After working in media production for more than three decades I have gotten pretty good at anticipating the questions that arise about the video production process. Here are the answers to the most common video production questions.
What is the purpose of creating a video for our business, and how can it benefit us?
The purpose of creating a video for your business is to effectively communicate your message or story to your target audience through a visually engaging medium. A professionally produced video can benefit your business by increasing brand awareness, boosting engagement, conveying complex information succinctly, and driving conversions or sales.
What is the typical timeline for producing a business video, from concept to final delivery?
That’s a tough one. Every project is unique. Unless you are creating a piece that requires shooting over a long period of time or extended travel, most projects can be completed in 3-6 weeks. However, we have turned projects in a day when onsite at product launches or industry shows. Here is a tip. Don’t rush pre-production. Take the time to be sure you have considered everything and develop a good plan. If you don’t you will be making changes that cost time and money.
What is the cost associated with producing a professional video, and what factors influence the pricing?
The perception is that video is expensive. It can be but it does not have to be. Costs are based on the time it takes to accomplish the individual production elements. That includes scripting, days on location, talent, hours to edit and produce graphics. If the scope of the project is well-defined, it is easy to provide a tight range of costs. It is more difficult when there are lots of “unknown factors.” That is why it is important to have great communication early on. There is no rule of thumb for a per-minute cost. That is because it is the level of production that impacts the dollars. A simple on-camera presentation with a few graphics costs a lot less than a sizzle video with hours of motion graphics that wow the viewer.
How do we determine the target audience and message for our video?
We work closely with you to identify your target audience and craft a message that resonates with them. Market research, customer profiles, and your business objectives guide this process.
Who develops the script and story concept?
The development of the script and story concept should be a collaborative effort between our creative team and your company. Provide as much information as possible and we can scriptwrite, storyboard, and develop the concept based on your input and our expertise.
Learn more about our scripting and brand storytelling services:
What role do we play in the video production process, and how can we contribute to the success of the project?
Every client has different needs and wants. Some of our clients want to be highly involved and go on shoots, so we keep them in the loop with advance notice of scheduled activities. Others just want us to do it, particularly if we have worked with them over the years. The level of involvement is up to you and based on your comfort.
You decide- highly involved or just oversee the production. One thing to note. A production company should have a very defined video production process that requires you to review and sign off at critical points. Read the script carefully. Be sure that the location looks good. Approve graphic treatments… and please don’t change your mind after everything has been created. If you do, it may impact your budget negatively.
Are there parts of the video production process we can do ourselves?
This question makes me cringe. Some people fancy themselves as scriptwriters or producers when they do not have enough background to know the pitfalls. Writing for video is very different than print. Shooting with your iPhone often gives you terrible audio. Motion graphics is probably the most difficult thing for do-it-yourselfers. The big question is- what skills do you have? If you have written for video- yes, we are happy to have you take on that task. If you are able to shoot video, do you have the proper equipment, understand lighting and audio? A factor to consider is how long it will take for you to do the work versus a professional. Maybe you do want to take on pieces of the production, maybe not. Take stock of what capabilities you have in-house and what should be outsourced.
How do you handle the filming process, including location selection, equipment, and crew?
With few exceptions, the production company you choose to work with will handle all aspects of filming, including location selection, equipment, and crew. Our experienced team ensures that the filming process runs smoothly and efficiently.
What options do we have for video style (e.g., live-action, animation, testimonials, product demos)?
You have various options, including live-action, animation, testimonials, product demos, and more. We’ll help you choose the style that best aligns with your message and target audience.
It’s important to note, however, that while many companies may offer you everything from motion graphics to live-action to animation, many only excel in one or two areas of production. That’s why it’s always good to see sample work for similar projects before signing on with a corporate video production company, to make sure their capabilities align with your vision.
How do you ensure that our video aligns with our brand’s identity and message?
Any production company worth their salt will take the time to understand your brand’s identity and message. You should work closely with the creative team to ensure that the video aligns seamlessly with your brand’s values, aesthetics, and tone.
Can you assist with talent selection, including actors or voiceover artists, if needed?
We can assist in talent selection, including actors or voiceover artists, based on your project’s requirements and budget. We provide sample auditions so that you can see and hear the talent delivering your message. This is another area where looking at a company’s prior work can help you in your selection process. You should be able to get a feel for the caliber of talent available to them, whether it’s voiceover talent or live actors.
