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Josh Hester, Principal & Executive Producer, shoots a series of video marketing coaching videos for clients of The Storyteller Studios.

Filmmaking is an art,

we have it down to a science.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about how we work. Shooting soon? Check out our shoot-day tips page here. If you don’t see your question here, please email us at and we’ll add it to the list below.

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, using this calendar link.

There are 4 phases to our typical project.

  1. Budgeting - Every video is custom made. Tap "Get A Quote" from the menu and complete our brief on-boarding questionnaire. Within one business day, we'll respond with a preliminary project budget and an invitation to book a phone or video call (your choice) with our Executive Producer, Josh Hester.

  2. Pre-Production - Complete our easy online pre-production planning guide. Book your shoot via our up-to-date cloud-based production calendar.

  3. Production -- Relax, have fun, and trust our award-winning crew. You will receive the first edit of your video within 4 weeks of shooting via a private review link. We'll work with you until the edit is perfect.

  4. Delivery -- Your web-ready video file(s), custom thumbnail image(s), professional caption file(s), and music licensing documents will be sent to you for download via the cloud. Share your video and realize higher engagement levels than ever before.

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.

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.

Here! There are 4 key questions to ask yourself when beginning to plan an effective marketing video.

  1. Who is your target audience?

  2. What message do you want them to hear?

  3. What will your video invite them to do next?

  4. How will you show it to them?

Once you have clear answers to these questions you can proceed with what we call pre-production.

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. The guide is intended to help you establish the following:

  1. Your target audience.

  2. Your message.

  3. The “cast.”

  4. The interview content.

  5. The shooting locations.

  6. 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.

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.

The people already "cast" in pre-production are the people we’ve thoughtfully identified to tell the story best and in the most economical amount of screen time. However, we know sometimes additional interviews may be suggested on the day of the shoot. We're happy to accommodate these if it helps our client manage the project, but with the understanding that this additional content might not make the final edit. It's a hard reality for all of us, but we can only include a few people per video given our limited screen time. Also- Any project scope changes occurring on the day of the shoot due to last minute revisions to the production plan or any other circumstances beyond our control will result in an overage charge at the rate of $300/hour.

We recommend planning on about 20-minutes on shoot day to film each interview. Depending on the subject matter and content, most interviews don't take longer than 30-minutes to film. In fact, many don't take nearly that long, but we always prefer to spend a few minutes waiting between interviews or tweaking our lighting setup than to be rushed or to make people wait on us unnecessarily. That said, we're making art, so setting the expectation that we may not run precisely on time is wise. In some unique circumstances, interviews may take longer than 30-minutes to film, but typically we all understand this before they are scheduled.

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.

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! 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.

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.

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 math in our head and it can be a lot! We will summon interviewees and other participants when we’re ready. It helps a lot to plan a separate room or area for people to wait in.

Our work is entirely about authenticity so, simply put, we want people to be themselves on camera. 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.

You can expect to receive the first edit of your video via a private online review link within 4 weeks of the day we finish shooting. Two complimentary rounds of revisions are included at no extra charge.