We agree on a clear objective, the audience to target and the type of video that will work best
Jef Richards, Professor
We begin by researching both your organisation and its sector.
We then schedule a discovery meeting to define what success looks like.
Each video should achieve at least one of our three core marketing objectives.
Generate more leads - Leads are the lifeblood of your sales team. If the quantity - and quality - of leads are low, this will become a frequent complaint. Therefore, producing promos and adverts should not just be a brand-building exercise (though this is important). They should lead to a measurable increase in the number of qualified leads generated.
Capture your audience - You don't have to make the viewer laugh or cry. However, it is vital to grab their attention immediately. This is particularly true for adverts that are displayed in feeds or before/during the video the viewer has searched for.
Start the journey - Potential leads default to inaction, so your video must actively guide them to continue their customer journey. Clearly define their pain point, present your solution and overcome their most likely objections.
Convert more leads - Generating leads only has value if they are converted. Leads are rarely won over by a single piece of content - even with video. They must be nurtured. Once you have gained the viewer's attention, it is vital to earn their trust with content that engages them.
Inform your viewer - Potential customers are people with problems that you can solve. Video empowers you to show your solutions in action. Video case studies and filmed masterclasses are perfect for conveying valuable use cases and insights.
Establish domain authority - Most leads will begin their customer journey with a quick web search that presents them with multiple options. Competition is a tab switch away. The content you create is all your customer knows about you so it must quickly demonstrate your expertise in your field.
Retain more customers - Acquiring customers is valuable; keeping customers is priceless. While it's tempting to fixate on upselling, cross-selling and referrals - these are all merely buzzwords if you haven't earned a loyal customer base.
Surprise your customers - Create unexpectedly useful content. Support videos showing customers how to get the most out of your product are a great way to enhance the customer experience. The lifetime value of a customer to your business will reflect your ongoing value to them.
Develop brand advocates - Viewers are happy to share videos that are relevant and useful. Give your customers the tools to recommend you to their network.
Ann Handley, Author
To get useful answers, we start by asking the right questions.
We focus on five areas when determining the audience for each project:
Effective targeting must be highly specified
Demographics - Modern digital advertising is built upon the framework of targeting custom audiences. Customer demographics are a useful starting point for identifying your audience. However, to gain useful insights, it's best to look beyond traits and attributes with deeper questions:
Buyer Personas - Businesses have never known so much about their customers. Yet, many corporate videos seem aimed at no one in particular.
Customer behaviour differs with their screen size
Mobile - The dominance of smartphones has forever altered every corner of our lives. Someone viewing your video on mobile may be on the move. Campaigns designed for mobile should optimise for their displays:
Desktop - Increased remote working has led to a resurgence of the PC (or Mac). The vast majority of business videos are viewed on desktop computers. Mobile video ads take up much or all of the screen by default. Videos on the desktop are competing for attention unless maximised by the user.
Optimise your content for your chosen distribution channels
Social Media - All social media platforms are not created equal. They have different audiences, user experiences, business models. It is wise to tailor your videos to one or two platforms.
Match your video to your customer's stage in their journey
Awareness - The customer is experiencing a pain point and has begun to try and understand it.
Consideration - The customer is actively seeking solutions for their problem.
Decision - The customer decides their preferred available option.
Customer reaction is influenced by their motivation
Contextually Broad - Video adverts that appear in a social feed are intrinsically interruptive. This isn't necessarily bad (cinema trailers are interruptive and some of them are better than the movie). However, it must be remembered that the viewer of your video was likely looking for something else.
Contextually Specific - On the other hand, a visitor to your website has often actively sought you out. You may even have paid for them to click through to your landing page. The embedded video should account for this level of intent.
David Beebe, Branded Content Producer
Audience is about defining the 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when' and 'why'.
Type is about the 'how'. We make typically produce six main kinds of videos:
'Talking Heads' style interviews combined with well crafted B-roll footage that is perfect for explainers, landing pages, case studies and project launches. Promos are the most cost-effective form of video production that we offer.
