How Long Does it Take to Get a Professional Video?

Photo taken during a video shoot with Plum Productions

Time is money and you want to know, how long should it take to get my video? You have every right to ask that question. You also have every right to get an honest answer. While we’ve had clients come to us because they were frustrated with how long it was taking to get their video from another production company, our goal is to be as upfront about timelines as possible. Timelines vary by several factors. Let’s dig into what can change the timeline and what you can do about it.

  • Deposit. Yes, we, like many other production companies, require a deposit to get started. This can sometimes slow the process down a little, depending on how large the client’s company is.
  • Before the Shoot.  You’ve decided to move forward and you hope to get your video in a week…is this realistic? Probably not, but it could be. We consider the time before the shoot to be the most critical and has the biggest impact on timeline. Here’s why: We base much of the rest of the video’s outcome on what happens before production begins. We hold a preproduction meeting to ensure we completely understand and everyone agrees to the direction the shoot is heading. We write scripts, plan the shoot schedule, etc. based on this information. A poor plan can result in a poor video, so we can’t stress how important a good preproduction meeting is for your success. This portion of the production usually doesn’t slow the process down unless things change directions and decisions can’t be made in a timely manner. Usually doesn’t happen, but sometimes it does.
  • The Shoot. The shoot is the shoot. It’s where the planning meets reality and stuff starts to happen. Typically we schedule a half, full or multi day shoot for a set number of hours. Again, this doesn’t usually cause any delays to the delivery time unless the client cannot schedule the shoot until someone has returned from vacation or needs to wait until a date in the future to begin shooting. That also applies to our schedule. If we’re already booked for the next several weeks, a new shoot most likely won’t get scheduled until after that clears up a bit.
  • Post Production. Here’s where time bends. Our goal is to always get you a finished product to review within about 7 to 10 days (unless otherwise stated during the shoot). Typically this is good for the client and good for us. It allows an adequate amount of time to be creative in the editing process while still keeping to a deadline. Where things typically slow down is when the client receives the first edit. That’s not a problem because there are usually several people involved on the client side to provide adequate feedback and list the revisions. There should always be revisions. We fully expect the client to want something revised, after all, it’s their video and they need to get what they want, right? Once we get the revisions from the client, we usually apply those concepts, thoughts, and themes to any other remaining video edits and make the changes to the first video. Believe it or not, one time we waited 6 months to get the revisions list. These things happen and when they do, they affect how quickly the client receives the completed video.
  • Final Payment. Once we’ve completed the required rounds of revisions the client will provide final payment and the final videos are delivered. Again, this can stall the delivery process if it takes a few weeks to process checks at your company. This isn’t common, but it does happen.

There you have it, several factors that can affect the final delivery time of your video. How long should it take to get your video created and delivered depends on schedules, payment timelines, and revision/feedback timelines. Our typical projects take anywhere from 30 days to 3 months…depending on the client. That said, one time we started and completed a project in 7 days…so that can happen as well. We can say with certainty that it’s very difficult to provide a highly produced, quality video in less than 30 days…and even more difficult is producing an delivering a video by last week (as is sometimes jokingly requested).

If you’ve been waiting for a video production company to complete your project and you’re outside those timelines, give us a call, we may be able to help or give you some questions to ask. Any other video questions?  Give us a call.

Storyboard or Script?

Which is better? Does it matter?

While we don’t get this question often, it’s a valid question. A more likely question we get sometimes is, “Can we create a storyboard so we can see what the plan is?” The answer is usually yes, but there are times it doesn’t make sense. First let’s start with what a storyboard is versus what a script will do.

Storyboard

A storyboard is developed to show a client pictorially what may be shown on screen. These usually work well when we do product videos, especially when the finished video will need to be approved by a third party. Third parties to a product video might be QVC or the Home Shopping Network. Usually when one wants to create a product video to be featured on one of these channels, it’s a good idea to make sure the video matches their specifications and needs. It becomes costly to re-shoot or re-edit a video simply because it wasn’t approved prior to shooting. For instance the video below required a storyboard so it could be approved by management and shown to the retailer. The retailer had some input as to how it featured certain components that might help the product sell faster in their stores. They know their customers, so get them to help!

Here’s the video:

Here’s the storyboard that went with it:

Scripting

So now that we’ve discussed storyboarding, let’s shift over to scripting. Scripting is when we take what you do, how you do it, and/or why you do it and convert that into a spoken script that highlights the points your video needs to create. Spoken script can be you (or someone you designate from your business) on camera reading from a TelePrompTer, or it can be professional voice over. We have hundreds of professional voice over options to choose from and several languages. It’s important to choose which voice best represents your business. We can help with that as well.

One question that comes up when dealing with a script is, “Who should write the script?” Our recommendation is most frequently that we should write the script. We say this because we know how close you are to your business and sometimes we find people close to the work have a hard time formulating the correct message for the audience. For example, we’ve had some clients take a stab at their script only to include industry jargon and technical information that their target audience didn’t care about. What the target audience needed to know was, can you do what I expect of you, on time, and on budget? Those were the questions that needed to be answered, not the technical stuff. Sometimes the client is best suited to write the script, but most times, we can boil down the problem-solution for you making it less stressful during the shoot. Keep in mind, no matter what, the client has the last say in the script!

Here’s an example of a script for another product:

The concept is, tell the story, give someone the reason to buy your product or service. You’ll also notice that there are two columns in this script: a description of what you’ll see on the screen and the actual spoken words. This was a relatively straightforward script, but you get the picture. Here’s the finished video:


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If you have any questions about your video project, feel free to give us a call. We’re happy to help! Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook.