Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Do you even need a production agency in 2020? Well, it depends. Truth be told, your phone can be enough for a simple, less polished video, and who knows, maybe that's the look you're going for. In a situation where a fast organic output is necessary, the phone can be a fine alternative.
The basics of video production
Taking a concept and bringing it to life is video production in a nutshell. In actuality, production starts from the initial brainstorming sessions. These deskwork sessions are invaluable. Hours of careful planning are amassed before a camera ever rolls.
Depending on the project, a production company may find it advantageous to invest hours of research to get things like characterizations, locations, and tone correct. This is especially valid for narrative pieces that require massive dramatization.
The stages of video production (apply to all projects)
Regardless of the project, skipping any of the steps above is a terrible idea. Pushing to get a shooting date as soon as possible is a typical mistake production clients make. We agree rolling the camera is the most enjoyable stage, but only when we have absolute clarity on what it is, we are producing. You would not believe how many times projects are greenlit with little to no pre-production only to fall flat because of a lack of proper targeting, distribution clarity, and a lack of measurable goals for the video.
If you are planning on investing the time and money to make a video, make sure that it drives your intended results.
An innovative term coined by Hubspot is "Inbound Marketing." It is proposed that customers are more likely to do their research online for a product or service as opposed to talking to a salesperson. The inbound marketing approach is to produce content for each stage of the buyer's journey so that they can mostly educate themselves and seek your product or service once they are ready to commit.
How does inbound marketing apply to video production? Well, it serves as a great example of the value of pre-production. It is nearly impossible to have an effective video strategy if a production company does not do the necessary deskwork of understanding your buyer personas and video goals.
Video goals within the flywheel:
Attract them with a video that provides value. Engage them with an assortment of relevant content pieces that established you as a prominent voice within your industry. Delight them after a conversion has taken place with an onboarding video that helps customers get set-up with your solution.
When to hire a video production company?
The short answer: anytime you want to achieve a polished video that hits on the specific goals you set for it.
It is the video production agency's job to guide you in creating a video that hits on all the goals you set for it. The video production process is composed of the following stages: Pre-production, Production, Post-production. During the pre-production phase, the video production company should work jointly with the client to not only understand the goals set for the video but, to a more significant degree, the client's business as a whole.
The only way to produce a compelling video is to analyze aspects such as video distribution, target audience, and video intent. A production company will work intimately with you to determine things like shooting styles, aspect ratios, and overall look and feel. Making the wrong video is relatively easy; the last thing you want it to spend a large amount of effort and money creating a piece of content that is either not optimized for the platform or fails in communicating with the intended audience.
A production company handles:
What is the cost of video production?
The cost of production is usually project dependent, but the hourly rate for a fully equipped videographer is generally around the range of $150.00 per hour.
Many factors determine the cost of production. Let's start by considering what your production needs are. Do you need multiple locations, talent, extras, hair & makeup, art directors, or special effects? If you do, there will be a cost associated. Maybe you think you do and you don't! Finding a customer-centric production company that aids you in reaching your video goals while only spending on what you need is ideal.
What you don't want to skimp on is the pre-production. It is cheaper to figure things out in the office as opposed to on location with cast and crew on the clock. Locking down the creative approach beforehand provides a clear blueprint come production time. Still, please leave your creative hat on and eyes open for opportunities that tend to appear on location.
So in closing, unless your project is an hourly videography shoot, it is nearly impossible to provide an accurate quote without assessing your production needs.
What should you expect from the video production process?
It is a creative process. When you're dealing with creative works, you must come to terms that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What does this mean? Simply put, your focus should be on whether the video will succeed at accomplishing the goals set for it. The video was created for a specific audience, and quite frankly, you may not conform part of that demographic, meaning your opinion my not be relevant. When creating a script for your video, do it from the viewpoint of your buyer personas. Don't object to a video because it does not speak to you individually, but make sure it grabs the attention and drives action within its intended audience.
Depending on the video you want to have produced, it may require information on how and who you do business with. A good video production company should be proficient in orchestrating a strategy for the creative process and distribution. All elements should work in synch. Things to consider in the initial stages of production: current marketing efforts, future goals, industry, creative placement, and buyer personas.
Video production is a fascinating process, but the actual shoot usually takes longer than expected. It is crucial to have a solid plan, come production time.
Shoot day has arrived! Its go time everyone on set is excited and bursting with adrenaline. So guess what? It's a terrible decision-making state. We always preach while on set stay creative; if something good comes up, let's try it, but that's very different from ok were on location what the hell do we do now?
Shooting is a long process even when fully prepared can you imagine the chaos if there were not pre-production. Please make sure the video production company in charge of producing your video is strict with their preparation; otherwise, you're in for more hiccups than necessary on shoot day. Full disclosure issues will ALWAYS arise while on set, it's just the nature of the business, but a good pre-production phase will reduce these a considerable amount.
What the heck is post-production?
There's a saying in Hollywood that a film is written three times. By the screenwriter, by the director while on production, and by the editor in post-production. All these individuals have a hand in sculpting the film and surely apply their taste, but enough with the cinema lingo lets get to post-production.
In the post process, an editor will edit the film or video. It happens in stages; an initial timeline is created where the clips are laid out according to the script for initial reviewing. Once approved, it moves on to a picture locked phase, and things like color grading, VFX, graphics, and audio can be mastered.