We make the filmmaking process as simple as possible while offering you the highest production values in the industry. Our experience being in business over a decade has allowed us to refine the process, keeping budgets low, while maintaining professionalism and reliability. Our team is with you through the entire process, we do not hand a project from person to person, but instead maintain a consistent point of creative client contact throughout the making of each film.
- Consultation - The conversation starts with a free consultation, either a phone call or an in-person meeting, to discuss your video needs. We like to get into these talks as early as possible in your thinking process to help you look at the best way to leverage your budget for video, what style of video is right for you, what the possible stories or visuals could be, and how to think about getting the video seen after it is made. If we think you need a big budget agency or you just need someone with a DSLR who is just starting out we will be the first to refer you to the best version of those options.
- Budget - For our typical projects we can give quotes very quickly based on our standard pricing, but custom creative commercials require much more planning to budget accurately. We often like to figure out what your budget is first and figuring out the best film we can make for that money (rather than making a bid or pitch) because this gives you more options and helps you be a part of the process. Please scroll down to see our basic pricing structure for our standard films to get an idea of how to budget for our video work.
- Schedule - We determine the number of shootings days depending on budget and what the style requires, and we mutually agree upon production dates that fit within everyone's schedule. We discuss any deadlines you might have and the turnaround time for production and post production. It typically takes about a month from start to finish, but can be done quicker if need be.
- Contract and Deposit - We both sign a contract that describes the production and expectations. We then collect a deposit for 50% of the total budget before the work begins and any money is spent on the production.
- Refine Narrative - Once the deposit is paid we can buckle down and dig into the story. For a documentary based narrative this is often calling or meeting with the subject to understand the story and get familiar with them and integrating that story with our discussions with you about messaging. For a creative commercial the process involves much more planning, scripting, and storyboarding.
- Location Scout- Scouting can be part of pre-production and/or production days, and usually depends on the budget and style of the piece.
- Call Time - All crew shows up on time or extra early. We typically schedule a shooting day to include one or both golden hours (around sunrise and sunset).
- Crew - Our productions have from 2+ crew members, and are some of the best crew in the industry. On a small project this will be a director and cinematographer team, sharing a lot of responsibilities. On larger productions this team can incorporate director, cinematographer, camera assistant, gaffer, grip, sound mixer, hair and makeup, production assistants, and craft services.
- Equipment - We offer a variety of equipment and our packages fit the budget and style of the film. Our typical production has an A camera and a B camera, audio equipment, and lighting. While we can film without lighting during golden hour outside, using other sorts of light modifiers is important, and lighting is essential for interiors. This is why we never operate alone; heavy equipment can be dangerous if your attention is scattered and you do not have professional crew members on hand. Be wary of any production company claiming to get quality production values without the proper crew and equipment because this is very common these days.
- Insurance - Our productions are covered by $1,000,000 of liability insurance against bodily injury on or off premises as a result of business activities. We have never had to use this insurance, but any professional production house should be operating with this.
- Talent - The "talent" is the character(s) in the film, whether it is a paid actor or a volunteer. We minimize the burden on the talent, moving quickly, giving any needed breaks, and keeping the set safe and fun. For documentary based subjects, we are typically scheduling the production day around their availability.
- Shoot- Production days can last between 5-12 hours, with one or two breaks in the middle. Clients are often on set, and can be provided with a client monitor if planned in pre-production. For documentaries, especially those dealing with intimate subjects, we prefer to limit the total number of people on set to an absolute minimum.
- Rough Cut - Consider this a sketch of the final film that is starting to take shape. It can range from feeling very polished to feeling like a lot of work needs to be done. Watch the cut closely with an open mind, relax and have fun. It is important that all decision makers on your side participate and give full feedback and nothing is left out. It is much harder to incorporate structural edits later in the editing process. If you have an issue with a line, or the music, a transition, or certain information isn't coming through, say so in this phase. Specific edit requests should be made using timecode, and feel free to have phone calls to discuss things that are harder to explain. Edit requests should be compiled into a single organized email so it is easy for the director and editor to digest and work into the film. Focus on the narrative and the general feeling; do not worry about the sound mix (the volume of speakers and music) or the color grade (the way the colors in the picture match or feel), as this takes place later in the process.
- Revised Cut - The film is starting to take shape and your feedback from the rough cut has been incorporated. A revised cut should be getting very close to the final version of your film. Review the film again with the same instructions as the rough cut. Depending on the budget, there is often another round of revised cuts before the final cut.
- Final Cut - Your film is finished. All requested edits have been made and the film has been refined so transitions feel smooth, audio levels are perfect, and the color grade has added that final polish to the picture.
- Delivery - We provide you with whatever digital file you request. This is typically a high quality 1080p .mov compressed for the internet, but can also be a .wmv, an uncompressed ProRes file, or anything else. Even when the film is acquired in 4K resolution, our standard delivery is 1080p unless requested otherwise.
- Assets - Arrangements can be made (usually up front in the pre-production and budgeting process) for you to own all of raw footage shot. We do not share the editing suite project file or licensed music files with our clients.
- Exhibition - From the beginning of pre-production we look at how the film will be viewed. Where will you host the video? Even if you don't imagine people searching for your video on YouTube or Vimeo, you will most likely want to set up an account with such a service so you can embed the video wherever you want. If you will be playing the video in a theater, consult with us and the theater's AV about the best way to do this.
- Views - While we are not a PR or Marketing agency, we put in a lot of work to understand how video works in these environments and like to collaborate upfront with your team on how to leverage the videos to get views, shares, and the right kind of attention to your subject in general. It is important to consider this from pre-production on. Please scroll below for much more information on getting your video seen..