looks the way you want it to. Cleaning up bad audio because you can hear the elevator dinging every 30 seconds can get expensive in the audio mixing stage. Check out this blog post on how to choose the best shooting location.
Communicate early and often with on-camera talent: Let them know exactly what to expect on the shoot day. What time should they arrive? What should they wear? Have they read, reviewed, and practiced the scripts? Poor preparation from talent can turn a 2-hour shoot into a 12-hour shoot and it also can be a major headache for editors trying to cut together the best takes. Check out this blog post on how to best prepare on-air talent to shine during a shoot.
No prep is 100% perfect and, like anything in life, stuff happens. But the more organization and planning you bring to the table before the cameras start rolling, the more relaxed your shoot will be, and the more prepared you’ll feel (plus you will save money). And most importantly, your online course or training will launch on schedule!