Promotional videos filmed at live events giving viewers a sense of the occasion. We have extensive experience in filming launches, conferences, exhibitions and masterclasses. Filming helps build anticipation for future events and reaches any who were unable to attend in person.
Internal marketing and PR for larger organisations. Not every project is about immediate sales - we produce videos for internal marketing, human resources, annual reports and investment analysis. Our comms videos are designed to convey strategic messages creatively and concisely.
Demonstrating the value of physical and digital products. Our product videos range from features and overviews, to walkthroughs and even informercials. All concisely communicate key value propositions.
Computer-generated images designed to make complex concepts easy to grasp. Our animated videos are used for intros, reports, explainers and raising awareness. The process of commissioning an animation can be entirely remote if needed.
Highly customised videos with premium production values. We're proud to have produced adverts, immersive experiences, trailers, music videos and more. As our background is in narrative filmmaking, creative projects are in our DNA.
We present a proposal that outlines the marketing story and production logistics
James Cameron, Filmmaker
We believe in transparent thorough planning and transparent pricing.
You will always know what we're doing and how much we're charging.
We agree a fixed fee ahead of filming on virtually all of our projects. We prefer to be transparent about costs and have displayed pricing on our website since day one. This enables our clients to have a ballpark figure before they even contact us. We're happy to provide an estimate during planning if this is helpful. Our written proposals contain the final fixed price.
Fixed fees require a comprehensive brief. We understand that some projects come together so quickly that the planning stage is compressed. When deadlines are tight, we can agree on a maximum budget with you instead of a fixed fee. We guarantee that we'll complete the project within (or under) budget.
During the project, you may want to increase its scope. If you want to add filming days, crew members, time-lapses, green screens, photography, animations or anything else you can dream up… we can probably do it. We'll inform you how any additions will impact the budget and deadline before making any changes.
We often work on a project basis. However, clients who require ongoing video production may request our consultancy services. Our retainer fees are individually negotiated with each client.
Chris Brogan, CEO
We prepare a script, storyboard or outline - depending on the project
In all formats, we prep the project to bring the core narrative to life.
Our structure is timeless - a beginning, middle and end.
We approach a marketing narrative with the same framework as any story. Our first question is, "What problem is the character facing?"
Our character is forced to adapt to changing circumstances. Therefore, our next question becomes, "What solutions are available to them?"
After learning some lessons comes the character's moment of truth. Our last question is: "What action must they take?"
Twyla Tharp, Choreographer
Time is money.
We save you both.
Own Premises - Filming at your premises is the simplest solution in terms of scheduling. It is particularly suited to shooting promotional videos for service-based companies.
Client Premises - We prefer to film case studies at your clients' premises where possible. As three parties are involved, it can sometimes take a little longer to find a date that works for everyone. Therefore, we recommend discussing potential dates as early as possible.
Hired Space - Larger scale projects may require specialised settings. We are happy to source any locations, sets or studios needed for filming. Once approved they can either be hired separately or included within our production budget.
Half-Day - We tend not to work on an hourly basis, so half-days are our minimum unit of operation.
Full-Day - The majority of our projects can be filmed in a single day. There is a degree of flexibility with end times, but there are diminishing returns for vastly extended shoots.
Multi-Day - Larger shoots may span multiple days. There may be a resulting need for accommodation or changed travel plans. Let us know if you prefer us to handle these elements. We will always communicate how the schedule affects the logistics and budget before proceeding.
We select production equipment to capture all the required material during filming
Mario So Gao, Filmmaker
The most critical factor concerning any gear is the person operating it.
We consider the needs of the project then select from the following equipment:
Blackmagic Production Camera - Cinema-grade digital film camera for creative projects
Blackmagic Pocket Camera - Production Camera image quality in a smaller package
Panasonic Lumix S1 - Full-frame camera that is perfect for interview shots.
