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The 4 Stages of Video Making: Plan, Shoot, Edit, Upload

At Make Your Own Video Training Academy, one of our core values is simplicity; we aim to simplify the video making process so that our customers can harness the power of video with ease.

One way we have done this is to break down the journey into four clear stages: Plan, Shoot, Edit and Upload.

In professional film and video production, these stages are referred to as pre-production, production, post-production and delivery – you may have heard these terms before. Let’s take a closer look at what each stage involves.


In the world of video making, there’s no truer cliche than: ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Planning is crucial to the outcome and results of every video you make.

First, set your objective. A clear purpose will guide you through the next three stages and give you a benchmark against which to measure results.

Next, know your audience. Learn their key characteristics such as age, location, occupation, social media hangouts and entertainment preferences; this will help you create appropriate and engaging video content. In our handbook, you’ll find guidance on how to build a viewer profile.

Decide on the message, content, structure and script of your video. We have simplified this process by creating a range of templates – we call them our Storyboards – for different types of videos. You’ll find five storyboards in our handbook, and there are more available to purchase on our website.

Contributors: who will appear in your video and how will you deliver your message? There are three common methods of delivery: presentation to camera, interview and voice-over. The way you present each video will depend on your audience’s preferences.

Finally, make sure you have all the necessary filming equipment – such as a suitable mobile device, a tripod and a microphone. You can purchase equipment through our website. You’ll also need to plan the logistics of your shoot such as when and where to film.


Once you’re at the location, set up your equipment and decide which direction you want to shoot; the background might be important to the type of video you’re making.

Set the lighting for the look or mood you want to achieve. It’s best to choose a location with a decent source of natural light, then top up with lamps if necessary. Sound quality is also important. If you’ve chosen a noisy location – too much traffic noise or human activity – it could make for distracting viewing.

If you’ve never presented to camera or conducted a video interview, learn some techniques to get a good performance from your contributor. In our handbook, you’ll find the 10 Ps of presenting and the 10 Is of interviewing.

When you’ve finished filming, backup your footage to a cloud storage solution in case your device becomes lost or stolen before you’ve had chance to edit.


In our experience, some people worry they’ll find this stage difficult, but it’s perfectly possible to use an editing app without any prior technical knowledge. Once you’ve mastered the basic principles of video editing, you can apply these to most consumer editing programmes.

The first step is creating the structure of your video, which involves learning how to trim individual clips and assembling them in the correct order. Once your structure is in place, you can embellish your video by adding transitions, text, effects and music.

In our handbook, we suggest certain editing apps for Apple and Android devices, which are designed for non-professionals. Once you have the foundation knowledge, becoming an accomplished editor is simply a matter of practice.

The final step of the editing stage is to save your video to your device’s gallery as well as to cloud storage, ready to upload it to social media.


Upload your videos to the channels your audience is using. First, set up those channels, and optimise them for searches by adding a title, description and images.

Next, upload your videos, again optimising them by adding a title, description and relevant hashtags. Be aware that some channels favour square and vertical video over traditional widescreen format, so you may need to crop or even re-shoot a video if you want to share it across more than one channel.

If you want to add videos to a website, newsletter, blog or email, upload them to YouTube and share the link from there.

Our handbook, Make Your Own Videos, takes you step by step through these four stages of video making. Get your copy here. It could save you £1000s in professional video production fees.

Written by Ruth Duggal & Glyn Allen Make Your Own Video Training Academy


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