Getting started

Studies show that people remember just 20 percent of what they hear, slightly more (30 percent) of what they see, but a remarkable 70 percent of what is communicated through combined audio and visual medium. Clearly, video is a owerful communications tool.

For individuals and organizations undertaking to create branded video content to deliver their message to stakeholders, the task may seem daunting and so far outside of their area of expertise that project management.

First, let’s talk about money. As with most things, you get what you pay for. Especially with video production, if you make a decision to hire a production company solely by picking the lowest quoted bid, you will probably end up with a video that is much less than what you expected.

Preliminary questions

Television is a huge part of our lives. We are accustomed to top quality production values, scripting and performances. Today’s audiences are sophisticated and expect broadcast quality video productions. If your video is anything less, your message and image will suffer in the eyes of your beholders.
Communication is key to the success of your video project. Your production company should be available at any time to answer any questions you may have. Your producer should be kept informed of the project’s status and what the next steps are.
Remember to ask questions, be sure you are asked a lot of questions, and go with your gut feeling. Chances are you will end up with a great product and have a fun time in the process.

What you should be asking potential producers …

What can I do to keep my costs down?

A good producer will help you keep the project within your budget. Communicating your project goals, concerns and questions, discussing creative ways to keep your costs under control in pre-production meetings, can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and ensure that your project is completed on time and within budget.

Some of the more common ways to save money …
• shortening the length of your program,
• employing a minimum cast of professional actors,
• keeping the number of shoot days and locations to a minimum, and
• ensuring that the creative concepts are strongly and clearly embedded in the script

What should I look for in choosing a producer?

As with choosing any supplier, professionalism, prompt response to your rfp and quality creative are key indicators of the level of professionalism of an individual or organization. But when it comes to video production, clients have an edge, as the proof is clearly in the pudding. The experience of the producer relates directly to the quality of the finished product. Ask to see examples of video work that the producer has personally produced.  If you like what you see and you are comfortable with the creators of the video samples, then you should feel confident in choosing a producer for your project.

How can I keep control of additional costs?

As you would with any other service provider, feel free to ask up front if there will be any extra charges. Some common ‘hidden’ charges include: taxes, tape costs, mileage, travel expenses and duplication/replication costs. As well, It’s important to understand that if you, as a client, make changes to the project that require additional work from the production company not originally agreed upon in the proposal, extra charges will apply.

What will you need from me, as a representative of my company?
You, or an appointed project manager from your company, will need to be accessible to act as a contact person to coordinate approvals, approve shoot schedule, script and other creative (casting, art direction and edit approvals), and help make the production process as smooth as possible.

Questions your producer should be asking you …

Who is your target audience?
What do you like and dislike about other videos?
What do you want to achieve with this video?
What do you want the audience to do after watching the video?
How will the program be shown?
How many shoot locations are there?
If we are shooting during business hours, are there any logistical concerns?
How long does the video need to be?
Do you need a professional on-camera talent or voice-over?
Who will write the script?
Will you need extra graphics or animations in the video?
Are there any other materials that need to be included in the video, such as photographs or other multi media?