Panasonic Lumix S5 - Full-frame camera that matches the S1 perfectly.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 - Micro Four Thirds camera for perfectly smooth B-roll
Panasonic Lumix G80 - Supplementary camera used for time-lapses and coverage
DJI Ronin-S Gimbal - Three-axis Gimbal for flowing Steadicam style shots
Kessler Crane Pocket Dolly - Belt-driven dolly for fluid lateral movement
Photoflex Starlight 1000w Soft Light - Flattering light that softens facial features
Dedolight 3B-24 Lighting Kit - Focused light suitable for fills and highlights
Neewer 480 LED Panel - Versatile for efficient setups and outdoor use
RØDELink Wireless Mic System - Wireless lavalier mics suited to interviews
Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Condenser Mic - Boom mic ideal for narrative work
Rode Blimp Wind Shield / Shock Mount - Invaluable accessory for recording outdoors
Stephen King, Author
Lights... Camera... Action.
A-roll usually forms the spine of the video. It can range from a slick piece-to-camera by a presenter to an inspiring address from the CEO. Sometimes voiceover is used to tie the narrative together. The essential aim is to convey a memorable message from start to finish.
A-roll shots generally take the longest to set up.
If A-roll is the spine then B-roll is… everything else. Video is a visual medium that demands skilfully shot visuals to maintain audience interest. We live by the motto "Show, don't tell."
B-roll usually makes up the majority of what the viewer sees. As a result, shooting B-roll takes up a large portion of our filming days. We can supplement this with stock footage on request.
Ethan Zukerman, Professor
We founded a production company because we love making things.
However, to do that we must have the right people in the right places.
Point of Contact - Production tends to run smoother when our clients designate a single point of contact for us to liaise with. Ideally, this is someone who was involved in planning and pre-production.
Interviewees - Employees who agree to go on camera often request a script. Or they may want to see a copy of the questions in advance. We advise against doing either as this can come across as forced and... scripted. We've conducted hundreds of interviews and we know how to guide participants through - even nervous ones. We'll make sure we get the material we need and the rest will stay on the cutting room floor.
Background - For promos filmed on-site, employees should be given notice that filming is taking place. Most workers are fine being shown on camera. We can generally avoid filming particular faces if needed.
Professionals - For some projects, it makes sense to bring in people who do this for a living. We can source actors, presenters and models through our network or with a wider search. We present several options for your approval and then handle the hiring and payment process.
Base Camp - Studios and sets have space set aside for technical equipment. Shoots that take place on business premises typically do not - for obvious reasons. Our key requirements are a room (our section of a room) that is not easily accessible to the public with power points to enable the charging of our gear.
Layout - Hired spaces are also more flexible in terms of layout. Most things are possible as long as the space is returned to its original condition before we leave.
Whereas business premises have understandable limitations; there is work to be done, after all. Careful planning enables us to keep disruption to an absolute minimum. Feel free to have a tidy before our arrival. Don't overdo it - the vibe we aim for is how your company looks on a good day.
We prepare a first edit, complete a round of revisions and advise on hosting options
Alfred Hitchcock, Filmmaker
It's difficult for clients to visualise the finished video from viewing a rough cut.
Our first edits are relatively polished to make the revisions stage simpler.
Once we've uploaded the footage into our editing software, our first step is to watch it all. (You'd be surprised by how many videographers skip this bit and just skim through). We select the most relevant A-roll footage to work with.
For unscripted videos, we transcribe these clips and print them out. Next, we cut the dialogue into paper strips so we can literally lay out the narrative. As we move the hard copies of the dialogue around we can see the story begin to take shape. Then we drop the best clips into the editing timeline.
Sound design can make or break a video. We trim the dialogue to remove hesitations, regressions and digressions. This makes for an easier watch and casts your organisation in the best possible light. We spend quite a bit of time selecting the right background music to fit the tone before tightening all elements of the sound design in the final mix.
