Frequently Asked Questions
What do we mean by a “Boutique Video Production Company”
We travel light, we bring in a small footprint, and we have a very small crew as not to disrupt your place of business. Our style arrived from doing run and gun shoots. Meaning we are capturing an event or moment live, we are following the action, and capturing these moments as they happen. We have adapted our style to maintain this approach, we just now use many more cameras’ to capture those hidden gems or surprise moment, unobtrusively.
We won’t bring in large amounts of video equipment and crew but will help capture the story with a small footprint. We generally still use 4 to 5 cameras for each shoot to get the expected and unexpected moments. We started out with a run and gun procedure. Meaning we are capturing events as they unfold then put together the story after. Our filming steps are we will come film an event, and then depending on project, set up a second shooting for pickup-shots.
This style is usually associated with news and lives events. You capture video of the event live as it happens. Sometimes you capture what you were expecting, some times you miss out. There are generally no do overs. If you miss something, you miss it.
A scripted shoot is laid out in advance, so all of the shots are set and pre-planning is done. This works better for Actors and paid Talent, but for real life events, and non actor talent, tends to give you more robotic answers, and reactions, and less believable. So we have adapted a combo we call Adapted Run & Gun. So depending on the project we use one of these two options, or a combination.
We try whenever possible to scout out the location and setup camera’s to cover the event, Interview so we can capture all of the action. We follow the action with a primary camera to follow the action as it happens. We try to capture pick-up shots before or after, like Close-ups, background, like sky, people talking and other shots relevant to the story to be used in the final video.
Projects take time, because you want to give the story its due.
As you have heard, when you call a production company for a quote, it depends on the size of project. That is true and here is why.
A video can be shot in a day, edited and output in a few minutes, hours, days or weeks. The quality, depth of story impact is dictated by the style and quality of a video.
If you want a quick output, the video pretty much has to be shot as is with and uploaded to your format immediately, with little editing.
A mid range 3 minute movie with editing and titles and a little movie magic and story telling should take at least 2 to 3 weeks to develop the script and idea’s, 1 to 5 days to shoot. At least 2 days organizing content, a couple of days for the right music, and at least 40 hours of editing, and back and forth reviews between client and editor. A good 3 to 5 minute can take a good month.
So it really does depend on what you are looking for.
The short answer is the shooting of the Event, or Movie usually takes place in one or two days or more. You have one shot to capture the moment, you may be able to capture some close-up shots at a later date, but assembling talent or the crew is an expensive component. The more planning we have up front, we can designate the shots we need and still have time to improvise while on the shoot. Time is MONEY, so we try to maximize the short Production time. We can do a lot of time saving in Pre-Production and Post Production. We are at Time’s beck and Call during a shoot.
Each project is different, and requires different aspects, some movies may be able to be shot and edited in a day or two, a good story deserves the time, because it will have a lasting effects for a short, medium or long time. This is why the meeting is the first step, once we hear what your goal is and what it is you desire, we can determine an estimate of a good time-line for your project. We want you to have as much information as possible to make an informed decision.
Here are the steps we take and the basic time line. These we have found the minimum time.
Some times the story can be told with the video shot on hand.
You always hear that each project is different. That is true, but we can discuss the options and budgets required for each type of shoot, that way you can make an informed decision.
You also may want to try a starter video, to see the impact it has on your bottom line. Before you commit to something more involved.
So now you have the basics into what goes into a small to medium scale production. We are concentrating on these small to medium size projects, because that is what we have been honing our craft and skills on and it gives us the most joy, because after all we want to have fun, also. I have been fortunate in my entire career to do what I like to do; this is an expansion and exploration of another avenue of creativity and keeps things fresh. Small to medium productions are very like what I have been doing my entire life, creating a show, sharing it with the world, and then moving on and doing another one.
People are sometimes camera shy, when you stick a camera in their face they freeze up or start to over analyze what they want to say or tell you and it becomes less believable. We set up camera’s to be out of sight and out of mind as much as possible, so you forget they are there and you become more genuine and your passion then shows through. We find that the majority of the best-hidden gems and moments we use are when the talent we shoot forgets the camera’s are on. This relays a moment or story that tells the essence of the message. This is what we try to capture.
