Video post-production 101: What you need to know

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes after the director yells, “Cut!?” 

GIF Source: Tenor

Well, that’s when the magic really begins in Tinseltown. You see, the film is not quite ready for the silver screen or your favorite streaming service just yet. There’s still a crucial chapter left in the movie-making saga. 🤔

Bring in the cavalry of video virtuosos! Their mission: to morph raw footage into a cinematic feast so irresistible, it leaves everyone on the edge of their seats. This transformation is the grand finale of video production.

Curious about the nitty-gritty of this process? You’re in good company.

Pour yourself a cup of joe, channel your inner Spielberg, and buckle up. Prepare to dive headfirst into the riveting world of post-production filmmaking. 🎬

Table of contents

What is post-production?

So, you’re wondering, what is this mystical phase called ‘video post-production?’ Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s tackle why post-production even matters in the first place.

Proper post-production is crucial for transforming raw footage into a polished, engaging video that captivates audiences.

Imagine a painter, lovingly perfecting their masterpiece.

Post-production is a lot like that. It’s where the ‘video artisans’ weave their magic to craft a film that commands attention. When done right, post-production 

  • Polishes a film into a visual treat
  • Amplifies the sound’s quality
  • Enhances the storytelling

And a whole lot more. 😉

So, what exactly is video post-production? 

We’re not mad, we promise.
GIF Source: Tenor

Think of it as the grand finale in the filmmaking process. It happens just after the production phase. This is when you sift through various takes of raw footage, picking the gems that will sparkle in your final cut. ✨

During the filmmaking process, there are tons of shots taken from countless scenes. This means that you could have several takes of the same scene in your database. 

When it’s time to edit it all together, it’s like being handed a jigsaw puzzle. With pieces scattered everywhere. 

But hand those puzzle pieces to a master and watch them work their magic assembling an enchanting picture.

In the realm of video production, our master puzzlers are the video pros. They meticulously stitch together clips to transport a script from page to screen.

So, in a nutshell, video post-production is the phase when:

  • Visual effects, music, and graphics are added to the film.
  • Color corrections are made to ensure a seamless flow from one shot to the next.
  • Text, title, and end cards are added to acknowledge the creative minds behind the scene.
  • Various clips and scenes are structured in a coherent manner to captivate the viewers.

But wait, if post-production is the final stage in video production, that means there are other stages too, right? 

Spot on — and here’s how they differ. 

Pre-production vs. production vs. post-production

First up is the initial stage of the production process: pre-production.


Picture this: you’re about to build your dream home. You’ve got a plot of land. So, what’s next? 

You’d team up with an architect to sketch out your dream, right? In video production, that’s your film script. 

And just like an architect who meticulously drafts every detail before the first brick is laid, pre-production is where all the groundwork happens in filmmaking.

It’s the stage where you map out your film’s journey, from start to finish. In essence, pre-production is all about planning and prep work – dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, and making sure everything is set for the magic to unfold.

Let’s take a peek at what happens during pre-production:

  • The video script is written and polished to perfection. 
  • The dream team is hired, including video experts and other creative pros.
  • Costumes and makeup are sourced so you can bring characters to life.
  • The hunt for the perfect locations begins.
  • Sets are built, transforming empty spaces into cinematic playgrounds.
  • Storyboarding creates a visual roadmap for the film.


Imagine the architect has passed the baton to the construction manager, and the building is starting to take shape. 

The same things happens in video production – this is where the magic of filming takes hold. It’s a whirlwind of activity with the production team, cameras, cranes, and dollies all playing their part.

You’ll spot the director, orchestrating the scene, guiding the actors on their performances. 

And if there are hiccups along the way, like a tardy videographer, don’t sweat it. It’s just part and parcel of a day on a film set. 😉 

Just like in construction, there are always speed bumps, but rest assured, they’re temporary.

To sum it up, production is all about filming, on-location sound recording, and the occasional reshoot.


Once the construction dust settles, you’re left with a structure that mirrors the architect’s blueprint. But it’s not quite ready to be called home. 

It needs the final flourishes – think lighting, painting, window installations, and art – to truly come alive.

Well, the world of video production isn’t so different. 

The post-production phase is akin to adding these crucial finishing touches. This is when video maestros arrange the footage, infuse it with colors and sounds, and polish it until it’s the best video viewers have ever seen. 🤩


You’re probably already familiar with the usual suspects in the pre-production and production stages – the producers, directors, makeup artists, videographers, casting directors, production designers, and actors. But who takes the spotlight in the post-production phase? Keep reading to find out. 😏

Who is involved in video post-production?

Wondering who’s in the post-production crew? 

Just like a team of experts is needed to transform a new building into a cozy home, a talented group of professionals come together to craft the captivating visual journeys we call films or movies.

