There are no hard and fast rules and the size of the production will often dictate the various stages involved but as a rough guide the average business looking for a fairly straightforward video to be made, there tends to be three key stages you will hear being talked about.
Pre – Production is all about the preparation for the making of the video. Typically the activity that takes place before the crew arrives on your site to start filming. The more planning you do the greater the chance of the resulting video being what you want. The sorts of activities involved are:
briefing sessions to outline what is required of the video
Scripting (where necessary) of the specific things to be said. The script might be delivered by a voiceover artist for instance.
Storyboard is laying out the flow of the video. The storyboard will help define the structure of the video, what shots need to be captured by the cameramen and when will there be voice, music video etc. Its kind of the video in paper format. Storyboards come in lots of forms. Some much more detailed than others. It all depends on the complexity and budget of the video.
In some cases there might be a shoot list although less common in small projects. They are the storyboard re-ordered to list all the shots to be captured in the order that they will be filmed. A video is not shot in the way it is shown. Shoot lists might often only be seen by the crew.
Auditions – If your video will include actors or voiceover artists then this would obviously all be done in advance of turning up with crew and equipment. This might involve watch some showreel or require actors to come to a studio for an audition. Voiceovers are mostly done by listening to an audio file which can be emailed or hosted online.
Production is principally concerned with the shooting of the video. The crew and equipment will arrive on location at the agreed date and time and will work their way through the shoot according to the brief, story board and shoot list if appropriate.
Post – Production is all about turning all of the video captured on the production day in to a watchable video in accordance with the brief and storyboard. The editor will import the video content and using editing software, they will piece together all the elements (voiceover, music or sound effects, graphics, titles, animations etc) to create the video.
There are likely to be several stages to the editing such as draft revisions of the video for client to review and provide feedback. Once all the video editing has been completed the video can be published in the appropriate format for the clients needs such as AVI, mov, mpg4 or Flash.
As I said at the start these stages are a rough guide as the actual stages will depend on the complexity of the project but you are almost certainly going to hear these three stages being included talked about.