A VIDEO PRODUCT
The stages are quite similar
to those involved in creating a TV commercial:
We need to get together
to find out about your idea, to explain a few options, and to talk about
general pricing alternatives. This stage ends with a proposal and
an with a deal memo or an agreement. Often we are asked, during the
first phone conversation, "how much it costs to produce a tape X minutes
long?" Really - the length of a tape is among the least important
factors in determining the cost. We need to know more before offering
any estimate. Usually the more we know, the more money we can save
for you. Also, during this stage we must agree on a preliminary schedule.
This is the stage when
the script is written. It may take several drafts. The finished
script is used as a base for a list with production elements (any special
talent, equipment, graphics, and so on). On more complex projects,
some research may be necessary to pin down a final budget and a final schedule.
Obviously, very simple projects don't require a lot of pre-production.
If all you want is to videotape a seminar, both the "Evaluation" and "Pre-Production"
stages can be completed with a brief visit to the location of the event.
For stage shows, we may need to be present at several rehearsals, and the
lighting director must be instructed to work with us amicably. If
any copyrighted work will become part of your product, please let us
know if you need assistance in securing the clearance (otherwise we'll
assume that it's taken care of). When certain copyrighted materials
are essential for your project, let's make sure that they are available
before spending any real money!
This is, essentially,
the videotaping stage. If the planning is done correctly, it's usually
a very simple process. If we shoot in a studio or on location, everything
will be prepared ahead of time. Most likely, however, we'll be shooting
at your business place. All the people and special elements
that will appear in your commercial must be available at the scheduled
time. In most cases, it helps to invite a few good-looking
friends to act as customers - or for backup "roles". (We can hire
professional actors, however they are quite expensive). The people
who appear in the picture must avoid wearing anything with narrow stripes
(watch that shirt or necktie that will create moiré patterns!)
Gray, blue, green, or subdued red clothing look better than black
or white. We'll provide some basic makeup, if needed.
We'll need to maintain together a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. If you
invite a lot of guests, a lunch buffet (light foods only) may be a good
idea. Every location must be available for minimum 90 minutes before
and after the shoot, and a building electrician or handyman must
be present during this time. ATTENTION: if we record live sound,
be sure that someone knows how to turn off ALL electrical appliances!
For public locations, any access approvals or insurance matters should
be solved ahead of time. (You know your landlord better than we do,
so we will not interfere in any business dealings with "the building" unless
The post production is
basically the editing process, when the best images are assembled along
with the special effects, graphics, voice-over, and music, on a professional
tape format. Some homework - such as choosing the best shots
and a review of the script - should be done before we go to the editor.
For this purpose, we may preview together a VHS copy of all the material
available. Many times we'll also put together a draft tape before
final editing. If you can, we suggest that you join us during the
editing of the Master tape.
That's the phase when
the tape (or the disc) is duplicated and shipped as intended. This
is a rather automatic process, since all the variables should have been
planned during pre-production. On large projects, quality control
work is still necessary (for duplication and fulfillment.) Usually,
at this stage the project is taken over by the client's personnel.
If the new product is at the center of a new business ("selling media products"),
the next steps are determined by your business plan.