Posts Tagged ‘production company’

Shorter Videos Aren’t Cheaper

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Let’s imagine that you are currently accepting proposals from various video production companies on two different video projects. Each video is to last ninety seconds. Let’s suppose that Video #1 is a promotional video for a yearly two-day conference and seminar that your company sponsors. And let’s suppose that Video #2 is a promotional video for a specific product or service that your company offers. Sounds pretty straight-forward. Each video will last only ninety seconds. Each video will highlight your company. Each video will be used on your website.

So why is it that the budget estimate for Video #2  is five times greater than the budget estimate for Video #1? Since each video lasts the same amount of time, they should cost the same amount of money, right? Actually, the final running time of a video has very little impact on the budget.* To find out why Video #2 will cost more to produce than Video #1, you have to look at what’s involved in each project. Let’s suppose that in the case of Video #1 (the promotional video for the two-day annual conference) you already have all of the footage from last year’s conference. You simply want to re-purpose that footage into a video that promotes next year’s conference. So, all you need from the video production company is post-production services. You will even provide a script from which to structure the video.

In the case of Video #2, let’s assume that everything will have to be created from scratch. You need the video producer and/or director to come in, meet with you and your team, see the product or service, develop a concept, write a script, and provide all production and post-production services, which includes a two-day shoot on location with a full camera crew.

In these brief descriptions of each project, it’s apparent that Video #2 is a much more involved project than Video #1. Therefore, the budgets for each will be different, although the final running time for each video is the same. Think of it this way: most television commercials last thirty seconds. But, would you say that the commercial for your local furniture store cost the same amount of money as the commercial for Coca-Cola that aired during the Super Bowl? Each spot may last thirty seconds, but each one will have vastly different budgets.

*We’ve discussed the topic of budgeting before on this blog; how one video’s budget is not like the others, how to get the most accurate bid from a video production company, how to go through the budgeting process with your video production company, and several others. You can type the word “budget” to search our archives for articles pertaining to budgeting.

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One Way to Avoid Costly Re-shoots

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

IMG_5641BI understand that with almost every video production, the client and producer must strike a balance between scheduling enough time for adequate coverage while staying within budget. Although consolidating certain aspects of the production (i.e. the number of locations, the number of people appearing on camera, etc.) can help improve efficiency, taking it to an extreme can compromise the final video.

The video production companies that I know of (including ours) offer half-day (usually up to five hours) and full-day (up to 10 hours) rates. The production budget can be reduced by blocking off one half-day rather than one full day to shoot everything on the shot list, but dong so isn’t always the most prudent approach. The shot list may look rather short when reading it on paper, but in actuality can take much longer to complete.

Often when shooting corporate videos, it will become necessary to feature certain company representatives in the video. They may have a prepared script that they plan to deliver directly into camera. On paper, this looks simple: off-load the gear, set up, light, rehearse, and shoot. Let’s say you have four to six different people who must read from a prepared script, then shoot b-roll. It can be tempting to schedule a single, half-day for this shoot, but it’s important to consider a few things:

  1. Down Time - Since the on-camera talent is not professional, but rather, actual employees of the company, there may be times when they can’t make it to the location on time. Other things might pop up at the last minute that they are forced to deal with. This means you might be set up, ready to shoot, but have to wait until the company rep is available.
  2. Multiple Takes - Even professional actors need a few takes to get the delivery just right. This is especially true with non-professional talent. As mentioned in item #1, company employees have important day-to-day duties. It can be difficult for them to take the time to memorize the script. Don’t assume that they will have everything down before walking in front of the camera. They might need a few extra takes, and even some extra breaks if something comes up that they must tend to.
  3. Revisions – Sometimes the words of a script may not sound as eloquent as you thought they would when the talent starts reading it aloud. Or, certain facts and/or claims within the script may be inaccurate. In either situation, rewrites will probably be necessary, and that means additional time tacked on to your shooting day.

That single, half-day can quickly be used up, leaving you precious little time to capture everything else on the shot list. And once you start rushing through production, the overall quality of the footage will suffer. It would be wise to carefully consider the above points and go ahead and budget for a full-day, even when you think you can squeeze everything into a half-day. Better to prepare for the full day rather than be faced with costly re-shoots, or a video that doesn’t live up to your standards.

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Red Fox Media Wins Telly Award

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

tellyBirmingham, AL – July 6, 2010 – Red Fox Media, Inc. (formerly Parc Entertainment), a digital production company in Birmingham, took home a bronze Telly Award for a promotional video created for the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham (RPCGB).

The RPCGB is an organization representing six counties and 84 municipalities throughout central Alabama. By leveraging state and federal funds, the RPCGB provides various services to its member governments that help encourage economic growth and development for the region. It’s an organization with many components, so they needed a brief overview video to introduce viewers to the RPCGB and explain the organization’s programs and initiatives. RPCGB Marketing Specialist Greg Wingo turned to Red Fox Media to handle the creation of the video, from conceptualization to completion.

