Expect the entire process from hiring to finished product to last anywhere from 4-8 weeks. This is the optimal amount of time the producer needs to get through all the writing, design, and revisions efficiently. Rushing this timeframe is possible, but it will likely cost you extra as the team will most often have to work overtime to finish it, generally on weekends.
Research & Kickoff (1st week)
The producer digs deep into your brand and your goals. With all this insight, you typically meet to agree on a direction for your video and discuss the process and plan for your production.
Script Writing (1st week)
In order to really engage the viewer and accomplish the goals you’ve set for the work during Kickoff, you need to have a killer script. It usually requires revisions and some back and forth to get it just right. This is, hands-down, the most critical component of your explainer video. If you’re script doesn’t work, you're dead in the water. Make sure the producer takes time to write an engaging, powerful script that works.
Storyboards & Styleframes
With a final script set, the artist creates a storyboard. This is typically a sketched (pencil or digital) representation of every single frame of your video. It should give you an idea of how your story will flow visually. Along with this, they’ll present a couple static renderings of what your video should end up looking like. This gives you an idea of the colors and feel of your video. Make sure it’s on brand!
Based on the script and branding information, a professional voice artist will get into the studio and record a read-through of the script. Some companies have voiceover artists at the ready, and others might sift through hundreds of auditions to find the right one. Be careful, some studios are OK with using subpar, non-professional voice artists that may not represent your brand well, but remember - audio quality is hugely important.
Design & Animation
The artist will continue to design out all the frames of the video for the animator. Once they’re complete and the voiceover is recorded, the animator will break every layer (sometimes numbering into the thousands) apart and meticulously animate each piece to match the voice recording. From here any changes to the script, storyboard or style could throw a huge kink in the timeline and incur more costs.
What is a video without sound? Boring! If you used a reputable producer, you’ll likely have sound design included. A professional sound designer will want to make sure the sound tells as much about you as the rest of the video. They’ll layer in custom sound FX to represent the movements in the video and either produce a completely custom music track or choose and fit a great track that’s royalty-free.
An editor will mix all the scenes with the final mix down of audio from the sound designer, render and deliver your video in the applicable formats.