The Production Process
If this is the first time you've commissioned a video, we understand that the process may seem a little confusing at first. We've made this breakdown to help guide you through it.
Part 1: Scriptwriting and Pre-Production
This is the start of the filming process
Assume we know nothing at all about your company. How are you going to tell us everything we need to know for your video? Is your website up to date (assume it probably isn't), do you have a company profile that's completely current (umm, sure we have that somewhere), what other details do you have that we can see? Get all these bits and pieces together internally, make sure they are correct, and then send them over to us. Remember, we don't work in your industry and don't necessarily understand your acronyms, so please keep your CRM for an SME in MENA to yourself and make sure it is clear.
Once we have all the details about your company, we start to develop a script. Important points need to be addressed here, such as what is this video for? Is this for an IPO? Is it for customers who already understand the product, or for the general population? What is the core purpose of this video? If it is B to B, we could miss out some simple explanations of your product, if it's for end customers we may need to have more detail.
Have a solid think about your video, where is it going to be used, who is going to see it?
If your video is going to be on in the background at an event, it needs to be understood visually with little audio. If it's going to be at presentations for your customers where you have a 'captive audience', you can go into more detail. If it's going to be on YouTube it needs to be short so people actually watch it. Have a think. Imagine your audience.
Consider video length
How long do you want your video to be? Think about your favourite song, it's probably about 3-4 minutes long. Any longer than that and you could be boring your audience. Keep it brief, succinct and you'll have a great video. Most of our videos end up being around 4 minutes long, and we recommend aiming for that or shorter if possible.
Do you want to film your entire company, or parts of it?
Each extra filming day costs money. Think about what you want to include in your video and what's unnecessary. Do you need to show your supplier in Sharjah? Is the factory in Dammam a core part of your business? Showing you are an international company significantly increases the value of your video, but also the cost of it.
We will send you an initial script factoring everything in that we have discussed. Take your time to read the script. Say it out loud. Take a look, a listen and have a think. Does it include everything you want? Are some of the numbers in it completely wrong? We will mark things in the script in a different colour if they are a guess. Do you have the correct statistic? Do you know how many staff you actually have? How many tonnes of product you make? Has it missed out your new factory in Jebel Ali? Get this correct now, it saves a lot of issues at a later stage.
Budgeting and confirmation
Once we have a clear idea of what is required for the filming we will send an amended budget to you which encompasses everything that you are looking for in the video. Take some time to check each line item and that everything you are looking for is included.
50 percent payment
For larger videos we require a payment of 50 percent of the budget upfront to start the filming process to cover supplier costs. We will send you an invoice, once we have confirmation that the transfer has been processed we will book flights, crew, editing and everything else necessary.
Part 2: Production and filming
We have a script, we have approval, it's time to arrange the filming
The budget will have agreed a number of shoot days. We now have to decide exactly which date to do the filming. Remember, we don't know your company and we must have your assistance in ensuring we have access to your facilities and that they will actually be operating on the day arranged. Consider your schedule. Is the factory manager there this week? Is the equipment down for maintenance next month? Is the CEO out of town from tomorrow? Remember that once our crew arrive, you want them to be filming, not waiting for things to start working. When a shoot date is decided, actively tell every person in your company that needs to know.
Consider that for each individual location in your facility we will require an hour. Consider for each day you have ten locations we can film in. Where looks best? Make sure you have a detailed schedule for each morning and afternoon, factoring in lunchtime for the crew.
Prepare your facility
You have a shoot day agreed. It's time to get a mop and bucket and tidy up. Inform all staff that their workspaces must be neat and tidy on the shoot day. Make sure that there is nothing that could be a health and safety violation, or anything else you wouldn't want representing your company in the video. Find staff that are happy to be filmed and that you are happy representing your company. Make sure they know the filming is happening.
Not all videos require interviews, but if yours does take some time to find a good selection of interview locations for the filming. The best locations have good natural light, a large amount of space to work around, and overall, somewhere quiet. "Quiet" means a door you can close, no lift nearby making noise, no kitchen nearby, a telephone you can unplug, and preferably an AC you can turn off.
If you're going to be the one interviewed, read the script we have provided. Read it out loud, say it to your family, maybe even record yourself with a mobile phone to get an idea of what you sound like. Get a clear idea of generally what you are trying to get across, and how you want to say it. Remember, less is more, if you can say something in 5 words instead of 10, do so.
Actual interview filming
For the interviewee, we need a chair without wheels that can't rotate. Find the least comfortable chair in the office, it will likely be the one we need. If it has wheels or rotates it can look very strange on camera as you naturally swing from side to side, and can also cause lighting issues if you move. We need complete, correct sentences coming out of your mouth so if you make even a small slip up, rewind, and start the sentence again. Remember, we want you to look awesome and will only use the bits that are said correctly. Finally, and very important for media, is to keep your eyes pointed in one direction at all times. Look at politicians talking on the TV, you'll see that their eyes never move, they don't look around, they don't look at the camera, they just stare intently in one direction. It feels weird doing this in real life, but please do your best to do this during the interview.
Crew arrival and actual filming
When the crew arrive, it's best to have one person from your company who is fully informed about the shoot who can be with the crew all day. The crew will keep you informed about what they need, and any extra requirements necessary from staff. Let the crew know if there's anything they shouldn't film, and be sure to watch what they are filming just in case there's something you don't want to feature.
Part 3: Post-production and delivery
We have a dedicated team to work with you in post.
Part 4: Invoicing and final payment
We will send you a final invoice that covers everything that happened in the video, with any extras or amendments on it. This can quite often go down if there's crew we eventually didn't need, or upwards if you had additional requests. We appreciate swift payment if possible, please do remember that you only have official permission to use the video when payment has been received in full.