Once we have shaped the story we begin work on its presentation. We combine B-roll in with the narrative to visually reinforce the core message of the video. This breaks up the video and helps to maintain the viewer's interest. It also enables to cover edits so that interviewees appear as their most fluent.
Sometimes there are unwanted elements in the footage that couldn't be removed during filming. Alternatively, you might want to add something that wasn't there on the day (e.g. display your logo on a screen in the background). We can handle compositing, masking, blurring and other visual effects on request.
Each piece of content you release is a reflection of your brand. Small details often separate a good video from a great one. Our final phase with most projects is to add titles, lower thirds, text overlays, transitions, infographics and logos. We combine these elements in line with your brand guidelines to enhance the production values of the finished video.
Fully animated projects consist primarily of post-production. Once the assets have been created we translate the approved storyboard into motion graphics.
However, some projects require animated segments within live-action videos. This can usually be requested mid-project, but it is far more efficient to brief us in advance. Creating new assets and reframing footage can become complex, but we accommodate our clients' needs whenever possible.
Michael Mann, Filmmaker
A round of revisions is included within our price as standard.
This is the stage of the process where final refinements take place.
Our first cuts are usually longer than the target length agreed in the brief. This gives you extra material to choose between for the final cut. You can prioritise certain sections to emphasise key messages. We work with you to ensure that the project is completed according to plan.
The most commonly requested revision is the Call To Action. The CTA should correlate directly with the objective in the brief. They can be either platform-based or contained within the content of the video.
Platform-based CTAs will be covered in more detail in the hosting section. You configure your video to include sign-up forms at the end. Or gate some - or all - of the video to limit it to members of those happy to provide their contact details. As these features are handled by your hosting provider, they are present wherever your video is played. These are typically paid features.
More frequently, the CTA is spoken or written on-screen within the video itself. This is a simpler option (and without any added cost). However, in-video CTAs can be context-dependent. If reference is made to partners, contact details, links, buttons or URLs - these may all change in the future. Therefore, in-video CTAs can be more generic than platform-based ones.
Abel Ferrara, Filmmaker
You could theoretically tweak things forever. But you shouldn't.
Eventually there comes the time for the handover.
We source and licence any required music and stock footage. This ensures that the files we transfer are ready to be hosted and distributed immediately.
The final high-resolution video file is delivered within two working days following the sign-off of the final edit. Videos are typically produced in a 16:9 aspect ratio, but we can provide re-framed versions on request.
We typically store all footage we film for our clients indefinitely (though we will delete some or all of your footage if instructed). This facilitates future re-edits and repurposing.
We deliver the project with recommendations on distribution to drive maximum engagement
Tim Frick, Author
Most videos we produce will be hosted on a website at some point.
We generally recommend the following three options…
Price - Setting up a channel on YouTube is completely free. There are no real barriers to entry making it the perfect place to get started.
Scale - With over a billion users, YouTube has huge reach. There is a great opportunity for cross-promotion of videos and channels.
Promotion - Google's relationship with YouTube makes it an ideal platform hosting video content for SEO and PPC campaigns.
Integration - YouTube videos are easily embedded within websites with no need for plugins or extensions.
Ads - While embedded videos play without ads, most viewers will see ads on your videos if viewed on YouTube's website or app.
Competition - Hosting content on a platform with a billion users can be a blessing and a curse. With a huge potential audience also comes huge competition.
Comments - YouTube comments can be… mean.
Ad-Free - As Vimeo is a subscription service, all videos play without interruption.
Flexibility - You can include customised end-screens, chaptering, password-protection and email collection all within the video itself.
Social - Vimeo can publish your videos natively to other platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This can be a real time-saver for multi-platform promotions.
Image Quality - Vimeo's relatively high bitrates generally translate into higher video quality.
Audience - It is less likely that a viewer will stumble across your videos on Vimeo. Videos hosted there also tend to rank lower in searches than those hosted on (Google-owned) YouTube.
