Key West Video Announced as a 2022 National and Local Excellence Award Winner by UpCity!

living room set

Sometimes less is more. In the culinary world, it’s often said that ingredients should speak for themselves. A great dish lets the pure flavours of good products shine without a lot of embellishment. When it comes to video production, sometimes simple is best. At the very least, start with the basics done well and then add the extras as necessary. Often, the videos that don’t have anything to distract from the message are the most effective. Today’s blog is all about getting back to video basics.

Pre-Production Video Basics

Every good project starts with a plan. Whether you have a specific idea of the video you want to create or just a general notion, working with a producer will allow you to make a detailed project plan. This can include a work back schedule with pre-production, production, and post-production timelines. Documents such as this get everyone on the same page. Even if timelines change, which often happens, at least there’s an agreed-upon set of objectives and an ultimate video goal.

Story is Important

Video production is all about storytelling. Regardless of what type of video you’re producing, the goal is to tell an engaging story that connects with your audience. That could mean a speech delivered by the head of a company or the testimonial of a satisfied customer. Whatever the case, the story you’re telling is the crux of any video. If this story needs a script, that’s the starting point of production. Having a clear idea of the story you’re telling, inspired by what you want to achieve, is a video basic that must be followed for a successful project.

Camerawork Video Basics

Sony video camera
Good camerawork is a video basic

You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. That saying rings true when it comes to video basics, starting with footage. Good footage is the foundation of a good video. Skilled, professional camera operators will deliver pictures that are clear, crisp, and technically proper. They’ll gather the shots that create the framework for a video, giving life to the subject matter in a way that speaks to the audience and supports the overall video production. There’s a certain amount of manipulation that can be done to improve bad footage in the edit suite. However,  if you start with inferior raw material, it’s that much more difficult to create a stellar final project.

Lighting and Sound Video Basics

sound tech looks at equipment
Sound tech monitors equipment on set

You can’t have good footage without proper lighting and sound—another video basic. It’s a package deal and most camera operators will know how to do all three. Sometimes you have a larger crew for a more involved production, which means separate people are responsible for each technical element. For smaller shoots that involve single-person interviews or less elaborate set-ups, the camera operator will take care of the lights and run the audio. Working with poor audio or bad lighting puts post-production staff in a precarious position. Poor audio and video can be addressed with boosted signals, but a much better end product is achieved with raw footage that has been properly recorded.


An editor who receives footage with clear, well-lit images and clean audio has their work cut out for them. They don’t need to waste a lot of time adjusting colour or fixing sound to correct mistakes. Instead, they can jump right into weaving together the story that was identified before a single frame of the project was shot. Although editors have the skill and the resources to add all kinds of effects to footage, a good story doesn’t need to be gilded. A few simple additions such as name fonts, production music, and perhaps a company logo could be all that’s needed. Telling a good story through simple editing is a video basic.

Start Good, End Great

When you start with the best raw materials, it’s easy to have a great final product. Video production is like a recipe—using superior ingredients guarantees the best result. At Key West Video, we strive to do the video basics well. Working from a solid foundation means we have the freedom to strip a video down to the basic elements that really speak to an audience. But it also means we have the freedom to manipulate a high-end product without worrying about sacrificing quality. When you have the video basics covered, the sky’s the limit.

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