Northern Bear Films – the Building Blocks of Video Production

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 14.10.45

Hello, Creatives!  Our latest series of blogs comes from the lovely folk at Northern Bear Films, an award-winning creative film & media company, focused on creating and sharing entertaining stories.

Since launching in 2012, Aman, Jerome & the team have delivered projects for local to national brands, including names such as The National Trust, Creative England, and the British Film Institute.

Today, the basics – a very building-blocks approach to video production;
from the ground up, with or without a budget.

What is video production?

Northern Bear.jpgVideo is a great way to capture audience attention and convey the message in a short period of time, but have you ever wondered the different stages and the work that goes behind the scene before you see the polished product?

Here are the 3 main steps you need to consider if you are looking to create video content:


video-943580_1920As the heading suggests “PRE”, this is where all the planning for the video happens. This stage is very crucial – the make or break point, and it needs more time spent in getting it right. In order to be better prepared for the shoot and reduce risks, here is the checklist that you should consider before going into the filming phase:

  • Script-  “Story is King”
    Once you have a unique concept for the video, do a quick script and a storyboard showing how each scene is visually going to look, make sure you always take other opinion.  Remember, it should make sense to your target audience.
  • Budget
    List out all the expenses that will be incurred during the production, this includes camera, crew, post-production, etc.  Create a rough outline of the budget, and use this to raise finance if need be.
  • Location
    It’s very important to get the location right, so we recommend doing location scouting well in advance – always make sure you do this with your Director and DoP (Director of Photography).
  • Crew
    Think of the skills you would need assistance with, and always consider collaborating with others, i.e camera assistants, directors, producers, music composers or actors who understand your vision and are passionate about the project.  Make sure you cover their expenses and food, even if it is low or no budget production.
  • Any other risk factors
    You have to consider any additional risks that could interfere or mess up the shoot, i.e. weather, permissions to shoot on the locations, etc.  We recommend listing out all the potential risks and the solutions to it.


video productionIf you have survived the daunting task of pre-production now its time to move into production.  This stage is considered by many as the most fun and yet challenging.  Production phase involves principal photography, filming of the scenes on location based on storyboards, and recording any other possible shots that you or the director thinks would be relevant to the story.  The footage should then be logged the same day and checked by your Digital Image Technician; this is an important task and would save a lot of time and worries of your Editor in post-production.

“Start by doing what is necessary: then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi


editing-1141505_1280This is where all the stitching happens – we like to call it “where the magic happens”.

  • Offline Editing
    The offline edit would start with creating a rough timeline, in order of the continuity.  Once the Editor, Director and the Producer working on the project has accepted the rough cut, the sequence in the timeline should be locked, this is your first cut (this varies from production to production), to which the sound design and graphics are added.
  • Sound Design
    Sound editing and adding other sound effects is an important task and bring the life to the scene.
  • Music
    Music is composed and added to the time-line as a separate audio track – normally music is added to the locked timeline only, however every composers works differently, so discuss their work flow in advance.
  • VFX (graphics)
    Once you have a fine cut, all the effects, titles and credits are finalised and added to the footage.
  • Online Edit
    Online edit is when the film is locked and no other changes are made, the film is then put together in a final sequence, locked and exported to the required specification.

Tip – do get feedback for your video from friends, family and peers before publishing it.

Of course, these are the very basics, the fundamental building blocks of video production.  But of course, there’s so much more to it than that.  Keep your eye out for more content on 99% Perspiration from Northern Bear Films, or check out their website/material.

And, as always,
Stay productive, stay awesome!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.