Producers are the backbone of every video production. They drive the creative process, help the production acquire funding, and organize all aspects of the project from pre-production through the final screening. To be successful in this fast-paced and demanding role, producers must have a clear understanding of the video production process and business. They must be able to lead very diverse characters on set, and they must be highly organized.
If you’re contemplating a career as a producer, these are the skills that you need to develop if you wish to break into the industry.
1. Master Visual Storytelling
Videos are vessels for storytelling. They can inform, connect, and inspire your audience. Each video contains the same few components: they have a story, they have characters, and they have a consistent video language that ties the entire piece together.
Below, you will find detailed descriptions of each component and how it informs the narrative.
Before a video is shot, edited, and shown on screen, it lives as words on a page. There, writers will go through draft after draft as they whittle down and refine their content to communicate a singular goal or truth. That goal might be to inform someone about an important current event or inspire them to take action with a local nonprofit.
There are no hard and fast rules of storytelling. It’s an art, not a science, but great producers understand that good stories fundamentally affect how people think, feel, and act.
Characters do not solely exist in films or within the covers of a fiction book. Videos, even editorial videos rely on characters to tell a story. The character might be a broadcaster, an ordinary citizen in a news piece, or a narrator. Good characters help the audience access your video and relate to your story.
As a producer, you may be responsible for casting the subjects of your video. You will also have to determine which of their characteristics will engage your audience and enhance your story.
Visual Language and Film Grammar:
The visual language and grammar of your video help reinforce the project's goal and theme. Elements like the videos composition, color, and motion all subconsciously inform how the audience feels. Warm colors have a much different emotional connotation than cool colors. Camera movement can add a touch of anxiety, suspense, and curiosity, while composition can make us feel closer or more distant from your characters.
Every video you produce should have a cohesive visual language. It helps establish a pattern of moving images that will add depth to your story and provide your audience with helpful clues that improve viewership.
2. Pitch, Develop and Create Video Content
After your concept or story has been decided, you will need to pitch it to the group that is funding your project. Successful producers have excellent presentation skills. Before you pitch your project, make sure you have the following items locked down:
- Project Title
- Project Goal
- Production Budget
- Reference Videos or Images
- Strategy and Technical Approach
Having these items prepared prior to your pitch meeting will help you answer questions like, “Why does this video need to be made?”, “What are your anticipated results?”, “What will this look like?”, and “How much will this cost?” This information makes it much easier for the people who are funding your project to invest in your idea.
3. Manage Multiple Video Projects Simultaneously
Video producers do not typically produce one video at a time. As a professional producer, you will be tasked with managing multiple projects effectively at the same time. Stay organized in order to keep everything documented and make sure the production stays on schedule and on budget.
Potential employers need to see that you have a history of producing videos efficiently and consistently. Even if you are not a “professional,” publishing quality video content consistently on platforms like YouTube or MNN shows hiring managers that you can handle the workload.
4. Relevant Video Production Experience
On top of having a record of consistent, quality video production, employers will be looking for someone in their specific industry. If you’re just starting your career, now is a perfect time to decide which industry you would like to go into. We have compiled a sample list below for your reference:
- Food and Beverage
5. Proficiency in Video Editing Software and Production Equipment
Video Producers are typically generalists, rather than specialists. They may have experience as an editor, marketer, or videographer. These skills help producers wear many different hats while they’re working on video productions, help departments in need, distribute tasks and communicate the status of the project to the organization or individuals who have provided funding. Most organizations will look for candidates who are proficient in some of the following equipment:
Video Editing Software:
- Adobe Premiere CC
- After Effects CC
- Avid Media Composer
- Final Cut Pro
Video Production Equipment:
- Canon Camera Systems
- Sony Camera Systems
- Audio Recording Equipment
- Professional Lighting Equipment
Even if you do not plan on being a video editor or videographer, proficiency in these programs will provide you with a competitive advantage over other candidates.
6. Expert in Video Analytics and Strategy
Platforms like YouTube and Facebook are dominating the online video industry. Employers will look for candidates who have experience working with these platforms and understand how to leverage them and connect with their target audience.
Before you walk into an interview, you should have experience putting together a video content strategy, an in-depth understanding of key metrics, and evidence of success. Adding information to your resume about how you have used video to impact business results will show potential employers that you can produce great content and understand the business side of video production.
These six skills are must-haves if you plan on breaking into the video production industry. To develop your skills, consider taking classes at MNN. Our certified producers have access to state of the art equipment, professional studios, and can promote videos through our channels. Sign up for your orientation here and start your career as a professional video producer.