People often ask for a look at how we make the videos. When we were putting together the the "Electing a US President" video, I made a special point to take photos of the process. Here's how it works:
Every video starts with a script. If there is "secret sauce" it happens in writing the script because the script drives the video. We use Google Docs to collaborate until we feel like the script is close to finished. Then, we start looking at a thumbnail storyboard.
I draw the scenes for the thumbnail storyboard. It's our first attempt to represent the visuals.
After a couple of rounds of thumbnails and lots of talking between us, we make a list of all the elements that need to be drawn for the video. At this point, I start drawing and digitizing the images. Of course, with the maps in this video, I resorted to tracing.
Once the images are drawn and digitized, we set up a new storyboard using purely digital images. This way, we can manipulate sizes easily and see how everything fits together. Once we feel confident, we print out the materials and start cutting and coloring.
Sometimes, we leave things laying around and our dog decides to put them in his mouth.
Before shooting the video, we assemble all the materials and take them to the studio. We iterate at every point in the process. The script and visuals change every day.
Once production begins, we follow the storyboard and slowly lay out each scene. Often, scenes are revised on the fly. You can never really see how it will work until you see it on the screen.
Each video is different. Sometimes we go down a road, only to find a dead end. We are both prepared to throw away our work and start over if it doesn't feel right. It's painful, but necessary.
Sachi takes over control once we get to the studio. She runs each scene, the camera, lights, etc. She manages the voice-over and all the post production work. Editing is a huge part of what makes the videos work and those decisions are Sachi's. While she's doing that, I start this process over for the next video.