There are a lot of questions to be asked when businesses first start thinking about using video for their marketing needs. How much is a professional video going to cost? Who or what is needed? How long will it take to make? At RPR Studios, we encounter these questions and more with every new client we meet and we’d like to set you up to succeed. So how should you approach your video project?
- Have a Vision
Before you call on a video production company it’s best to have an idea of what style of video you’d like, what message you need to get across, and what budget you’re working with. Do you want to showcase your business from all angles with employee interviews, client testimonials, and lots of footage of your establishment? Do you need to document a roundtable discussion for demonstrative purposes? Do you want to use actors in a scripted scene to entertain your audience? It’s helpful to do some research and collect examples of videos that you can share with the production team. The clearer you can be with your expectations, the easier it is for a video producer to facilitate them or suggest cost-effective alternatives.
Also, consider how involved you’d want to be in the production. Do you want to write the script? Do you have the graphics you’d like in the video already created? Most video producers are not advertisers or marketers and will serve mostly as hands-for-hire to your vision. At RPR Studios, we do offer additional creative services like script writing, concept development, or graphic design for an added charge. Whatever materials you have or plan on having for the producer to work with will help keep the cost of the project down.
- Meet with the Production Team
Depending on the scope of your project, you may be working with your chosen video production team for a few days to a few months. It’s important to have an initial meeting in-person to get to know the crew and start the conversation about your video wants and needs. In a first meeting with RPR Studios, you can expect us to start the conversation with our background and show you some videos from our portfolio. From there, we like to learn about you, your business, and what you’re looking to do with a video. Sharing your ideas and the examples you’ve collected is beneficial at this early meeting as it helps us to consider production costs and generate a quote for you.
- Receive a Quote
After our first meeting with a potential client, we generate a quote. We consider a matrix of production details like how many hours editing may take for rough cuts, color correcting, sound mixing, or graphic designing; how many people should be on the crew and how long the shoot will take; and how many hours we will spend casting, scheduling, scripting, or revising. Unlike some studios that just give you a lump sum per project; our quotes break down item-by-item what services we feel your video requires. We encourage our prospective clients to consider the quote and suggest changes to the scope of their project to fit their budgets. We then reassess and re-quote. All clients are given a payment plan and we also offer special discounts for non-profit organizations or if a video series is bought in bulk.
- Pre-Production & Coordination
Once the quote is green-lit, we start on pre-production. This can include outlining, scripting, casting, scheduling interviews, location scouting, and much more. We can handle many aspects of this phase on our own, but (depending on the scope of the project) some things we may need help coordinating. Remember, you know more about your business than we do so when it comes to scheduling interviews with employees or selecting filming locations, we look to you for access and guidance. It is also in pre-production that we need your feedback most because what’s decided in pre-production is what ultimately gets produced. We may ask for approvals on actors, storyboards, or graphic elements. Any revisions after the production has commenced can be costly.
- Shoot Day: What to expect
With most productions, pre-production is the most extensive part of the process—and for good reason! When shoot day(s) comes around, we at RPR will be organized; will know where we’re going to be at what time; will know what needs to be filmed and how to facilitate getting the required shots. Depending on the type of production, our clients are either on location with us as guides, interviewers, or spectators, or are able to continue their daily schedule while we work on our own. Responsibilities are usually determined in pre-production coordination based on the type of video that’s being produced.
- Reviewing “Rough Cuts”
Once all of the footage is captured, post-production begins! Generally, our clients can expect to see a first “rough cut” within a week. Like the name suggests, these cuts are quite rough. The pacing or flow may seem off, audio levels may seem uneven, color or lighting might seem dull and the video may exceed the desired length (for example, a first rough cut may be 7 minutes long while the final cut is required to be 3 minutes). The purpose of the first cut is to match what was captured in camera to the sequence of the agreed upon video outline or concept (generated in pre-production).
From there we ask our clients for feedback and make their changes as well as our own for a second rough cut. The second rough cut is slightly more refined and usually shorter. We send that off for another round of feedback. After two rough cuts and feedback, we have the video at the desired length with the desired content and confirm a “locked” video with the client. Then we polish! For the final cut, video pacing is smoothed out, audio is professionally sweetened, music is added, motion graphics are finalized, color correction and color grading are implemented, and all final tweaks are made.
- Receiving your Finished Video
Some videos take a week to produce and some take a month or more. On average, our projects usually range from 4 to 8 weeks. Once the video is finalized, we export it in a format to suit our client’s needs, whether it’s for web, TV, or another format. Our most common export type is an MP4 file, H.264 codec, at 1080p resolution and 24 frames-per-second rate, suitable for playback on a computer, tablet, TV, presentation screens, or on social media. We always deliver finished videos digitally, unless requested otherwise (we can deliver on DVDs or flash drives for an additional cost).
So there you have it! We hope our production process overview helps you to approach your video project with confidence and understanding. If at any point you have any questions about working with us, feel free to give us a call at (518) 635-3456 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.