“As a Birmingham native, I was extremely excited to work with an organization that is doing so much for the city and the region,” said Clint Till, President of Red Fox Media. “The work of the RPCGB is so important and I’m glad that we could help communicate their message through this video.”

The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web. With over 13,000 entries per year, the Telly is one of the most sought-after awards by industry leaders, from large international firms to local production companies and ad agencies.

Red Fox Media, formerly Parc Entertainment, is a digital production company that specializes in video production/post-production and website design/development. You can visit them on the web at www.redfoxmediainc.com.

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Take a Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I’ve been doing some self-evaluation recently in an effort to better define my company and our mission. If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest developments here, we will soon be Red Fox Media. I know, you have questions:

  • Has Parc Entertainment been bought out?
  • Will Clint be moving on to work for someone else?
  • Is this the end?

The answer to all of the above is, “no.” Our business is growing and so we are expanding our services. Therefore, we have decided to change our name, to more accurately reflect the company identity. Here’s a brief synopsis of who and what Red Fox Media is (this will appear on our new website – www.redfoxmediainc.com):

Red Fox Media, formerly Parc Entertainment, is a digital production company in Birmingham, Alabama. As today’s media becomes increasingly integrated and pervasive, clients need dynamic and visually stunning content. That’s where we come in. Through HD video production and website design, we create compelling multimedia solutions that engage, inspire, and entertain. As media and technology continue to evolve, we readily adapt. That’s why we’re relentless. It’s why we hold ourselves to a higher standard. And it’s why we work everyday to provide our clients with visual excellence.

As we work toward the launch of this new brand, I’ve been thinking about our core values.  I’ve compiled them into a list. This list isn’t meant to be all-inclusive, but it will certainly give you an idea of what motivates us throughout every stage of every project:

  • We believe in challenging ourselves to create the best content for our clients.
  • We believe in having a passion for what we do.
  • We believe in creating content that stands apart from the others
  • We believe in high-production standards
  • We believe in constant improvement.
  • We believe in adapting to meet the needs of our clients and the marketplace.
  • We believe in greatness, not mediocrity
  • We believe in treating everyone with respect
  • We believe in prompt, courteous communication with all clients.
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Is It a Scam?

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I received an email a few days ago from an individual interested in purchasing a large quantity of videotape. I quickly scanned the email. It was odd, but I just  assumed he made an honest mistake. After all, we are a video production company, not a supplier. I responded and recommended a reputable supplier that I have used several times before.

After sending the email, I looked at his original message and read it more carefully. The more I read, the more suspicious it sounded. First, he introduces the email by giving his name, but does not tell me who he works for and what position he holds. Second, he doesn’t seem to know whether I am a video production company or an equipment supplier. If he obtained my email address from my website, then he would easily see that Parc Entertainment is a video production company. Third, if he is a professional in the production industry (as he indicates both from the content of his email and his email address) then surely he would be aware of the production supply businesses that are out there. And finally, there’s something about the way the message reads that throws up a red flag. The grammar isn’t quite right and some words are misspelled. Here’s the original message I received:

GOOD DAY,
I Am …,I Want to Order The Product Bellow.

SONY DVCAM TAPE PDV184N …………………….

165UNITS

I Will Like You To Get Back To Me Now With The Total Cost Plus Sales Tax.I Will Forward My (Visa Card) or (Master Card) Details For Payment As Soon As You Email Me Quote..

If you don’t have the tapes or you are a video production store,Videographers or photgraphers and you have a supplier that you can help us place a special order overnight and we can offer $3 on each unit for service render fee and make payment upfront before you place the order.We want your store to help us order from any supplier you know because we are busy in our production film field.

Get Back To Me Soonest on email.

After sending my response, recommending a media supplier, I received this email…
Hi Clint,Thanks for your email.I want to know if you can help us place a special order for 165units of sony tapes and we will make payment upfront plus tax and give you extra $3 on each unit for service render fee.Pls render us the favour because we are kinda busy on a film location field.
This second message deepened my suspicions. First, in my experiences in production, I have never heard someone from the industry refer to the set as a “film location field.” More common expressions are “on set,” or “on location,” Second, why would someone in the production industry insist on paying extra to purchase video tape through a third-party? In my response to this email, I again recommended a supplier that I have used before and stressed the fact that he would save both time and money by going directly to this particular company to purchase tape. Here is the third message I received from him…
Clint,I know it will save me money but i will appreciate if you can get us the units through your company and we will keep you in our record for future business on video production contract.
In my final message, I politely thanked him for his willingness to keep my company in mind for future reference, but would be unable to help him with his request. I found it odd at how determined he was to purchase tapes through me, even after I mentioned how it would save him money by going to a supplier directly. I never heard back from him after that.

So, what is your verdict? Do you believe this to be a scam?

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