Filmmaking is an art. We have it down to a science.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about how we work. Shooting soon? Check out our shoot-day tips page here.
Are you available on ... ? +
Planning and scheduling a professional video production can be challenging. We try to make it as easy as possible through our online always-up-to-date cloud-based booking system. You can check our availability at any time, day or night, by clicking here.
What's your process? +
There are 4 phases to our typical project.
- Budgeting - Every video is custom made. Complete our brief, 4 question on-boarding questionnaire and we'll respond with a preliminary project budget within 24 hours.
- Pre-Production - Complete our convenient online pre-production planning guide. Once the guide is submitted you will have the opportunity to schedule a phone call with our production team to discuss the details. Book your shoot via our up-to-date cloud-based production calendar.
- Production -- Relax, have fun, and trust our award-winning crew. You will receive the first edit of your video within 3 weeks of shooting via a private review link. We'll work with you until the edit is perfect.
- Delivery -- Your web-ready video file(s), custom thumbnail image(s), and professional caption file(s) will be sent to you for download via the cloud. Share your video and realize higher engagement levels than ever before.
How long is a good video? +
Every effective modern marketing video is three things; brief, authentic, and valuable.
By brief, we mean 2 to 5 minutes for an event video and 2 minutes or less for an online video. Our shared goal is to create a story that reaches the right people, connects them to your mission, and moves them to action. All of the latest research data shows that modern audiences are much less likely to watch a video online that is longer than 2 minutes. The hard truth is that no one will be moved by your video if they don’t watch it.
By authentic, we mean the video features real people, speaking in their own words, and from the heart. We avoid traditional production techniques like scripted voice-overs, on-camera hosting, and unmotivated graphics. Audiences have been marketed to with those techniques for over 50 years. They no longer trust them.
By valuable, we mean your video is teaching the audience something they didn’t already know, showing them something they don’t usually get to see, or entertaining them in some way that is unexpected.
Where do I start? +
Here! There are 4 key questions to ask yourself when beginning to plan an effective marketing video.
- Who is your target audience? ("Everyone" doesn't count!)
- What message do you want them to hear?
- What will your video invite them to do next?
- How will you show it to them?
Once you have clear answers to these questions you can proceed with what we call pre-production.
What is “Pre-Production?” +
Unlike a news story, high-quality filmmaking does not lend itself well to whimsy or last minute changes. Every great video starts with a great plan. We call this “Pre-Production.” It’s the critical work that takes place before the cameras roll. In fact, it’s so critical we’ve created a convenient online pre-production planning guide that must be completed before any shooting can begin. Using the guide, together we will clearly establish the following:
- Your target audience.
- Your message.
- The “cast.”
- The interview content.
- The shooting locations.
- The cinematic covering footage.
Once completed, you'll have the opportunity to schedule a phone call with our production team via our up-to-date online production calendar to discuss the guide and any questions or concerns you have in detail.
How many people should be interviewed for my video? +
Again, our shared goal is to create a story that reaches the right people, connects them to your mission, and moves them to action. The most effective modern marketing videos are brief and the most effective way to limit the final length of the video is to also limit the number of people interviewed. Our rule of thumb for deciding on how many people to include is to figure on one minute of final screen time for each person interviewed. That means if we're making a 2-3 minute video we want to limit the number of interviews to 3 people or less.
What should I say when someone wants to interview additional people? +
It’s critical to stick to the pre-production plan on the day of the shoot. This includes the names and numbers of those who have been “cast” in pre-production. These are the people we’ve already identified to tell the story in the most economical amount of screen time. Accommodating additional interviews not previously planned on before the day of the shoot is not possible if we are all committed to an effective video.
Will you send the interview questions ahead of time? +
No. We are generally not in the practice of sending written questions ahead of time. Naturally, if an interviewee has questions ahead of time, they will plan their answers, write them down, and maybe even attempt to memorize them, which turns the interview into a performance instead of an authentic conversation. The magic of film editing relieves those appearing on camera of the need to perform perfectly. Trust us!
What makes a good location for a video shoot? +
“Wow, you guys have a lot of stuff!”
Yes, we do! We’re committed to producing the highest-quality, best looking and sounding audio and video we possibly can. We’ve invested in the very best technology and tools to do our work. Our kit includes tripods, light stands, multiple cameras, a dozen lenses, microphones, mic stands, light fixtures, cabling, not to mention our crew of humans! Unfortunately, that side conference room where you hold spontaneous team huddles with a few of your staff on a day to day basis is likely not going to work well for our video shoot. The spaces we like best are large, relatively quiet, controllable in terms of foot traffic, and, importantly, help to tell our story visually in some way. We also need to have some idea of what this location looks like before we arrive. Please take a moment to snap a few cell phone pics and send them to us. We love getting these photos more than we love ice cream. And we really love ice cream.
Why do you plan shoots in half-day and full-day increments? We only need you for a couple hours. +
You can't rush greatness! Quality work requires us to be thoughtful and to be thoughtful takes time. Planning on a half-day or full-day shoot up front ensures we will have plenty of time to get everything just right.
How much time do you need when you arrive? When should I tell people to be ready? +
Once the perfect location is chosen, we need space and time to set and light our scene. This means we need the space for about 30 to 45 minutes and we need to limit the number of people on set with us to only those who are absolutely necessary. Don’t be offended if we’re less social than usual. We’re doing some sciencey maths in our head and it can be a lot! We will summon interviewees and other participants when we’re ready. We’ve been known to kick people out of the room while we're working and it makes us feel terrible. You can help relieve our crushing guilt by planning a separate room or area for people to wait in so that we have plenty of space to do our thing.
What should I tell people to wear? +
Our work is entirely about authenticity so, simply put, we want people to be themselves on camera. However, it might be a problem for video if your favorite shirt is neon orange. The best clothing to wear for a filmed interview is simple, solid, muted earth tones. Avoid bright colors, pastels, and tight, detailed patterns. They don’t reproduce well on video. We have a special affinity for blues. If you wear blue we'll be fast friends.
When will my video be ready? +
You can expect to receive the first edit of your video via a private online review link within 3 weeks of the day we finish shooting. Two complimentary rounds of revisions are included at no extra charge.