Uploading your footage
Getting footage to our team.
This process varies depending on where in the world you are, and how much footage it is, and we use a variety of platforms including FTP, Frame.io and WeTransfer to get footage across to us, or sometimes it’s simply quicker to FedEx a hard drive over. Once it is uploaded, the location of editors becomes less relevant, and we can focus on talent and who would be best for your video.
To upload footage, you need to have fast internet available, and unlimited data. You can check your data package available with your operator, and check the speed of your internet connection by clicking here. You are looking for a good upload speed, which realistically should be 10Mb/s or higher to upload raw footage reliably.
What if I have slow internet?
When internet speeds are slower, for example we have filmed videos in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Turkey, it is unrealistic to attempt a full-resolution footage upload. When this happens we convert the footage to a lower resolution, which is then uploaded, edited by our team, then the XML of the edit is sent to our local producer, who then replaces the low-res footage with the video in full resolution.
What if I want to put stills into the video?
Videos can look cheap if they have stills included, but sometimes to show future projects this is unavoidable. If you are delivering graphics or still images to us, remember they must be the maximum resolution that you have available. Graphics for HD videos should be 1920 x 1080 pixels, and for 4K they should be 3840 x 2160 pixels. If images are intended to have transparency, ensure they are provided in a format that supports it, which in practice is normally PSD, PNG or GIF.
What else do you need?
Upload everything that you want to have included in the video. This includes your logo in full resolution, any stills that you wish to feature, the names of everyone in the video, and any brand font. If you have any moving idents or other graphics, send these too. Remember, if you don’t provide these things, we will have to guess, which will likely delay the post production process.
How will you keep to our brand guidelines?
The main reason for not keeping to brand guidelines is that we haven’t received them 🙂 Please do ensure that we know exactly how you would like the video to look and feel. If we simply have no idea what your guidelines are, we will generally keep to the colours on your website, and put temporary placeholders if we don’t know how it should look.
Time to actually edit something.
Once we have received the footage from you, we can start the edit. Most of the time we’ll tell you that the edit is ongoing, but won’t show you all the details of this process as we assemble everything together. Sorry you can’t look over our shoulders for this bit, but promise we’re working on it.
What are you editing on?
We edit our videos on Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere, depending on the editor’s skillset and equipment.
Why can’t I watch?
Remember that feeling when you gave the teacher your homework and they started looking at it immediately? Editing can be a slightly messy process until we get a handle on the footage and a clear idea of where we’re going. That’s when you’ll see the first cut uploaded.
How long does this bit take?
This really depends on the content and will have been discussed with you by our local producer or post production supervisor. As a rule, we say it’s 2 edit days for each shoot day, but the actual time varies significantly.
Help! I need the video much faster than that!
There’s a lot of ways we can speed up the edit process, but this really depends on how quickly we receive and download the footage, and there is a limit to the speed the actual edit can be done. Options include staff uploading footage during the shoot day, working with editors across different timezones so they are working whilst you’re asleep, and having editors working in parallel on a project. There is, however, a limit to the amount that editors can work together. Think about making a stir fry – you can have multiple people cutting up the vegetables, but only one person can put it all together into the pot. Also you’d probably not need more than one person cutting an onion.
Can you edit on-site?
Yes, we can work with you on-site, subject to availability and where in the world you are. This means our editors can sit and complete the edit as the shoot continues. Alternatively we can have an editor ready to go, with our producer uploading footage as it comes to them.
I really hate the rough cut!
This does happen occasionally, for a few reasons. Rough cuts will have temporary graphics, temporary music possibly with a watermark, and might not have well-honed audio levels. If you’re sent the rough cut, this is for you to guide the edit, giving the most feedback you can. It’s massively easier and a lot quicker if you can tell us right now everything that’s in your mind, and any feedback from your team, to ensure that we can take the edit in the direction you want. Remember, as long as we have the footage, we have an immense amount of options with the edit, and can take it in a radically different direction if you need us to. And send us your brand guidelines, I knew you’d forget.
Change the music!
This is one of the most common bits of feedback we receive. Everyone has different tastes in music, and it can be a frustrating process for everyone to choose the best track for your video. We download most of our music from premiumbeat.com, and we invite you to go there to see what selection of music is available. Mute the rough cut, play the music and play the video. Please include everyone on your team on this one, as we do often edit to the beat of the music, and changing it can significantly delay the edit.
Change the font!
Seriously, brand guidelines, now please.
What if we’re rebranding next month?
Commonly a rebrand is confidential, and we do understand that often a video commission can come around this kind of time. If you can quietly ask us the question ‘what if we rebrand in the future?’ or similar, we can nod knowingly and keep the video easy to update. We can also sign an NDA with you and get it right the first time, should you require.
After the rough cut, we will send you version 1 of the video. This is a good time to really say every change that you want, as version 2 tends to be more ‘spit and polish’ than any large fundamental changes. This is not the time to hide things from the boss, do include everyone who has an interest in the video if you can, so that everything can be done and ready for version 2.
Version 2 tends to be a tidy up, where it’s time to check that we’ve got everyone’s names and titles correct, your logo is centred on the screen, we’ve kept everything to the brand guidelines, there aren’t any audio glitches, and that any graphics are working smoothly. Check all the spelling of staff names, all the countries you work in are included, staff job titles, everything in the video.
We will remain flexible up to a point with changes, but do remember you have a budgeted amount of edit days, and we’ll start mentioning additional budget should things go over by too long. Our record so far is version 13, please do your best internally to ensure we don’t beat that.
Approve the Voiceover
When a voiceover is recorded we go into a studio with a voiceover artist, who records the final voiceover for the video. In this studio session all voiceover budget costs are completed, and any re-recording will be an additional cost, so do make sure you’re 100 percent happy with the video before approving this stage.
Once the voiceover is recorded, we send you the final version of the video, with all elements complete. Any very minor changes should be addressed now. We will then upload your video to frame.io for you to download and use as you see fit. Do let us know exactly how you intend to actually use the video, as we are happy to assist to ensure everything actually works on your equipment, and is the right format and codec. If you want something to be in 4K, for example, you’ll need a computer with some punch and an appropriate screen. If it’s going on YouTube, there’s not much need to go beyond 720 HD in most cases.
Can you deliver it to us on DVD?
We will send you the video to download in full resolution, and generally avoid DVDs as they aren’t HD and can have reliability issues. Clients tend to prefer receiving videos either as a link or on a memory stick, we can provide it as the best format for both of these.
Can I please have a DVD?
Sorry, it’s 2020, we’ve moved on, and don’t actually have DVD burning equipment anymore. With the global nature of filming we can’t support providing solid media, but will always be there to help you if you need something special.
Can I have the raw footage?
Yes you can, normally we will put it on a hard drive and send it to you, or upload it to frame.io for you to download. The hard drive and postage is charged at cost price. We can only provide raw footage when we have received payment in full.