A well-made corporate video will provide a great ROI for your business. But how do you make sure you are getting a quality production that will also come in on budget? Here are three of the most important steps in the corporate video production process that you can’t afford to neglect.
People often ask us how we have achieved so many video production awards. The reasons are quite simple – we take the time to get to know our clients, research their brand and understand what they want to accomplish.
Research begins with meeting clients to determine the overall scope of the video. We consider the client’s message, desired outcomes, their target market and where that audience will interact with the finished film i.e., on TV, online, via smartphones or at a conference.
From there we move on to brainstorming. We find a direction for the video that is achievable within their budget. We hone their message and identify its essence – a core idea to develop further. This is the beginning of development. We then work out how to visually interpret that idea. We discuss important questions about the production like – How do we tell this story? What elements do we need to include? Who, what, where and when will we shoot?
Development is also informed by our knowledge of production costs – what is available at any given time for a certain cost. During this important stage we determine the style, pace and tone of the video as well.
We have all seen videos that fail to engage us, for a range of unintended reasons. Allocating adequate time for research and development will ensure your corporate video has a strong story, a clear message, an appropriate style (to connect with your audience) and will be achievable within your budget.
When it comes to getting the best out of any project, an emphasis on planning and preparation will always produce a superior video. It will also ensure your production doesn’t go over budget.
We quote on corporate videos all the time. Unfortunately, many clients only focus on production costs because they are so expensive. Few, however, understand the importance of allocating time and money to pre-production and the money it can save.
Pre-production is where your video goes from being a concept to a practical plan of action. It is the planning, preparation and organisation that enable production (filming) and post (editing) to run like a well-oiled machine. It also ensures that your crew has time to prepare for the shoot properly and fix potential issues before they become a problem.
During this stage we plan our shoot, source talent (actors), locations, crew and props. We secure access and permissions to film. We liaise, audition and visit locations. We troubleshoot. We find solutions to any obstacles we encounter and identify alternative options when we hit a roadblock. Ensuring all avenues are explored and details considered during pre-production minimizes the chances of expensive problems cropping up during filming and post-production.
Imagine a day of shooting on location with crew and talent. Professional crews typically cost anywhere from $4,000 (with a small crew) to $15,000 per day (for a medium sized commercial shoot). That means every hour costs between $500 and $1875. Running overtime (often at double time) because of an oversight that could have been identified during Pre-production will blow your budget. Suddenly a quote that seemed cheap results in a video that becomes very expensive because of variations.
Pre-production is one of the key foundations of a successful film. We rate it so highly we recommend that research, development and pre-production represent about one third of your total budget. A good corporate video production company will ensure these elements are adequately budgeted for, so your film is the best it can be – and doesn’t run over budget.
This stage is an often-neglected aspect of post-production. During finishing, a quality media production company will invest time in attention to detail that makes your film look and sound outstanding.
Colour grading is a bit like photoshop for video. We tonally balance and give an overall look to the pictures. Audio sweetening and clever sound design take the film to a whole new level of sophistication and quality.
Mastering out is the process by which the video is transcoded. It is output to as many formats as your require depending on how the film is to be viewed – broadcast TV, Blu-ray, USB, online, etc.
While finishing and mastering out account for around 5% of the total budget, many clients underestimate the value of this step to their brand. Consequently, they can be left with a video that looks or sounds rough and unfinished – which reflects poorly on their brand. A good film will always be finished beautifully – and the value to your brand cannot be underestimated.
Time spent in research, development and pre-production will always give you a better base and direction for a stronger, more cost-effective shoot and edit. By ensuring time is spent on the finishing and mastering out, your final film will look and sound the best it possibly can. Check that these three most important steps in the corporate video production process are included on any quotes you receive. If not, ask your media production company for more information or seek a better quote elsewhere.
About the author: Gavin Banks is the Creative Director of Good Eye Deer, a world-class, award-winning video production company with offices in Sydney and Newcastle. If you are looking to produce a corporate video please contact us to see what we can do for your brand.