The transition into moving image-driven content or video content is a natural progression for any brand that is looking to expand its customer base. For people new to the film making process, it can be a daunting, exciting and sometimes intimidating experience. And no matter how long the industry veterans have been doing it, the same questions, challenges and issues occur again and again.
So here are a few things to expect, when making your first move into the world of branded or corporate video content production.
Be Clear About What You Want!
One of the biggest issues that can occur throughout the video content production process is a lack of communication on how you see the finished product. With two creative teams meeting for the first time, a lot of exciting ideas can be bounced around. Be sure to emphasize the ones you like and the ones you don’t, if you are unsure say so, as once it’s in the can it’s a lot harder to change.
If an agency is taking the project in a direction you don’t like, then tell them. A director will often be just as excited about the brief as you are, but the way they visualize it could be completely different than you do. Don’t be afraid to say no and get things flowing in a direction that best serves your brand.
How Much Video Content costs?
So after having your initial meetings, the ideas have both parties fired up, and you ask for a quote. When said quote comes back, it’s a lot more than you expected. You are shocked, put off and can’t help but wonder “Are they trying to pull a fast one?” The answer to that is almost certainly not. Film production can be as expensive or as cheap as you need it to be, depending on your vision.
Don’t be afraid to ask why things are costing the way they are. See if there is a middle ground you can meet on that is more cost-effective. But remember, if the project is an ambitious one, you need a team with the experience to handle it. If it’s a simple project, then a smaller crew may relish the challenge and deliver something brilliant for a great cost.
Sign it off!
The implications of not voicing your concerns and being disappointed with the results are quite a possibility. So make sure you are aware at every step of the way.
This is also important within your business; ensure that the right people make decisions. So, make sure the right person is signing things off.
Get your Act Together!
All the prep is done; everything has been signed off. Finally, you arrive on the big day. You get to the shoot location at some time in the morning, and it’s a hive of activity. There are people moving furniture, erecting lights, setting up the complicated-looking kit and you have no idea what is going on. You usher into a room where an attentive runner makes sure you are never without a cup of tea. The people you have been working with for the last month are now running around fighting a thousand fires, with stress levels at its peaks. You may wonder, “Is this all going horribly wrong?”
Actually, this all perfectly normal, film shoots are always very orderly chaos. There are so many variables, that’s it is almost impossible to cover every eventuality.
As the shoot begins, things start to settle down and come to a standstill. You start to notice there are an awful lot of people who appear to be doing nothing. But then you are actually paying a group of high-level professionals, who have to do their job efficiently and quickly when the time is right.
After a few hours, when the novelty wears off, you watch the same action again and again, and the crew does retakes from different angles. This is the reality of film making; it’s actually incredibly dull. But it’s necessary to get all this coverage in order make sure you have a coherent piece at the end of it.
Is it that long?
The post-production period is often the most overlooked of the entire process. You may have been filming anywhere from one to ten days, but post-production could last anything from a week to several months, depending on the complexity of your project.
When you see the first cut, it will likely be a bit of a disappointment. The colour will be flat, the music will be missing, and the scenes may seem hastily edited together. Even the graphics will be of low quality or completely absent. This is entirely normal; just try to accept and look past the superficial errors. If the film conveys the message you wanted, then you are onto a winner. If you feel it’s unclear, give notes and see if they can bring it more in line with your vision. There’s a reason they spent so long doing the same scenes again and again.
The colour grade and the dub that follows will add the much needed professional finish. This will make your film look as good as you imagined.
Whether you are just starting out in this area or have been producing video content for years, these pointers help a bit.