Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. We produce a great deal of work for high-end business. Long form videos for web are a great way to reach out, and our recent clientele have included medical businesses, banking institutions and awareness promotions. Often times these videos also are edited as 30-second TV commercials, but the long form video is always the focus of the production.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. We recently completed a music video meant to increase employee engagement in a massive hospital facility. Gallup polled the company and saw engagement rise "significantly" based on our contribution.
We launched a new social media video tool and gained 20,000 views for our first client in only a matter of weeks. The video was meant to grow new website traffic, and their new visitors eclipsed even the video views.
Training videos and knowledge libraries are on the rise, and we're bringing relevant content to consumers via our clients. One we've worked with for 8 months, building their library of videos, while the other is being implemented immediately.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. We are a creative-minded, forward-thinking, goal and strategy-oriented production company. If you're in a hurry, don't have an adequate budget or aren't willing to collaborate on the best way to tell your story, we suggest that now is not the time to invest in video production for your business... at least, not with us.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Time is the key. Greatness is rarely achieved in a rush. Planning is the greatest asset to any production, just as a blueprint is essential to any building project. If you start a project knowing how it will look and who it will reach in the end, that's a pretty good start.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Price is highly fluid in this industry. It's like walking on to a car lot and asking, "How much for the red one?" The red what? Car, truck, van, SUV? Automatic or stick? A/C? Bose stereo? There are many options to consider when embarking on a production project that all affect price, including that intangible asset, time.
Instead, ask about whether deadlines can be reached, about whether the production company is fully insured, about whether the company will collaborate and about whether you are welcome on location during filming and in the editing booth. Those are signs that you've found the right company for a lasting, beneficial relationship.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Budget is obvious. You need to know how much you have to spend. In our culture we learn not to tell people how much available cash we have because the vendor you work with may want all of it, without being discriminating. We like to know how much you WANT to spend so we can align our production approach to what works best for you. Maybe we can tell your story for less than your budget, or more. But we'll be honest with you about the best way to tell your story, and we'll deliver as promised.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I can say it's the quality. I can say it's the level of planning, or detail or nuance we bring. I can say it's the HD cameras or the high-end microphones. But ultimately our best work has been characterized by the clients as "easy". Even though on our end the task may seem massive, in the end it was easy for the client to get what they want and need.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. People have a hard time talking about themselves. They can tell you why their businesses are cool, but not why they're cool for starting that business in the first place. I really enjoy getting to know someone so we can find the best way to tell their story, even if the story is about their business itself, because eventually the story of their business IS the story of the person who started it all.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How much? Often times the budget is the first question, and I suppose that's fair. But I think the first question should be whether we can meet their needs, or whether we can meet their deadlines, or whether or not we'll do what it takes to help the client satisfy their goals. Whether the budget is tiny or gigantic, if we can't help you tell your story in the way that's best for you and your business, we're not the right fit and you won't be satisfied with the results.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. We had a client who wanted to deliver their message in front of a majestic backdrop, and they were willing to go anywhere to achieve that. The client chose Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, but when we looked at it we all agreed that it was ultimately underwhelming. We suggested going to the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The client accepted it and everybody has been WOW'd by the way the story looks. The folks in Wyoming were great to work with too, by the way!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Time planning reduces time fixing mistakes. If you build a house without a blueprint, you're going to end up going back and re-building something that got messed up. So much of what we do can be made better if the right amount of time is devoted to the work. A great deal of the value of what we do is not only the time it takes to make a great production, but the time it has taken to learn our craft and be the experts you are counting on.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I went to college to be a computer programmer. That lasted about two weeks, because I was in school for two weeks before I found out there was a college radio station on campus. Slowly I started to devote more of my time to the radio station and less to computers. In time, that investment worked out well because I landed in the radio industry for nearly two decades. The glass ceiling was ever present, though, so I took the next step and founded a video production company in 2001, and we're still open and doing business a decade later.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. We worked with Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea in Columbus. We filmed with large sensor cameras and traveled with them to a foreign country. The experience was incredible and the video was beautiful.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Education is constant. We're always buying or upgrading software, which means we have to be able to use it to its full extent.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Video is going super HD, and right now the trend is large sensor cameras shooting 4K. The continuing evolution of the web and the power of video for business is also very encouraging.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Our most recent large project was the production of 9 training videos at an airport in another state. We had 4 crewmembers at $350 per day for 9 days ($12,600), an actress at $650 per day for 7 days ($4,550), over $5,000 in rentals for the 9 day period and a month of production work including location filming and editing. It's a $50,000 project.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Much like buying anything of value, some of the costs come in the options you choose. When you buy a house or a car, the more you spend the more the it is customized to your desires and needs. Same with video. Higher budgets allow us more time, the ability to bring in more people to help, the flexibility to hire actors, the option to use equipment we may not have in house (rentals) and more. Many people think about the "$1,000 per finished minute" rule, which was coined in the 70's when everyone shot on film and gas cost less than a dollar. These days your budget can be very finely tuned so you're spending the right money on the product that's perfect for you and your business.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. If you're approaching this career with the idea of sitting in a dark room for 8 hours a day and expecting no contact with people, you're in for a shock. If you're hoping that your work will get you noticed by Hollywood and that you'll be the next big director, you're going to be disappointed. However, if you enter this field with a genuine desire to create something amazing that will help businesses grow and communicate, you're in for the ride of a lifetime. If you like people and networking with colleagues, you're going to excel in this business. If you have experience or an aptitude for marketing and sales, no matter what role you play in any business, you're going to be a rock star.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. We can conceptualize projects very quickly. We normally have multiple usable ideas for our productions within moments of our first meeting.