A Short History of Corporate Video
In the 80s and early 90s video was widely acknowledged as the best way to deliver training; promote a product or service. It is entertaining, highly effective and requires little effort from the viewer. It was also ‘cool’. Then in the late 90s came the Dot Com Boom – This new and exciting technology meant that everyone had to have a website or a CD-Rom. Suddenly video tapes were seen as old fashioned.
Corporate Video Production Today
But things are changing again. Today, the widespread uptake of broadband, and ever more sophisticated encoding and data compression mean that video can be delivered at excellent quality to a large number of viewers at little cost. Video no longer means a black plastic tape – it has merged with digital media – with affordable ‘Hollywood studio’ quality MPEG encoding, advances in webstreaming and the ubiquity of the DVD, screen-based media can be delivered in many ways:
So How do You go About Commissioning Corporate Video, Film or DVD For Your Company?
For the purposes of this article, let’s assume your corporate video production project will include video production as well as graphical/multimedia content.
It’s important to sit down with a production company and discuss your requirements in detail rather than just emailing a brief to several companies to get comparative quotes. There are subtleties about your company that cannot be understood from an emailed brief such as preferred terminology, your company culture, your personality and your working environment. Try to establish a rapport with your chosen company. Video is very labour intensive and you will need to work together to get the most from your investment.
Before you meet them, you should think about these questions:
1. What is the Purpose or Aim of the Project?
Do you want to:
What results do you want to see?
2 Who is Your Target Audience
Your production company needs to have the same understanding of your audience as you.
3. How Will the Presentation Be Viewed?
On a big screen:
In the office:
If you have an understanding of your target audience you will know the answers to these questions.
Downloadable documents can be included on CDs and DVDs to use as a reference.
4. How Long Should the Programme Be?
This has less of an impact on the cost than most people imagine. A production cannot be quoted for in terms of £X per minute – as a professional producer I have produced a 5 minute programme with a budget of £ 100,000+ and a 20 minute programme for £ 9,000. (To find out what does affect the budget see Section no. 6)
Clients often say they need a 15-20 minute corporate video. This is a long duration for a corporate video. Think about a TV programme like Coronation street – this lasts around 23 minutes once you discount the time for adverts – and a lot happens in that time!
Then, think of the adverts themselves – a huge amount of information is communicated in 30 seconds.
Whilst a producer will pride themselves on making entertaining programmes, it is important to bear in mind that people do not watch corporate videos for entertainment! I would recommend aiming for the following durations:
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.
5. Do You Have a Style in Mind?
If you don’t – great! This gives your production company free reign to let their imaginations run wild.
If you do – then let them know! The most successful projects are always collaborations between client and production company
When you imagine the programme, what programme on TV is it most like? Casualty, Big Brother, Watchdog?
A production company should offer ideas of style in their proposal but if you already have a picture in mind, it helps if you communicate this at the start. Style can be restricted by budget – for example, a drama requires actors and props, a presenter-led studio programme requires a presenter and the hire of a studio, on top of the director and camera crew.
6. So How Much Does a Video Cost?
There are many variables in production.
The number of locations that need to be filmed in, number of cameras, tape format, number of interviewees, presenters, actors, props, studio fees, etc. and the delivery format (VHS, DVD, CD, webstreaming, conference). So it is very difficult to give a ballpark figure. A video can cost between £9,000 and £100,000+
If you give a production company a budget, they will be able to put together an appropriate proposal and quotation (and won’t include suggestions of using celebrity presenters and voiceovers or Hollywood style special effects if this doesn't suit your budget!)
All quotations should be itemised so you can see exactly where your money is being invested. If your budget is limited – here are some of the best ways to reduce production costs:
7. How long do you want the project to be used for?
If the project is to last for over a year, decisions should be made at this stage to give a project longevity.
8. What is your timescale?
When do you need the project? If you require copies for a conference or exhibition, the production will need to be completed at least 2 weeks before the event so that copies can be printed and packaged. Make sure your production company knows the deadline – and tell them if it moves!
As a guide, a project will take :
It can of course be done quicker – but your investment is better spent if time and care is taken on it. Quality control and testing cannot be rushed, it can only be bypassed - and that means a lower quality product.
Your production company should not take on a project if they feel that they will not have the time to produce a programme that everyone can be proud of. So - the sooner you get in touch with a production company, the better!
Visit the uk corporate video production team at iceni productions for more information and examples of recent projects for public and private sector clients.
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