So you want to get started in video production?
As the photo and video director here at Dallas Riffle Media, the first question that I am asked when I bring up video is “How much is this going to cost?” Video production costs can be incredibly complicated and often freighting for clients that are on the fence about making a video. In short, Yes, video production is expensive compared to other forms of content but in the long run, it’s more impactful and cost-efficient than any other form of media. A $16,000 video created this year can have a shelf life of four to six years, making the actual cost breakdown $4,000 dollars a year. Over the lifespan of this video, it will help build brand awareness, drive customer engagement, and help customer acquisition – creating a quantifiable return on investment. So to begin, let’s go over what you should do to make a successful video.
Create a Production Brief
You may not be video savvy but you know what you want and more importantly what you don’t want. Ask yourself what kind of video do you need. Consider where your customer falls in the sales funnel, certain types of videos can work better than others depending on the stage. For more information on this check out our video marketing funnel https://dallasriffle.com/blog/2019/08/13/video-marketing-funnel/. What do you need to accomplish? When do you need it? How long does it need to be? Make your goals clear. A 30-second animated explainer video will have vastly different costs than a 6-minute brand awareness film. With a project brief prepared, you’ll be more confident when interviewing a production team and make sure they’re goals align with your goals. Remember this should be a collaboration.
Account for pre-production
The most important part of video production is often the most overlooked. Pre-Production is anything that must happen before the camera starts rolling. Pre-Production is mostly project management. Securing locations, people, equipment, scriptwriting, and art production. Unlike most other creative forms of media, video cannot be recreated. If you miss a shot or lose access to a location that could mean thousands of dollars in extra production costs or in the worst-case scenario scrapping an entire project. In this phase, keep in constant contact with your video partner and ask a lot of questions. When it comes time for shooting, leave nothing to chance. While it might seem frustrating spending a few weeks without anything to show, it will be worth it to save your mind and your wallet the stress. The complete video idea should be fully fleshed out and approved going into the shoot. At Dallas Riffle Media I start each video project off with a kick off call and full creative brief that will be used to break down the process of pre-production.
The production company you are working with is not your personal studio – And, Production company, this is not a steppingstone project before you film the next great television pilot. Got it? Good, now kiss and make up. Both companies should act as business partners. Your success is our success. When it comes to answering questions, viewing proofs, greenlighting tasks, and handing over creative, keep deadlines in mind. If the production company asks for a full review of a proof by end of day Friday, get it to them by Friday. Keep the same standards and professionalism you would expect of any employee or business partner. This will have a significant positive impact on the entire process. Business can be hectic and as humans, we are sympathetic to mistakes. A simple phone call explaining that a deadline has to be pushed back is something that can easily be adjusted. Many times we see clients become overwhelmed by the process and afraid of making a wrong decision, make no decision, and communication stagnates. Remember this is a collaboration and we are here to help you accomplish a goal.
Streamline the revision process
As exciting as a brand-new video is, not everyone at the company should have input on the end deliverable. Determine who the key decision-makers are and create a narrative evaluation. The process of delivering a finished product should look like a conversation, not a checklist. Evaluate the video and determine what is working and what is not, then create a comprehensive document containing all feedback. The wrong question will net the wrong answer. At Dallas Riffle Media we know the right questions to ask. For example, “Does the music sound cheap and corporate or does it sound personal and custom?” “Is the Text readable? Does it convey not only the message but the brand?” These kinds of questions can spark more thoughtful discussions during the review process. With the knowledge, we gain from these review sessions we can confidently create the video you have envisioned so many months ago.
Hopefully, this addressed some of the pain points you may have experienced with past marketing companies and video production. Video production can be complicated and that’s why hiring a professional is so important. Be clear with your goals and hire someone that is experienced and treats the project as a collaboration. After its all said and done you should be confident in the ability to use video to elevate your brand.