Top 8 Tips on Purchasing Your First Video

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So you want to purchase a video for your business to increase your online presence and hopefully generate some new leads for your company. At first glance, video production can seem like a long and complicated process so it can be hard to know where to look and what to look for. Thankfully it’s not as bad as it may seem at first and with these tips, you will be well prepared to find the right video production company for you!

I think it’s important to take a moment and quickly discuss the ‘production process’. I’ve found that this is a term not many people are aware of when they first start thinking about video but it’s definitely an important term to be aware of. In short, it covers every aspect of creating a video from start to finish and this can include writing scripts, storyboarding, scouting locations, hiring actors, filming and editing the video. It is split up into three categories known as pre-production, production and post-production. Pre-productions includes all of the scripting writing, storyboarding, location scouting and casting up until the point of filming. Basically everything that happens before you capture your first shot. Production is when you film the video and capture all of your shots. Post-production is the editing process of putting all your clips together to create your video. So now let’s take a look at our top 8 tips for when you purchase your first video package!

1. Budget

First of all, it is important to have a realistic budget in mind when you start thinking about video. There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes that you may not be aware of and these can take many hours to complete. The editing, for instance, is probably the biggest section of the process and can quite easily take a couple of days or more to create a professional 3 minute promotional video. That’s not including time spent on amendments after the first draft! With that in mind it is important to consider how much budget you have available for your project and what sort of video you are after. Anything above £500 can be expected for creating a 2-3 minute promo video for your business.

2. Script

Once you make contact with a production company you will most likely have a meeting with them where you will have the opportunity to discuss the ideas that you have for your video, that type of video that want, your budget and timeframes. Once this has been agreed, the most important thing to do next is finalise the script. Some companies may offer to write the script for you however I find it better to put a script together yourself or write it with your speaker. Having given you some pointers on what to write about, you can then refine it with to create the best end product. This works particularly well when you want to promote a business or product because you will always know your business better than anyone and will therefore be able to write a much more detailed script. It’s important for you to consider what you want to promote in the video and ensure all key information is added, including a call to action.

3. Storyboard

Once you have finalised your script you will need to put together a storyboard. This will typically consist of your script being drawn out into different scenes with ideas for shots noted down alongside. From this a shot list and shooting schedule can be generated. The storyboard is normally something that will be done for you, however you can still have your input by suggesting ideas that you may have for shots or if there is something specific that you want at a particular time. By getting these ideas down at this point in the process it will save a lot of time down the line because the cameramen will know exactly which shots to capture rather than being told or experimenting on the day to capture something new.

4. Locations

Location is one of the most important parts of video production and should be prepared well in advance of the shooting date. You will need to find a primary shooting location where you can capture the majority of your footage. If you are creating your video at your place of business then you will need to ensure that appropriate areas are accessible within your building for the film crew to come in and be able to operate safely. If you have more than one location in mind then you will need to scout out the location before filming and obtain permission to film there if required. You will need to obtain release forms for any person who is in your video. That includes passers by who you may need to blur out if you capture their face.

5. Environment

The weather will play a part in your shoot so it is definitely worth keeping this in your thoughts when you plan your video. If you are shooting your video and you are indoors it is still better to try and film on a clear day because you will have a lot more natural light coming through the windows and this will look better than artificial lighting. If you plan on shooting outdoors then you should film on a clear day, again to capture the natural light which will enhance your video. It all depends on what your video will be promoting, for example if you grow food or plants then you should wait for a clear day and for them to flourish to capture them at their best.

6. Video Length

The length of your video is becoming more and more important as audience retention rate (how much of your video someone watches) declines over time. For a promotional video there are a few guidelines that you can follow to capture and keep your audiences attention. We would recommend the content of your video to be no longer than 3 minutes. Any longer and you will start seeing a significant drop off of viewers throughout your video. An ideal length would be anywhere between 1:30 – 2:30 as this gives you enough time to get across your message and keep your audience engaged throughout the video. A quick tip to keep your viewers interested until the very end is to make your outro as short as possible so that the end of your content coincides with the end of your video and there is no extra time at the end where people can leave.

7. Editing

During the editing stage you can offer your thoughts and ideas to your editor who will then be able to put these into action. If you have storyboarded your video at the start of the process this will save time during the edit because you will already have a basis for how the video is going to play out. Typically your editor will create a first draft based on the storyboard and show you how it looks. You can then decide which parts you like/don’t like and change it accordingly. I would recommend showing the draft to someone who has not seen it each time you make changes as this will allow you to get direct feedback on which parts are working and which aren’t. Even if you think one clip is good or bad, someone else may have a different opinion entirely.

8. Format

Before you begin your project, you should think about where you want your video to be shown as this will affect how the video is published once it is finished. There are many different settings you can export your video with which, depending on where you want to show your video, will affect your video quality and file size. For example, if you want to upload to Youtube, the video would have to be compressed slightly to reduce the file size and uploading time. If you want your video at broadcast quality then it should be published using the highest settings possible whereas if you want to embed it onto your website it would need to be compressed quite a lot so that it loads quickly and does not slow down your website. Once you have been through all of these stages, you will have your finished product which you can then share with the world!

So there are our top 8 tips for preparing your first promotional video. I hope it helps you understand the process of creating a video and why it can take so long, but also where you as the client can intervene and have your say on what you want and don’t want in the video as it’s not all down to the production crew! After all it is your video so they will want to create something that is right for you. If you keep in mind some of the things we have discussed above then you will be well on your way to getting the best video that you can.

If you are thinking about having a promotional video created for your business why not contact me on 0121 314 7075 or email me on for a quote or some impartial advice. Here is an example of one of our recent videos:

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