Creative Process-For Businesses New to Hiring a Video Production Company

Mimi Productions on location

Hiring a video production company for the first time can be daunting. So when we meet new clients for the first time, we are often asked, "What is your process?" And that is a great but loaded question! There are many variables in creating dynamic videos-what kind of video is it? Who is the audience? Will the video feature real people or actors? What is the call to action? Where will the video be shown? And what are your expectations of the video?

But most projects follow a similar path during their creation and below are the 4 phases.

  1. Discovery-Our creative team spends time with you and your team either in person, over the phone or via e-mail to discover what your vision for the video is. It is a training film, interviews with the CEO, customer testimonials, demonstration film, marketing Video or live event? Where would you like to us to film? At your location, in a studio, outside or somewhere else?
  2. Pre-Production-Once we know what type of project it is, we can then start to build an outline in pre-production. It may involve our team writing a script or it could be we adapt a script you have already come up with. We may cast actors with your guidance or cast a narrator for a Voice Over. Or in the case of interviews, once we know the direction of the piece and who the key players are, we pre-interview those folks and craft interview questions for your review. Then we scout and secure locations, issue any necessary permits and certificates of insurance, secure location releases, on camera talent releases and schedule the entire production with crew, and/or actors or interview subjects.
  3. Production-Depending on the type of project, we may come to the location with a crew of 10 or a crew of two. It all depends on the type of project and complexity. Simple interviews and additional video (B-roll) on location at let's say a manufacturing plant can be accomplished with a crew of two, videographer (Director of Photography) and producer. Live event coverage of large groups may require we bring a sound person and a production assistant. Full blown commercials or training films would be a larger crew and much more equipment, makeup artist, director, gaffer, grips, second camera operators, production assistants as well as Director of Photography, Sound and Producer. And sometimes depending on the budget and the kind of video, the crew will wear many hats. The videographer can also handle sound, for simple interviews the producer can help apply a small amount of powder to interview subjects so not to incur the cost of the makeup artist. Video production is fluid-we can expand or downsize depending on the project and the budget.
  4. Post-Production-Once we have wrapped the production we start post-production. And again the steps depend on the type of video, if it has been already scripted then we start editing pretty quickly. If the project includes interviews-we transcribe those interviews verbatim and give them to you for review while we craft a script and edit. Then we also create motion graphics, like animating your logo, on screen titles and name title treatments that go on the lower third of the screen and we add music and sound effects if needed from our library Once we have a first draft ready we upload online for your review. We also include three rounds of changes in our quotes so you don't need to worry being charged for editing past the first draft. Once your team has signed off we upload the completed video for you to download, send it on DVD or if you provide us a hard drive, we would be glad to copy it for you.

I hope this helps shed a bit of light for new buyers of video production on how the process works. If you have any questions feel free to call me at 312-829-0162 or e-mail I am always here to help!

-Michelle De Long
President, Mimi Productions

P.S. Here is a cool link for Video Production terms

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