Time. It’s one thing we all wish we had more of. I’ve already discussed the importance of a solid shooting schedule when working with a production company, but just as important as the daily schedule is setting aside ample time for the entire project. If you are faced with the task of producing a video for your company and you have an important deadline staring you in the face, it’s vital that you don’t wait. There are many items on the action list that must be checked off before cameras roll, and those items can take time – especially if every decision has to be approved by the higher ups. Remember, a quality video cannot be slapped together from pre-production to post in only a week. Be sure to follow this timeline and you will have a stress-free experience.
12 Weeks Out -
- Search online for production companies. Take a look at their online demos. See who they’ve worked for. Take note of any awards they may have received. Read the staff bios.
- Start soliciting production companies. Give them a call. Tell them what you’re looking for.
- Ask for a demo reel. Many times a production company can’t put every sample on their website. Their reel will usually be a little more extensive.
- Schedule meetings with those companies you were most impressed with
10 Weeks Out
- Make your final decision on which company you would like to hire.
- Sign the contract.
- Send in your deposit. Most companies request a deposit as a retainer. The deposit helps defray the pre-production costs of script writing, initial creative meetings, etc.
- Start working on all the creative concepts
- Write the script
8 Weeks Out
- At this point the script and creative concepts should be approved
- Secure locations
- Secure talent (including voice-over)
- Schedule the shooting dates
- Finalize all other pre-production requirements
7 Weeks Out
- Shoot It. Make sure a company rep is on location to ensure that everything is running the way you would like.
6 Weeks Out
- Get any logos, graphics, etc. to the production company for the edit
- Provide the produciton company with any stills you would like to include.
4 Weeks Out
- The voice-over should be recorded during this time.
- Look at the rough cuts. Approve what you like. Change/Alter anything that isn’t working for you.
- For the next two weeks, let the editor do his thing. Sit in on the edit if that’s your style, or pop in occasionally for updates.
2 Weeks Out
- Make final changes/approvals
- Again, let the editor do his thing.
And then after those two weeks are up you should have a video that reflects the standard of excellence that your company strives for. Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind:
- Is your subject matter seasonal? For example, are there certain things that need to be shot for your video that only happen certain times of the year? Schools are only in session for nine months out of the year, so a delay in the production timeline could mean having to wait until the fall before production can start.
- How often does your daily/weekly schedule change? For example, a manufacturing company might receive raw materials certain times of the month. So, if they plan to shoot a training/safety video it’s important to know when those materials arrive so the production company can film the process.
The above timeline is a good reference point, but of course we don’t always have the luxury of time. However, always remember not to delay. Keep everyone informed. Respond to the production company in a timely manner so nothing gets behind. Do that and I guarantee everyone walks away with a positive impression.