|Useful information about the video production process|
Corporate video is a powerful media that can have a major impact on your sales campaign. Video production allows for versatility in that it can be played to a large audience at a conference or an exhibition or it can be used in smaller sales presentations or incorporated into a bid response. This document sets out to bring you a brief overview of some of the things you would need to know if you considering making a corporate video.
If you are thinking of a corporate video production, the first thing to do is arrange a meeting with a video production company. At this meeting the corporate video production company will aim to learn as much as possible about what you are seeking to achieve and will try to establish the following facts:-
(i)Who is the audience?
(ii)What are the objectives of the corporate video?
(iii)What is the likely lifespan of the corporate video?
(iv)How is the corporate video is likely to be used?
(v)What are the key messages?
(vi)Who and what needs to be filmed and where?
(vii)Does the programme need a script or can it be made up of interview clips?
(viii)Does the programme need a presenter or will voice over suffice?
(ix)Would the programme benefit from video graphics?
(x)What format will the programme be delivered in - CD ROM, DVD or web clips?
(xi)What are the timescales for the project?
It is likely you will not know the answers to all of these questions, but reputable video production companies will have a wide portfolio of work from other clients which they can show in the meeting to give examples of different approaches to programme production. Following this meeting the video production company will produce an initial draft scope.
A video production scope document is the reference document for all projects for both the client and the video production company. The document describes in detail the audience, objectives, messages, proposed treatment, filming schedule and budget for the programme. This budget is completely transparent in that it itemises the individual activities contained in the production process and states the daily rate and the estimate of time required for each activity.
The initial scope document produced may be agreed immediately or it may change as your ideas for the project develop and further meetings take place. However, once the scope is finalised the budget will be fixed and will not change unless you change the scope.
This process protects you from "budget creep" and protects the video production company from "scope creep". For example, if the video production company has underestimated one of their activities - editing for example - then this is their responsibility and no additional charge should be levied. If you alter the scope in any way during the project - adding an additional day of filming for example - the video production company will then amend the scope document, inform you of the increased charge and await confirmation of the acceptance of the charge before the additional work is undertaken.
Corporate and Training Video Production Costs
Corporate video is perceived as being expensive when compared with the development of other marketing collateral, though this is not necessarily the case. A corporate video can be produced for as little as £6,000 or as much as £50,000 depending on what is involved.
Advice on budget depends on the objectives of the corporate video and your likely return on investment. If the video is going to be used many times and be a key part of a long sales campaign to win a £500M outsource contract, a significantly larger budget would be required than a programme that is going to be played once at a conference.
The activities that will make up a video production budget are as follows:-
(iv)Presenter/voice over artist/sound studio.
(vi)Video graphics and grading.
(vii)Stock footage (news or general footage purchased from BBC or ITN).
(viii)Encoding (to CD ROM, DVD or web)
(ix)Software authoring (CD ROM or DVD menu)
(x)Artwork (on body disk label, interface design and packaging).
A simple corporate video may be shot on location on a single day at your company headquarters or customer site, the content may be made up of interviews (so no script) and may be edited over three days, encoded and delivered as a simple master disk. Such as project could cost £6,000.
A more involved project may have several days filming in locations around the country or in a studio, may have a presenter who appears in vision (so script will be required) and may include stock footage. The editing may take 10 days, include the creation of video graphics and the programme may be delivered on DVD with an interactive user interface where 500 copies are required. This type of project could cost in the region of £30,000 - so you can see how the budget is built up.
Video Production Filming
Probably the most important aspect of the video production process is the filming. Filming is charged by the eight hour day and cannot be cancelled or postponed less than 72 hours before the proposed filming day. You cannot book half a day of filming - it will be the standard day rate as the director and crew (cameraman and sound engineer) are unable to take on any other work that day.
You should therefore aim to maximise each video production filming day. If you want a video production company to produce a programme about a POS solution sold to a large retailer for example - they would want to interview the CIO or senior project manager from the customer so that they can tell the audience of the benefits the system has brought them. This may only take a morning - so ask your customer if we can film in one of their stores in the afternoon to show the POS system in action.
It is the pictures that tell the story and so if the script or the interviewees are discussing a subject, then that subject should appear in vision as "cutaway" material. Any spare time on a corporate video filming day should be used to capture good video cutaway material to add to the programme.
If a video production company is sent to interview someone, particularly someone who is key to the programme, they will want to make the interview look as good as possible. They will therefore need to have access to the interviewee's office or a conference room at least one hour before the interview is scheduled in order to create the set and light the room. It is also important that the room chosen for the interview does not suffer from background noise such a lift, canteen or busy road.
Finally always try to ensure that a member of your team accompanies the video production company crew on each filming day. Sometimes, through no fault of the video production company, things go wrong on a film shoot. An interviewee may turn up 2 hours late, a fire alarm may go off and the building needs to be evacuated and so on. In such circumstances the crew will need to make instant decisions about how to prioritise the remaining filming for that day and it is extremely helpful to the video production company if one of your team is there to help them.
Video Production Editing
Most reputable video production companies will initially create an edit for content only. This will link presenter pieces to camera or voice over with edited sound bites from interviews that have been captured. This edit will look very basic, but this doesn't matter, it is essential that the content and the length of the corporate or training video are approved and that you are satisfied that this content clearly meets the objectives and conveys the messages that were intended for the programme.
Once the content is approved the corporate video production company will introduce the cutaway material, develop the graphics and will cut the corporate or training video to the music. This will make the programme polished and you will be asked to approve a final edit. Here you may wish to change the cutaway material used, music levels or tweak the graphics. Once these changes have been given to the video production company there should be no further changes to the programme. It is therefore important to get all of the stakeholders involved in project to be part of this stage of the approval process.
Once approved, the programme will be encoded so that it can be delivered on CD ROM or DVD. Some video production companies may even develop artwork for the disk labels, menu interface and disk case if required, including the arrangement of disc duplication.
About the Author
I-MOTUS is one of the UK’s leading corporate and training video production companies. Our team uniquely combines proven business savvy with some of the television industry’s brightest creative talent to provide a fresh approach to the most challenging of marketing and communication briefs. http://www.i-motus.com/?referrer=IM03GO
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