One of the first things I get asked in regards to video production is how much does it cost and why does it cost so much? This is something I love to answer because there are many things you may not know that go into the successful completion of a video project. Luckily, here, at HeartFire Media, we offer full service video production and can accommodate to any request coming our way and charge half of what the larger production companies do. I am more than happy to share how we do what we do and why we charge what we charge.
Let’s begin by explaining what it takes to create a video.
The Video Production Process
- Pre-Production (the planning process). This is where the creative juices flow. I like to sit down with my clients and really dig into what they want to accomplish and then creatively come up with concepts that will meet their goals. We do everything from concept creation, script writing, and production coordination. Production coordination is the next step once the script or script outline is established. Finding a location, hiring extras, hiring crew, ordering special equipment, hiring voice-over talent, gathering graphics, are all just some of the details that we manage before the shoot even begins.
- Production- fun days! This is where we actually shoot the video on set. It involves working as a team with our crew, going through our shot list, going over actor lines, lighting, filming take after take to make sure we have everything just right. Depending on the concept of the commercial, shoots can run anywhere from one hour to a number of weeks to finish. Set up and breakdown can also take anywhere from 30 minutes to hours, varying on all of the equipment used. In regards to our equipment, we use some of the best cameras and editing software in the industry to deliver those beautiful HD shots you see on TV. We deliver New York and LA quality projects right here in San Antonio.
- Post-Production- this is where the magic happens! Once everything is shot, our editor goes into his secret dark laboratory and gets to work. Since we work in the digital age, all of our video is shot onto a memory card. The footage must be loaded onto amazing fast computers with tons of memory in order for the process to run smoothly. Once footage is organized, the editor follows the script adding in each of the required elements… music, graphics, voice-over, and animation effects.
We also get the question, ‘why does it take so long just to make a minor change’? What you may not realize is that, every time a change is made on the project, the editing software requires the change to be rendered. Ahhh Rendering, one of the editors most dreaded things, along with exporting the file. What is Rendering?
Rendering is the computer’s way of taking effects, such as color correction or transitions, and adding them to the actual video in order to make the video playback smooth. Without the rendering process, the video playback would be choppy because the computer would have to compute the video and the effects separately. Sounds fun right? Not really, this process can take hours to complete especially if the animation graphics used in the video are intricate. Finally, after the project is completed and finally rendered, we have to export the file. Meaning it gets compressed into the final HD file you receive as an .MOV or .MP4. This can take a few hours as well, depending on the computer you are using. We also give our clients one round of unlimited changes and ask them to really take their time to see if there is anything they would like to add. My goal is to always WOW you, so that you may not ever need changes.
Sounds like fun right? Haha! Fortunately, here at our company, we provide all of these services without the client even knowing what is going on behind the scenes and make the process easy and fun. It is our job to make sure we deliver the video project you asked for and to surpass your expectations. As I have mentioned before, producing a quality video is an investment. Our business allows us to charge an hourly rate according to all of the items you see above. We could easily charge for uploading, rendering, and exporting hours, production coordination, but we don’t. We simply charge for the actual service we provide and for our creative noggins. According to the San Antonio market, HeartFire Media has competitive rates that are well worth the investment. You see we don’t just want your business one time, we want you to come back for multiple things besides video. We also specialize in graphic design, website development, seo services, and marketing consulting.
So for those of you out there who thought it was just a bunch of kids who pick up cameras and use windows moviemaker to put these wonderful projects together in just a few hours, you are wrong. Video production is an art and it takes a whole lot of coordination, vision, and talent to pull it off. We hope that you continue to enjoy our work and understand a little better what goes on to make many VISIONS come to LIFE. This is our passion and we can only hope to continue doing what we love for many years to come. Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding the process, I would be more than happy to oblige.
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”