December 15, 2015

Decisions from the End: Producing Video for Multiplatform Distribution

by: Todd Smoots
Senior Production Manager

The number and variety of devices on which consumers watch video adds even more layers to the complex video production process. However, this demand for video on any device makes it imperative that videos are compatible with and optimized for multiplatform distribution. Much has been published about how you distribute content to multiple devices, but how do you account for this when you begin production on your video?

The simplest answer is that it is a process of working backwards, which requires having a clear understanding of what the end result should be. Knowing what your deliverable will be and how it will be used are the most important considerations for optimizing your video for multiplatform distribution. Starting with this knowledge at the outset can help you make decisions upfront that affect the entire production process.

Some considerations include:

  • On what platforms is the video to be made available?
  • How will it be distributed?
  • Is the video more cinematic, or fast-action sports in nature?
  • What is the residual asset value of the project—will it have a long “shelf life”?
  • Does the video require graphics that might affect the choice of color space utilized during capture?
  • What level of audio quality is required?

While the initial response to these questions is to capture the highest possible quality, this solution is not suitable for every situation. Since the highest quality often correlates to large and cumbersome files, which then translates into longer post production processes and higher production costs, it can be cost-prohibitive for many projects and budgets. The reasonable approach is to shoot the video in the highest quality your budget can support, while ensuring efficiency and an end product that can be optimized for various platforms.

Decisions that affect production and the quality of the deliverable are critical and often daunting, given the set of variables to take into consideration. But the process does not need to be overwhelming, nor should it be left to chance. An experienced, professional video production company can simplify the process from beginning to end.

Seasoned production professionals begin by asking the right questions about your deliverable needs in order to make informed choices during production planning. They will consider all of the factors mentioned above and more, such as whether or not to capture in RAW format, or the factors that are required to implement newer technologies, such as 4K and HDR.

Considerations for multiplatform video distribution are not limited to production and post production. In fact, the next most significant consideration in the process is how to transform the end product into the various iterations required by multiple platforms—each nuanced enough to warrant meticulous transcoding. Here again, a professional video production company can “down convert” your project to the specifications each platform requires without sacrificing the overall quality.

The considerations for multiplatform video distribution are many, and knowing how your project will be used saves time and money during production. A seasoned and experienced production company can save time and money by producing a straightforward combination of superior file quality and efficiency to deliver the necessary results to any platform on which consumers watch your video.