So we will probably only have a 2 to 4 person crew, so we stay behind the scenes and out of view as much as possible. There may be sometimes we have to be (in your Face) but Post production digital zoom allows for those close-up moments to be minimal.
Here is an example of the way we like to work. The process for each project changes based on the scale of the project, but the breakdown is how we tend to work.
Here is a breakdown. Of how we approach a project.
Pre-Production: Concept or Idea Stage. Time-Line: 1 to 2 weeks.
In our meeting, we find out what our future partner wants, their goals, idea’s and thoughts for the direction of their video campaign.
Depending on the client and operation we may take a small camera to shoot some of the surrounding to use as inspiration and b roll footage for concepts and demonstration.
We then come back and work on brainstorming some concepts, and idea’s. We tend to be a more visual motivated company, we may make some quick movies showing the direction of projects, and so a visual concept is seen and heard. Once we come up with some ideas, we put together a scope Document. This document describes the scope of the work we are suggesting, it’s time line staffing production schedule, and future social media tie in. A small extra marketing plan, because after all this is what a video is a way to market and show off your company.
If you like what we have presented and an initial go ahead is approved. We go back and fine tune, create scripts, productions schedules, and budgets.
Script (for run and gun, develop, before during after)
We may at this point gather any media and materials to support this project, for production and post-production planning.
Production: Time Line: 1 to ? days
We schedule the shoot. We find this falls into two different styles. Either advanced run & gun or traditional scripted shoot. This always the shortest phase. Depending on the Project.
Post Production: Timeline; 2 to 3 Weeks
- Organize and catalog (1 to 2 days)
- Download to Adobe bridge
- Rename, Keywords, Meta Data, Organizing movies and breaking them down into scenes.
- Adobe Lightroom for Touchup and batching
- Import movies to Premiere or Prelude for sub clips and labeling, Folder Management.
- Begin Rough Cuts
- We then start assembling the movies and content to get a rough idea of the flow, time, length of the movie, these are generally longer then the final result. This way we can get a grasp on the story.
- We also start building some Effects and Text templates or pull from existing stock.
- Review Rough Cut: choose music
- This step is inter-changeable for us, as being sometimes the music drives the way we tell the story, we may start a rough cut with just video, but when we get to transitions, mood and emotion we want to create with the story the music plays a bigger part in our rough cut development.
- First review
- We then add text graphics and some transitions and may make a series of different choices. This is the first Client review, to see if the movie is moving in the direction that the client anticipated, Text styles, can change, color can change, the first review is meant to be, Are the images and flow of the story being told to it best effect. Is it giving me the emotion and goal I want? Notes are taken and the notes are put into effect for the next evolution.
- Mid Level Review
- We make a couple of different versions, a long version, a mid range and a short version, and teaser. To give you some options to look at. Generally we find we can now make this shorter and tell the same story with more impact. Also for final release you may want some teaser moments for pre release. These are sometimes using footage that may not be in the final movie but still has relevance or impact in the final Campaign. It may even be used for an extended Version.
- Almost final edits
- Send for effects
- Edit music
- Add sound effects
- Review spelling
- Instagram, pinterest photos, short version, 10 to 30 second teaser
- Final review
- Any changes to editing final
- Text additions
- Final Cut:
- The final cut will be:
- Extended Version Full length
- The Main attraction the one, that is promoted as “your Story”
- One or Two small 30 second Teasers for Social Media (maybe more depending on the Content)
- Images for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook for Social media Marketing and Promotion.
- When you check off on the final components we:
- Export format to
- Full size
- YouTube 1080
- YouTube 720
- Post on websites, Facebook
- Stumble upon
- We then archive all footage for future projects, development and follow up videos for any of your future projects.
- As you can see this is an involved process, the story should be given it’s due. Take the time necessary, or create a longer multi-chapter story, maybe each movie moves the story along with new additions, new projects, we live in a visual age, if you are not showing off your story in video you are being left behind. VIDEO is a marketing tool; use every tool you can to stay relevant.