In this series, we’re looking at the process of making a high-quality company video that can be used to educate and entertain your audience through social media. For Part 2, we’re going to briefly discuss personal limitations as they pertain to the production time requirements. To poorly paraphrase the great Clint Eastwood, “A business owner has GOT to know his/her limitations.”
It’s almost the year 2013. Everyone has a video camera, even in their smart phone. Virtually every computer being made today comes preloaded with software to edit and produce video. The same software the pros use is readily available for purchase, too. HD cameras are dirt cheap now, as well. So why hire a professional company? Can’t everyone just make their own videos these days?
Ummmm … yes. Everyone CAN make their own videos, but not everyone SHOULD.
I’m reminded of the story of the famous photographer who goes to a dinner party with friends. The host greets the photographer and says, “Your photos are AMAZING … you must have an incredible camera.” The photographer smiles and says nothing until after dinner is done, at which point he looks to the host and says, “That dinner was AMAZING … you must have an incredible stove.”
Great videos are not made by equipment or software or computers. They’re made by people who know how to make great video. These people might have great gear … but they’d make great video even if their gear wasn’t great. It’s what they do. They have a particular talent for the process, along with a whole bunch of experience in doing it, often combining to make a product that’s way beyond what the average person of above-average intelligence could imagine.
That doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t make your own video … just that you should really take some time to evaluate your own ability, understanding, and talent.
Time in a Bottleneck
In addition, you should take a look at how much of your valuable time you’re willing to spend making video … because it does take time, and lots of it … at least if you want it to look and sound good. We’ll talk more about the element of “time” later in this series. For now, use this rule of thumb: It takes a minimum of an hour of video shooting to yield one minute of final video, and from pre-production (to plan and prepare storyboard, set up interviews etc.) for a video shoot, through the shoot itself, to post-production (editing, rendering, authoring), taking the average figures for each of these activities, a time estimate of 4 hours of production for a minute of final video content is the norm!
The greatest amount of time is devoted to the editing process. You can expect, for quality video results, that beginning video producers can take upwards of 8 hours or longer to edit a two- or three-minute piece. Advanced shooters (>1 year experience) can edit in one to four hours for a two or three-minute segment.
If you can take that kind of time away from your business and/or family, and feel you have the talent and ability to make a truly great company video, then by all means go for it. Be honest with yourself, though, and remember that your business deserves the very best you can give it, if you want it to be as successful as possible. Know your own limitations. It is very easy to distinguish between a professional studio product, and a “made it myself” project. From voice-over recording for clear dialog during the render, and custom graphics and text overlays to enhance and clarify the message, to a custom music bed with sound envelopes that adjust to the voice-over, these fine brush strokes can make a masterpiece.
If you don’t have the talent, knowledge, or time to invest in making your own video … which I’d guess describes most business owners in America … then make it a priority to find a professional video production company that will offer what you need, and with whom you can develop a working relationship. The right company will provide exactly what you need within an agreed time period, while leaving you the time to focus on running your own business. For the purpose of this series, we will assume that you will be hiring a media company to produce your video, as it is usually the best choice for a busy business owner.
We’ll stop here for now, but when we return, we’ll look at what you’ll need to know before you start looking for your video production company. Here’s a hint: Content, i.e., your storyboard, gets built to achieve a specific goal or set of goals: Response, Recall, Reliance and/or Recreation. (The concept of “R to the 4th” was developed here, first.)
Intrigued? Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series!