Storage Limits - There is a limited free option, but Vimeo charges for its service. You move up the pricing tiers as you host more videos on Vimeo.
SEO - Adding metadata to your website is a vital part of SEO. Wistia automates much of this process. Plus, video search results lead to your website, unlike a YouTube or Vimeo link.
Analytics - Wistia hosting includes Engagement Graphs, Video Heatmaps and Viewer Based Tracking (which can be integrated with your CRM). Analytics are detailed and actionable.
Conversions - You can embed a form directly into your video. Plus, you can decide when that form appears. You could even gate certain content to encourage signups. And as these features are part of the video itself, they function no matter what context the video is being played in.
Security - It's not impossible to rip video hosted in Wistia, but it's pretty damn difficult. It's certainly more of a deterrent than YouTube or Vimeo.
Expensive - Beyond the limited free option, Wistia charges a flat fee plus a per video fee for their hosting. This starts to add up.
Walled Garden - Wistia is purely a hosting site. There are no social media elements, no network effects and no online communities to boost discoverability.
Joe Pulizzi, Author
Your videos won't influence people if they never reach them.
Our approach to distribution focuses on four key methods…
We can provide relevant metadata for updating XML Sitemaps, making it easier for Google to index the video on your webpages. This doesn't increase Google rankings directly, but it does speed up the positive SEO impact of your videos.
Transcripts are also available on request. Making the text alongside video content can boost search engine rankings. We recommend using accordion elements so the text is visible to those who prefer to read it (including Google's crawlers) but hidden for those who would rather watch the video.
Pay Per Click campaigns have to produce results within shorter time frames. Successful videos can contribute to this directly through increased conversions. They can also lead to increased time on site which can enhance your page scores and lower your cost per click.
We're on hand to consult with your web developer regarding page layout. Dedicated landing pages are essential. It is often beneficial to embed videos "above the fold" at the of the page.
We highly recommend that videos intended for social media campaigns are uploaded natively. Each major platform favours native content in their feeds. For example, linking to a YouTube video in a LinkedIn post will dramatically decrease its audience.
Companies that run a large number of multiplatform campaigns may benefit from hosting their videos on Vimeo. Their paid tiers all include native sharing as a feature. We can assist with setting up a new channel and migrating video libraries.
Longer videos can be cut into smaller ones that are perfect for email campaigns. Doing so ensures that each video you send out to your list is tightly focused and easily digestible. This respects your audience's time, while gradually progressing them along their customer journey.
Our clients can request our copywriting service as an add-on. We supply your marketing team with a series of emails complete with videos, subject lines, main body text and CTAs.
Jay Baer, Author
Great marketing turns leads into customers and customers into advocates.
We offer five additional services to engage more viewers…
Subtitles are particularly suited to mobile-focused campaigns where video autoplay on silent. They improve accessibility and open up more options for display (e.g. at a busy trade show or on a billboard).
We can hardcode captions into the video itself so that they are present wherever the video is played. Or we can provide SRT files that all the major video platforms use for their captions.
Video can be shared across the globe in an instant. Removing the language barrier opens your content up to an international audience. We offer both translation and multilingual voiceover recording on request.
As we store all of the footage we film and animate, we're able to turnaround re-edits efficiently. This empowers your marketing team to react flexibly to the results of your campaigns.
Options include shorter edits designed for social media, loops intended for outdoor use or even completely new edits with a reworked brief.
We can provide transcriptions on request to your team. These can form the basis for blogs, articles, whitepapers, case studies, guides and ebooks. We are also able to process the audio files from filming for reuse as podcasts.
The majority of our clients host their videos on YouTube or Vimeo. Managing company channels skillfully significantly boosts discoverability on these platforms.
We structure your channel into a series of logical playlists with consistent thumbnails and titles. We also handle all description boxes and metadata entry to make life easier for your audience and YouTube's algorithm.