What is the process for obtaining music and sound effects, and how do you handle licensing and copyright issues?
Your production company should handle the process of obtaining music and sound effects, including licensing and addressing copyright issues to ensure legal compliance. Ask what options they have as far as royalty-free or original sound that the production company has already purchased the rights to use.
Typically, when video production companies seek to incorporate copyrighted music or sound effects into their videos, they undertake a process to ensure legal compliance and proper usage rights.
- Content Selection: Initially, they choose specific music tracks or sound effects from licensed sources, which means these sources have legal rights to distribute that content.
- Licensing Negotiation: Subsequently, negotiations take place with the copyright holders to secure the appropriate licensing agreements. These agreements may involve financial compensation or agreeing to provide credit to the original creators of the music or sound effects.
- Copyright Adherence: It’s crucial to adhere to copyright laws and the specific terms and conditions outlined in the licensing agreements to prevent any legal complications.
- Documentation: Detailed records are maintained of all licensing agreements and associated usage rights. This documentation serves as evidence and legal protection for the business.
- Attribution Compliance: If stipulated by the licensing agreements, proper attribution is provided to give credit to the creators of the music or sound effects.
- Usage Restrictions: Businesses must strictly adhere to any restrictions outlined in the licensing agreements. These restrictions may pertain to the commercial use of the content or geographical limitations, among others.
- License Renewals: Periodic checks are made to monitor the expiration dates of licensing agreements. If the business intends to continue using the content, they must verify if they need to renew or extend the licensing agreements to maintain legal usage rights.
One thing to note. Most current or popular music from well-known artists can be cost-prohibitive for most clients. Don’t ask a production company to use something you have not purchased the rights for- even for one-time use. If they are willing to ignore the law- you do not want to risk doing business with them.
How many rounds of revisions are typically included in the project, and how does the feedback process work?
In your initial discussions with the production company, you should discuss how many revisions make sense based on the size and scope of the project. After those discussions, you should agree on a set number of revision rounds or at least get pricing based on the number of anticipated edit hours. We like to provide a high and low range. When the feedback process involves clear communication, it is easy for everyone to keep the project on budget and meet your expectations.
Can you help with video marketing and distribution strategies to maximize our video’s reach?
This can vary from company to company. Some production houses also have marketing teams that can provide you with full-service campaign development and management, while others may refer you to partners that specialize in those services.
What platforms or channels should we consider for sharing our video (e.g., website, social media, email marketing, trade shows)?
This depends largely on your content and your goals. A video promoting a specific product and a customer testimonial can have very different audiences, and therefore the promotion of each video can also differ substantially. However, in general, we recommend sharing your video on various platforms, including your website, social media channels, email marketing campaigns, and even at trade shows or events.
What formats and resolutions will the final video be delivered in, and can you provide multiple versions for different uses?
The final video can be delivered in various formats and resolutions suitable for different platforms and uses, such as web, TV, or mobile devices. In general, you’ll want your production created at the highest quality.
If, for some reason, you need to compress or lower the resolution of the video for certain audiences that’s entirely possible when you have a high-quality raw video. However, if you don’t produce at a high level, you won’t have the option to upconvert to higher resolutions or formats later without seeing reduced quality.
How do you handle post-production services, such as video editing, color correction, and visual effects?
Every production company will have its own suite of services and processes. You can learn more about our video post-production process in the following video.
What is your approach to ensuring the video is engaging and retains viewers’ attention?
We love to use storytelling techniques, visuals, and pacing to create videos that are engaging and hold viewers’ attention throughout. But, truth be told, there are many ways that video producers can create engaging content. Here are some common approaches.
- Compelling Storytelling: Crafting a compelling narrative is at the heart of any engaging video. Video production companies often start by developing a strong story or message that resonates with the target audience. They use storytelling techniques to create emotional connections and keep viewers interested.
- Clear and Concise Messaging: Videos that get to the point quickly are more likely to retain viewers’ attention. Production companies focus on delivering a clear and concise message without unnecessary filler content.
- Visual Appeal: The visual elements of a video play a significant role in engagement. Companies use high-quality visuals, including cinematography, graphics, and animations, to make the video visually appealing.
- Dynamic Editing: Video editing is a crucial step in maintaining engagement. Dynamic editing techniques keep the pace of the video engaging, with smooth transitions, interesting cuts, and visual effects where appropriate.
