Modularizing Your Digital Video Production Saves Big $$

Modules aren't just for houses! It's very cost effective to use it for video as well. Modularization is the process of producing several self-contained segments of video with their own beginning, middle and end. However they have to be produced in such a way that you can plunk one down in between other modules and have it look seamless to the viewer.

There are several distinct advantages to organizing your video into modules. One reason to segment or modularize your video is that you can mix and match the content. We have a client for whom we produced 7 short segments. The first segment is the introduction to their services. But the other six focus on the various services they provide. Apparently not all of their clients are interested in all of their services. So they market specific services to specific clients.

For instance, they'll call us and ask us to edit segments 1, 4, 5 and 7 onto a DVD and make 50 copies. Once we've created the master for this particular program, we archive it and have it on hand for when they need more copies. This makes a lot of sense, as it allows them to create customized videos tailor-made for different potential clients and purposes.

Another reason to modularize your content is if the content becomes outdated or you want to make changes for some reason, you can simply revise that segment and pop it back into the main video. Done properly, this eliminates the necessity of producing an entirely new video if something needs to be replaced.

In order to properly modularize your production, you have to plan it in the beginning stages of the production, which means throughout the scriptwriting process. You can divide up the subject matter in many ways. One way is by topic. Another is by time, if that's relevant to your production. Still another is by process, where you want to show a progression of a product or service through time.

Say you're producing a promotional video about your company. You might start with an introduction to the company that contains information about its origins, purpose and mission. Then perhaps you'd progress to the products or services they provide. That section may be broken into several segments, depending on number of products and services provided.

Then you may want to include another section about the benefits to clients, an 'about the staff' section, costs, how to use the product, etc. Then create a 'wrap up' section at the end. Perhaps the CEO making some short, concluding remarks.

The point is that the material must be organized in such a way that it can be segmented and divided by fades to black, titles or other visuals that can be inserted during the editing session in such a way that the viewer will not be aware that a section has been replaced.

You have to be aware of audio as well. For instance, if you have music going continuously through two sections, it will make it very difficult to replace the section, unless you're only replacing the visual portion of the program. So you want to make sure that all voice over, music, or other sound resolves at the end of each section.

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