Meet the post-production all-stars:

  • Cinematographer: The visual maestro, they ensure the raw footage aligns with the director’s artistic vision.
  • Video editor: The storytellers of the bunch, they piece together raw footage into a compelling narrative that keeps viewers hooked. They’re also the ones smoothing out transitions between shots for a fluid viewing experience.
  • Producers: The post-production royalty, they oversee the entire process, keeping an eye on timelines, budgets, and the team. They’re also the guardian of the footage, ensuring it’s safely backed up.
  • Sound mixer and sound designer: The ‘Sonic Lords,’ they guarantee high-quality audio for the ultimate viewing experience.
  • Music supervisor: The village’s resident DJ, they select the perfect soundtrack to match the visuals and stir viewers’ emotions.
  • VFX supervisor/engineer: The village wouldn’t be complete without a visual wizard. They conjure up visual effects to add an extra layer of intrigue to the film’s story.
  • Colorist: Last but not least, the visual art connoisseur. They work their magic to correct and enhance the film’s colors for a consistent visual tone, no matter the lighting conditions.

For a seamless cinematic workflow, our post-production pros need crystal-clear communication. They need to swap content, brainstorm, and green-light ideas to ensure the final cut is a blockbuster.

Sure, they could ping-pong emails with mammoth attachments back and forth. But if you’ve ever played that game, you know it’s a fast-track to frustration. 

Lost emails, vague feedback, never-ending requests for clarification – it’s a whirlwind of confusion. 😪

But here’s the good news: tools like can make this collaboration dance much smoother for video pros. 

Simply upload the video file to create a duplicate (we like to call them MarkUps), click on a specific timecode to drop your comments, and share the MarkUp through a link or email. 

Easy peasy!

Alright, back to the main event: the post-production process.

The video post-production process: A 6-step dance

When the post-production village comes together, they produce cinematic video content  that leaves viewers spellbound. 

But how does this creative ballet unfold?

Here’s a peek at the choreography behind this cinematic dance:

Infographic outlining '6 simple stages of video post-production' from logging raw footage to exporting the final cut.
Welcome to video post-production, where ‘rough cut’ is just another word for ‘creative chaos.’ 💫

Here’s a breakdown of each step:

Step #1: Sifting through raw footage 

Remember how our filming crew captures all sorts of shots? Wide, medium, close-ups – the works. 

But here’s the catch: not every piece of footage will be used during the editing process

So what’s the solution?

Enter ‘logging.’ 

It’s like the Marie Kondo of video production. You review the raw sequences, categorize them, and jot down notes about each clip or scene in a shot list. It’s all about tidying up the raw footage to make the editor’s job a breeze, letting them find the right content at lightning speed.

Think of it like organizing a library – every book (or in this case, clip) has its place, making it a cinch to find.

When categorizing the clips, you’ll want to include some extra info to make them easy to retrieve. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A vivid description of each shot/scene.
  • The number of takes for each scene.
  • Handy tags or keywords for easy searches.
  • The timecode of each shot.
  • Any technical issues with the footage.

Oh, and one more thing. You might want to have a cup of joe at the ready. Logging and importing raw footage can be a bit of a marathon.

Step #2: Crafting the rough cut  

Next up, you get to play matchmaker. You’re picking and choosing from a sea of clips, piecing them together into a rough but coherent version of the film.

Here’s your checklist for the clips to select:

  • They should follow a chronological sequence.
  • They need to flow smoothly.
  • They should provide a basic outline of the story.
  • They should mirror what the final video will look like.

Sounds like a Herculean task, right? 😅 

But fear not! Video editing software like Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Adobe Premiere Pro are your trusty sidekicks. They’ll help you sift through the clips, cut them just right, and stitch them together seamlessly.

Remember, perfection isn’t the goal here. The visuals and sounds can be rough around the edges. The key is to make sure the clips are coherent and transition smoothly.

Step #3:  Polishing the rough cut into the final cut 

At this point, the rough cut is like a diamond in the rough. It’s got potential, but it needs a bit more sparkle. 

In film lingo, it’s overlong and the pacing could use a bit more zip.

What’s the solution? Bring in the big guns: directors and producers. They’re the secret sauce that’ll take your rough cut from good to great. 

Just a heads-up: let’s not refer to them as ‘secret sauce’ in the boardroom, alright? 🌚

These stakeholders bring their unique perspectives to the table, highlighting what works and what needs a tweak. 

But if you’re working remotely, you might be scratching your head about how to share the rough cut.

Emails might be your first thought, but we all know the hassle of sifting through an overflowing inbox. 

Thankfully, is here to save the day. Just upload your file, share it with stakeholders via a link, and gather feedback on specific timecodes or the entire file.

With these notes in hand, you can chisel away at the rough cut and carve out your final cut. 

Depending on the project type – be it music videos, short films, feature films, corporate videos, and so on – this step could take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.

In the final cut, the timing is spot-on, the pacing has the right rhythm, and the transitions are a feast for the eyes. It’s starting to look like the masterpiece it’s meant to be.

