In this article, we will address the topic by answering a series of questions. The goal is to firstly identify if videos are important to your business. Next, we will establish if having a production team in-house is viable for your business. Thereafter, we will discuss the essentials of starting a video production team in your company through an in-depth step-by-step guide, which highlights potential problems and how to avoid running into them.
Do I need a video to drive my business – Understanding your business goals and marketing needs
Video marketing is cited to dominate all forms of marketing for at least the next 3 years. Before jumping on the bandwagon, ask yourself, what are your objectives and who are you target audience? Videos work best for audiences who predominantly consume digital media. In terms of objectives, videos are effective in explaining processes, introducing a new product, but do not work well when your campaign timeline is very short. Video production requires at least 4 weeks from start to end, and if you’re pressed for time to push out your marketing activities, perhaps you should consider producing a video for your next campaign.
Would an in-house production team benefit my business – Analysing the costs and advantages involved
The costs involved in maintaining a production team within your company is quite a hefty sum. On top of that, the investment required to hire qualified individuals to execute a full production could easily go up to $50,000 a month. And all this does not include either renting equipment and gear or buying them, which is more cost-efficient in the long run. As a rule of thumb, if you do not foresee your company engaging in at least 10 productions within a span of a year, then engaging a video production house externally would make much more economic sense. The budget for setting up a video production team comes from the Marketing Department. If your company’s strategy for the year is not aggressive on branding and promotion, we suggest to hold off setting up a team in-house. Conversely, if your company has planned for marketing to lead the overall strategy, it is wise to invest in an in-house production team to support your marketing efforts.
If your answer to the questions above is a resounding YES then let us clue you in on the foundations of setting up your very own in-house video production team.
Getting the right people
Video production is a niche craft. If you are going to make the investment to set up your own production team, make it count! Get the best people on board. A Director of Photography with a good number of years of experience, a Director who can conceptualise ideas into reality, a Producer who is efficient and resourceful when it comes to project and budget management, and an Editor who can piece the work together seamlessly. These 4 make the core of a production team. Of course, most shoots will also require a Grip to help with lighting and a Soundman to record location sound, as well as production assistants to help out on set. However, these additional set of crew can be hired on a freelance basis as they are not required for all shoots. It may not be easy to hire experienced crew as most production people prefer working on a freelance basis. But work something out with them, offer incentives and stability to attract these talents.
Investing in the right gear
A must-have would be a professional camera for videography such as the Sony FS7. Do not stinge on having the right gear as it could make a world of difference to the quality of work. Below is a list of essential equipment that we recommend to buy instead of rent, due to their high usage rate:
- Camera – We recommend the Sony FS7 as it is one of the best of its class.
- Lens – Ideally a Canon 24-70mm and a 50mm would be sufficient for most shooting conditions
- Tripod – Shooting handheld may seem easy, but in reality, videography is much more sensitive to slight movements. A tripod is thus an essential for all shoots.
- Storage – Memory cards and hard disks are the lifeline of your production. Spend on good quality storage devices and accessories as it would do a great deal of help as you approach the post-production stage.
- Computer – This will be the machine on which you assemble your footages and edit according to your desired final product. With that in mind, make sure that your computer has enough processing power for smooth editing.
- Software – Adobe Premiere Pro is widely-used by experienced video editors across the globe. It is reliable, readily available, and there are many tutorials and step-by-step video guides online.
- Lighting – A simple lighting kit such as the Dracast S Series, is easy to use and pocket-friendly as well.
If your budget allows, consider getting sound recording equipment, which is important for interview-style videos. If not, you can easily rent this equipment, or hire a freelance sound specialist who would already have their own gears.
Setting the right strategies, processes and goals
Remember, your need for setting up an in-house production team stems from an ultimate goal that your business wishes to achieve. Most businesses create videos for both internal training and communications, as well as to market their products and services to consumers. As a video production team, you must be able to translate these goals to your terms. Work with your marketing and communications department to determine how many productions the company is targeting to fulfill for the year, and create a production calendar to ensure optimum use of manpower and resources. Even if your production team is small, it is important to lay out SOPs so that everyone knows their part to play and is working efficiently to produce great content. Having monthly meetings as a production team, and with the marketing department, is crucial to ensuring that everyone’s goals are aligned. This also helps to identify potential problems which could be easily rectified with minimal or no impact to performance and morale. Consider informal cross-team lunches to further build rapport, which also happens to be a ideal environment for idea-generation between teams.
We’ve shared with you the foundations of setting up a strong production team. Your next step is to find out the entire flow of work from pitching to post production. While it may sound self-explanatory, there are actually detailed action steps involved in producing a video. Fret not, we have just the guide you’ll need to ensure an efficient and smooth production. Stay tuned ‘cause you won’t want to miss this!