One Day I'll Keep Up With Our Blogging
It is significantly more difficult than people think to write about what we do and publish it on a regular basis. There is so much work that goes into producing just one video, and we've made hundreds of them, with many more in the pipeline. That being said, let us give you a little insight into where all of our time goes and why it proves so difficult to keep up with regular blogging.
Just to give you an idea of what goes into making a video, let me try to write out the steps involved.
First, we take a phone call, email, text, referral, whatever kind of inquiry comes in, and we consider how we can help this client with our videography and marketing services. Taking the time to call or email back to say hello and gloss over how we may be able to help, this is a daily task and depending on the number of inquiries, can actually become rather time consuming. The next step is booking that client, drawing up an invoice and contract, talking about what the expectations are for their video project and how exactly we will perform to meet those expectations, all of this goes into writing before we go any further. This task takes more time than most people might think, but these things are crucial to our relationships with our clients. This is why we have a 5 star rating across the board from all of our clients.
Next, it's time to put the client's video shoot on our calendar and start the planning process. Will this video need to be storyboarded? Should we create a shot list? Every video is different and requires different preparation, but the one thing they all have in common: they take time to plan and execute effectively. Travel videos are a great example here. Not only do we have to make sure the video shoot goes on the calendar, we have to book flights, hotels, equipment rentals in some cases (renting gear in the locations we travel to ensures we're not trying to travel with thousands of dollars of camera gear and that our cases of gear can't be "misplaced" by the airlines), hired help like second shooters or assistants, and don't forget food and lodging arrangements. That's a couple days worth of work alone sometimes.
So, we haven't even started shooting or even planning what we're going to shoot exactly at this point. We're already many labor hours into this project however, and this represents a very good reason as to why we collect a deposit on all of our video projects. Imagine if this client backed out at this point. We would be out all those hours of labor and there would be absolutely nothing we could do about it. Collecting a deposit is crucial to our industry because it creates motivation on both parties involved. The old saying "let's both put a little skin in the game" really fits well here. Anyhow, back on track here, it's time to start to think about what it is we're going to actually film once we get on location. For example's sake, lets say we're filming a promotional for a tour agency of some major city in the U.S. and it's our job to help them fill some of the empty seats on their tour that's departing in a few months. We immediately start to think of the reasons that people would want to go on this tour. What are the major sights, best food, nicest hotels, and what were past attendees favorite part of the tour? As we answer these questions, we can start to derive a shot list of what it is we know we need to capture.
Next up, it's time to storyboard. Storytelling is not the easiest thing to do believe it or not. Effectively sending the message that "hey this is really awesome and you should totally buy it" is an underrated artform in our opinion. We like to take the time to sit down and think about the order of the visuals and determine how that order most effectively conveys your message to your potential customers. Again, all of this planning takes time and effort. Can you believe we're already this many hours, on average, 15-30, into this project, and we haven't even filmed one single shot yet? Lets keep going.
The day arrives that we're getting on the plane and arriving on location for this video shoot. Depending on the type of tour or promo we're filming, we're about to spend the next few days filming. Honestly, this is our favorite part for obvious reasons. Keep in mind at this point that we're still staying on top of our emails, marketing, and client calls all during this process too. There are a lot of moving parts to operating a video production service no matter how big or small. Add several-ish days to the time put in on this video for the filming and operations tasks and lets keep going.
Finally! We're back in the studio and it's time to edit this travel beauty we just filmed for the past, however many days. Well, let's first offload all our memory cards and backup all of the video files for safekeeping. It's more common than you'd think for a memory card or hard drive to fail at the worst possible time so this step is extremely necessary (a lot of times this step is done in the field, but more on that in a later blog post). Sometimes, it can take several hours for all of that footage to download and be backed up. Imagine 200ish or more gigabytes duplicating a couple of times; this does NOT happen quickly, and we haven't even started editing yet.
Next up, it is finally time to load all of this footage into our video editing software. We like to use Premiere Pro from Adobe but we've been known to use Final Cut Pro and other competitive video editing programs too. Typically, it takes a few mins, sometimes more, just for all the video files to be loaded into the editing program and organized. Now we're about to take a few days at least to go through all of those shots and picking the best few seconds of each and laying them out on a timeline. Once that's done, then it's time to order them accordingly to our storyboard from before. Next, color correction, stabilization, and other fine tuning, we like to call it polishing. Then we move onto audio. Audio is the most underrated and underappreciated part of videography by a long shot. We've literally spent more time going through our clips trying to find good audio than we did trying to put the visuals tother. Many times, we need a voice over from a narrator to help deliver the story's message. Once all of that is done, it's time to export and upload a "first cut" and deliver that to our client. You can bet your last dollar that they're going to have some notes/corrections to be made to their masterpiece. Once we get notes back we go into correction editing and then it's time to export and upload this video(s) again for more notes. Rinse and repeat.
Have you ever tried to upload a photo to Facebook and it takes FOREVER???? Or maybe even some of you have tried to upload a video from your phone/laptop to Youtube before? Remember how that seemed to be the longest upload of your life? Yeah, we know the feeling :) We do this on an almost day to day basis, over and over and over again (this is the reason why we try to get all of our corrections done in one single step because the back and forth can get incredibly time-expensive, but more on that in a later blog post). The point here is that we're probably hundreds of hours into this project. Sometimes people are really surprised by our prices until they read this and realize how much time and effort went into creating their video.
At any rate, the video is finished yay!!! The final cut has been sent off to the client and approved by marketing. At this point, it's completely up to you the client as to what you want to do with your video. We highly recommend uploading the video to both Youtube, Facebook and whichever other media outlets your subscribe to. Use relevant and attractive titles, keywords, and descriptions. It helps a lot to pick a thumbnail for the video that will be visually appealing to your intended audience. Wouldn't you hate to have put all that time, effort, and money into a video that just has a black screen for a thumbnail and all of your intended demographic scroll right past it because there was nothing visually to say "HEY LOOK AT ME LOOK AT THIS VIDEO!" like it deserves? Yeah, us too :)
We hope this gives you a good idea of the amount of work that goes into making each of our videos. It is all too common that we get inquiries from those who laugh at our pricing just to end up calling back later with a newfound appreciation for the attention we give each of our projects. Of course there are lots of ways to cut corners and save time and money on these types of video productions, but it is our experience that doing so yields a lesser quality product which translates to fewer sales, bigger headache, and wasted time for those who choose to take the "cheaper route." Don't regret taking the cheaper, less effective options out there. We want you and all of our clients to appreciate the amount of passion we have for your video marketing project. We say this all the time but it is so true, YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS and we love that.