But we’re not quite done yet.

Step #4: Sound editing and mixing

Next up, our sonic maestros roll up their sleeves. This crew includes the Foley artists, sound editors, and other audio aces.

So, what happens in their audio playground?

Sound editors are like audio detectives, hunting for any part of the film where the sound is a bit wonky, then filling in with the right sounds. 

If a dialogue line needs a do-over, they’ll bring the actors back for another take.

Once they’ve tidied up the audio so it’s consistent throughout the film, they pass the baton to the sound mixers.

These audio alchemists juggle four sound elements:

  • Dialogue: The on-camera conversations between characters.
  • Music: The soundtrack that sets the mood and rhythm of a scene.
  • Sound effects: Think a honking train in the distance or a creaking floorboard.
  • Voiceover: A narrator adding commentary over the video.

Their mission? To weave these elements into the video project and hand it over to the sound designer.

The sound designer then spins the audio elements into a harmonious soundtrack, ready to be added to the finished product.

But how do they pull off this sound editing and mixing magic? 🪄 They use audio editing apps designed for video production, like Adobe Audition or Pro Tools.

Step #5: Visual effects (VFX) and color grading

Making a film with dragons, goblins, or aliens? You’re going to need some special effects.. We’re talking green screens, unreal engines – the full monty.

Usually, you’d have planned for these special effects during pre-production, pinpointing where they’ll be sprinkled into the film. 

The VFX supervisor is the digital wizard behind these effects, conjuring up out-of-this-world characters. They might use stock VFX or create their own using software like Adobe After Effects, Maya, or Blender.

Next up: color correction, or as it’s also known, color grading. 

The goal here is to enhance the film’s visuals, ensuring each shot seamlessly flows into the next. It’s a game-changer if there were issues with lighting or weather during production. Plus, it allows for color and lighting adjustments to create the perfect ambiance.

Planning to give your film’s color a bit of a makeover? Here are some tips:

  • Get to know the film’s genre and stick with its common color tones. For instance, apocalyptic films often lean towards washed-out, gray tones.
  • Let the film’s mood and the emotions you want to stir up dictate your color choices.
  • Embrace subtlety in your adjustments. Remember, less is often more.
  • Use the color wheel to pick complementary and analogous colors.

Step #6: Final touches and exporting

You’re in the home stretch now, but there’s one final hurdle: getting the video ready for the world to see. This means sharing it with stakeholders one more time.

Yes, you read that right.

They’ll need to review the whole film and weigh in on any areas that could use a final polish. Once you’ve acted on their feedback, it’s time for them to give the final thumbs up.

Navigating this review-and-approval process might seem daunting, but have no fear, is here to help. 😉

With their seal of approval, you’re ready to export the finished video for the audience to enjoy. But hold up, you can’t just send it off willy-nilly. The file will likely be too chunky for an email attachment, and some distribution platforms may not accept it as is.

So, how do you export it? Just hit ‘Export’ on your video editing software. Then choose the format that best fits your audience’s needs.

And voila! You’re all set to share your video masterpiece with the world.


So, how was your whirlwind tour of film post-production? Enjoy the ride?

Level up your video post-production workflow

And there you have it! Armed with this fresh knowledge, we’re excited to see you ace your post-production journey.

GIF Source: Giphy

And if you ever need to learn more about video production processes, we’ve got you covered. 

Craving more insights into the world of video production? We’ve got your back. 

Swing by our blog for heaps of information on everything from video production and editing to managing creative teams.

But wait, there’s more! 

With, you can streamline how you share videos with stakeholders and gather feedback. 

In other words, it’s time to take your post-production process up a notch.

Why not give a whirl? Sign up for a free 30-day trial and see the magic unfold.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We understand there’s a good chance all your questions weren’t answered in the article above. Hence, these FAQs. 

What are the 5 stages of video production?

Video production is a dynamic dance that unfolds in five stages:

  • Development: This is where the story takes root, characters are born, and finances are sorted.
  • Pre-production: This stage is all about planning, scheduling, scripting, and preparing for the action.
  • Production: Lights, camera, action! This is when the raw footage is shot.
  • Post-production: Here, the raw footage is refined, edited, proofed, and approved.
  • Distribution: The final act – exporting the masterpiece for the world to enjoy.

What is the difference between post-production and editing?

Think of post-production as the big umbrella that covers everything that happens after the cameras stop rolling. This includes editing, but also encompasses all the other tasks needed to polish raw footage into a shining final product.

Editing, meanwhile, is one specific task under that post-production umbrella. It’s all about choosing, arranging, and tweaking the raw footage into a seamless sequence.

What is the role of a colorist in video post-production?

Colorist, color grader, color corrector – whatever you call them, they’re the visual artists of the post-production world. Their mission is to give the video a consistent look and feel by playing with color saturation and adding filters. They’re the ones who ensure the aesthetics are on point from start to finish.