- Effective Use of Music and Sound: The choice of music and sound effects greatly impact a video’s emotional resonance. Production companies select music that complements the content and enhances the overall viewing experience.
- Engaging Introductions: The opening moments of a video are critical for grabbing viewers’ attention. Production companies often employ hooks, teasers, or visually striking introductions to draw viewers in.
- Varied Shot Composition: A mix of different shot compositions, camera angles, and perspectives keeps the video visually stimulating. Production companies use techniques like close-ups, wide shots, and aerial shots to add variety.
- Use of B-Roll Footage: B-roll footage provides context and helps break up the monotony of talking heads or static scenes. Incorporating relevant B-roll enhances engagement by adding visual interest.
- Interactive Elements: Depending on the platform and video type, production companies may include interactive elements such as clickable links, annotations, or embedded polls to engage viewers further.
- Emphasis on Emotion: Emotionally resonant content tends to be more engaging. Production companies aim to evoke emotions, whether it’s laughter, empathy, or excitement, to connect with the audience.
- Optimal Video Length: Keeping videos at an optimal length for the platform and audience is crucial. Production companies tailor video length to ensure it remains engaging and doesn’t lose viewers due to excessive duration.
- Engagement Analytics: Video production companies often use analytics tools to track viewer engagement metrics. This data helps them understand where viewers drop off or lose interest, allowing for adjustments in future videos.
- Audience-Centric Approach: Understanding the target audience’s preferences, interests, and pain points is vital. Production companies can conduct audience research to tailor content that resonates with viewers or use research that the company has already gathered.
- A/B Testing: Some companies conduct A/B testing with different versions of a video to determine which elements, such as thumbnails, titles, or content sequences, engage viewers more effectively.
- Call to Action (CTA): A well-placed CTA encourages viewers to take a specific action, such as subscribing, liking, or visiting a website. Production companies strategically integrate CTAs to keep viewers engaged beyond the video.
- Consistency and Branding: Maintaining a consistent brand identity and style across videos helps build familiarity and trust with the audience, increasing the likelihood of continued engagement.
- Engagement-Driven Platforms: Production companies consider the platform on which the video will be shared and tailor content to match the audience’s engagement patterns on that platform.
Do you have experience with closed captioning or subtitles for accessibility purposes?
With modern technology, video production companies create transcriptions faster than ever and deliver them with great flexibility. If you already have a video script, it’s even easier to create open or closed captioning. Providing the script to a translation service allows you to produce subtitles in a variety of languages.
Modern tools can transcribe spoken content and synchronize it with the video, making the process faster and more efficient. However, you must always have a person review and refine the transcriptions and captions for accuracy and readability before finalizing them.
What are your policies regarding confidentiality and the protection of our business’s sensitive information?
We have strict policies in place to protect your business’s sensitive information and maintain confidentiality throughout the project. If you work in an industry where information is particularly sensitive, you should ask your production company to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Also, ask how they ensure that their clients’ data is protected.
Can you provide references or case studies of successful video projects you’ve completed for businesses?
Most reputable production companies have examples of their work available on their website or YouTube channel. You should be able to get a good feel for their work from those two options. As for testimonials, most companies will offer those up as well. If they don’t have some publicly available on their website, they should be happy to provide a list of clients they’ve worked with. This is standard practice in the video production world.
As for us, we can provide references and case studies showcasing successful video projects we’ve completed for businesses in various industries, demonstrating our track record of delivering results. Or, as mentioned, you can check out our testimonials and work examples on our website, or our YouTube channel.
More questions? Just ask!
The video production process can be painful or a lot of fun. Want to know more? We’re happy to answer all of your video production questions or help you with your next project. Just give us a call at (616) 776-0354 or fill out our contact form.
Cynthia Kay founded Cynthia Kay and Company media production 35 years ago. The company produces communications for organizations from Fortune Global 100 to small businesses. A graduate of Michigan State University, Kay holds a master’s in communications from Western Michigan University.
She is the Past Board Chair of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) and the National Small Business Association (NSBA). Cynthia has been honored with many awards including numerous Tellys and Woman Owned Small Business Supplier of the Year from Siemens in 2018. She has been named One of West Michigan’s 50 Most Influential Women 5 times. She is also the recipient of over 30 broadcast awards from UPI, AP and other news organizations.