Full Duck Productions

Since 1990, Full Duck has offered a full deck of written and visual communications services, specializing in low-budget video production.

How to Produce a Video

Is this your plan? . . .

You have an award shattering idea for a video but you aren’t sure how to get started. It couldn’t cost too much! You know someone with a video camera you can just borrow. And you can download pictures and music from the web. You can see it all—mountain scenery, Janis Joplin singing, the picture bounces a little as if someone is jogging down a trail. You have an exciting story in mind, not on paper, but everyone can make up lines. And your brother and friends will help with the acting. Your father-in-law could use some of it to promote his sports equipment store. It could be a sports video AND a sales video! So it really wouldn’t cost much at all. Get some interns and volunteer friends involved . . . *

* If you have lots of time, no money, can borrow a camera and
just want to have some fun, go for it!


Full Duck Productions is often asked how to design and produce a video, and the plan above is a recipe for disaster for a business or professional organization. Substituting creativity and enthusiasm for solid planning and experienced guidance will produce a disappointment. Using a consumer camera and low-grade web pictures, much less copyrighted pictures and music, won’t create National Geographic quality. The low-budget miracle movies that you hear about are produced by people who know what they are doing and how to cut corners, but they don’t leave out entire steps in the process nor do they take chances on making ignorant mistakes, like pirating music or thinking amateur actors can make up and deliver lines smoothly.

General Rules

Here are some general rules:

1. Know what you want to accomplish with the video before you start.

2. Plan the technical execution of the video with the highest quality you can afford.

3. Create a realistic budget and don’t be naive but try your best to include everything up front and not be shocked at the end.  Include all elements of production and distribution.

4. Develop a plan for what to do with the video when it is finished—what media will it be on–tape?  DVD? web? how will you distribute it? will you be able to recoup any costs?

How to Get Started Planning a Video

The following is a brief explanation of all the steps that you need to create a high-quality video product. Click the step to find out how Full Duck Productions can help you.


Decide on the purpose of creating the video. Read more.


Determine who will see this video, where and how it will be presented, and what you hope the audience will do after viewing it to produce some results. Read more.


Examine the elements of the video and plan to accomplish them within a certain budget. Include not just the costs of making the video but of distributing it and recovering the costs. Read more.


Create a script that lists both the audio and video moments together to tell the story that accomplishes the goal of the video and meets the needs of the audience. Don’t overlook having everybody involved agree that this script is what they want and expect. Read more.


Produce audio and video source material. Shoot video footage that captures the scenes that are described in the script and are within the budget. Capture audio to match the video and script. Read more.


Edit the source material by selecting the best shots from the camera footage and arranging them in the order outlined in the script. Add transitions, such as dissolves, between video segments. Add music and lettering or character graphics, such as titles, names, and credits. Add extras, such as narration, stills, animation, and special effects. Fine-tune all the audio and video segments until they flow together in a satisfying whole. If your video will be distributed on tape, you’re done, but if you want to deliver it on a DVD, you have to transfer the video to an authoring program to prepare it for DVD access. For web delivery, you will also need other steps for production.  Read more.


Duplicate and distribute the video in any format: tape, CD or DVD, and don’t forget to design and supply labels and jackets. For internet material, prepare the video clip for loading onto a website. Read more.

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