At AJS Productions, we continue to see an up-swing in clients interested in shooting custom video for their business. In some cases, it is to create training to insure the methodologies being used for new employees (or new processes) are consistent, while in others it is to advertise their goods and services. Lately, an additional area of video business has been in putting together short, pseudo-documentaries where we need to summarize the events of a program or movement to aid in both providing its history and how it has evolved to where it is today. Oftentimes, these documentary-style shorts are used to make a presentation to the next group who may benefit.
There are costs associated with any video production, but as in almost everything in life (certainly in business), you get what you pay for in terms of quality and creativity. From the most complex to the very basic, every shoot is broken into three phases:
Time and money is saved during the pre-production phase, where careful planning and open communication with the client is extremely important. The easiest and cleanest shoots are the ones with the most focus on pre-production. And, there is very little cost in this phase, consisting more of meetings, email exchanges, storyboards and location scouting.
The costs associated with the production phase are easy to lock down because of the roles of those involved. There is a need for lights, sound, a camera operator and a director at a minimum, followed by additional crew positions to help with hair, makeup, wardrobe, props, set decoration and production assistance. Depending on the size and scope of the project, each of those roles have fixed costs, calculated in shooting days. Pre-production, done well, will give an exact number of days needed during production. Obviously there are factors that can skew this phase — bad weather, equipment failure and bad pre-production are factors that can cause overruns.
The post-production phase is where all the magic takes place. It’s also the last of the dominoes to fall and the better the first phases go, the easier it is to deliver a superb product. However, the more egregious the early errors, the harder they are to fix in post-production and can cause the budget to bloat. In this phase, all of the video is compiled and logged, audio is synced and the editing begins. It takes a keen eye and a skilled editor to make it all fit together like a puzzle of a thousand pieces. Once an edit has been agreed upon with the client, it can be cleaned up further with color correction, sound enhancement and design and then delivered in any of a number of mediums, from website delivery, all the way to the highest level of broadcast quality, including 4K Ultra HD.
Nothing can beat a well-done and delivered video to tell a story. That story might be the history of an organization, why a product is needed or how a change in ideology led to drastic improvements for a community at-large. A video can properly demonstrate how to operate machinery, follow a company process or provide examples of what not to do when interacting within a culturally diverse workforce. Taking the time to talk with a firm who has been involved in the industry for years can help give you an even better understanding of the process and why you should be looking to schedule your own video shoot.