The most asked question we get from clients is ‘how much does a video cost?’ To us that’s like asking how long is a piece of string? Like most industries the price depends on a lot of factors. But with video it can be quite deceiving as the end product does not always make it obvious about how much is required to make it.
Content is king and audiences today are savvy, smart and discerning and expect a high level of quality. When people are watching programs like Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things audiences don’t want to have to suffer through terrible audio and bad vision. But what a lot of viewers may not understand is the long hours and expertise it takes to bring high quality video to your screen. It may run only 30 seconds but that online video you watched may have taken weeks of pre-production, several days worth of shooting and weeks of post-production.
So let’s take a look behind the scenes to illustrate the time, effort and skill that goes into making video look great.
To us this is the most important step in the whole process. If you take the time to get this right then everything else will fall into place. This is the stage where we ask all those vital questions – Who is your audience? What is it you want to say? What do you want your audience to think, feel and do? What do you want to achieve? How will this deliver your message? All these questions need to be answered so we can make sure your video does exactly what you want it to do.
With all the above information we then can create the concept, storyboard, scripting, organise and schedule shoots days, book on camera talent and crews. There is a lot of organising and coordinating to make sure everything is ready before we say ‘Action’.
It can be as simple as arriving at a location and shoot. We use the existing light either inside or outside and follow the subject around as they undertake their tasks. With shoots like this it can quick and seamless and the most we will ask is that you do the same task a few times so the camera operator can get different camera angles of the same action.
To make interviews look well-presented and professional we will usually have the interviewee wear a lapel mic and a boom mic rigged up over them. If we are indoors we will set up three point lighting to light the subject. If we are outside we will use natural light and rig up diffusers and bounce to soften and bounce light on the subject. This can take from 20 minutes to over an hour to set up.
When we have a full crew for a production then this is where it can take hours to set up just to get one shot. We can have crew numbers starting anywhere from 5 up to 20 people. The time it takes to set up lights, audio equipment and camera can be hours. That’s not including the time to block scenes with on camera talent and coordinating between the Art Department, costume and makeup. And if we need to move to different locations we have to pack everything up, move and start all over again. So that 30 second video you saw could have taken 3 days to shoot.
3. Post Production
Once the shoot has been completed we enter the last stage. This is where we take all the footage that was filmed in production and start editing it all together. But what a lot of people may not be aware of is that post production includes a lot more than just cutting shots together. This is where we mix the audio to make it sound polished and refined, add music and sound effects, add any titles, graphics and animations and where we colour grade.
All of these components go into bringing the video to life and make it look like something you would normally see on Television or online.
For many of our clients this is a very new process to them and we love to bring them on the journey with us. In the end they have a great video that they can use to promote their message and hopefully love video and film making as much as we do!