First, we dive into the particulars. What kind of project is this? Who is the target audience. We dissect and process, consider and compare, until we have an unshakeable understanding of the creative.
Whether we’re developing an internal idea or fine-tuning an idea for a client, we sit down in a room together (old school, we know) and hash everything out. It seems trivial, but meeting in-person meetings make a huge difference in the creative development process. Technology is a boon, but there’s just something about sitting face-to-face that really pulls the best stuff out of us.
Regardless, these workshopping sessions are all about making sure that every facet of the creative is vetted and approved. If the analyzing stage is for understanding the idea, then workshopping is for pulling it apart. No one, not even the greats, can concoct a perfect idea on their first pass. During our workshopping process we refine ideas — and redefine them — until they have a glossy sheen to them, shiny and ready to present to the world.
Before the lights, the camera, the action, there is the unsung hero of any great video endeavor: pre-production. Sure, being on set has its own allure; and yeah, post-production is where the story really comes together. But without the thoughtful, meticulous work done in preproduction none of that would even be possible. In short, preproduction is where you build a solid, reliable base that sets your video up for success.
At the risk of being reductive, pre-production is all about two things: top level creative and logistics. On the creative side, pre-production is all about fine tuning your concept, writing a polished script, storyboarding, etc. Really just doing anything and everything possible to ensure you have a firm grasp on the story you want to weave.
Conversely, the logistical side of pre-production is where you work out how you’ll make that big picture a reality. Who’s the best fit to play this role? Where’s a good place that fits this scene description? Oh, and what will these shoot days actually look like? Knowing the precise answer to all of these questions (and just so, so many more) is the job of any great pre-production team.
Luckily, we have one of the most trusted, on-point pre-production crew in the business.
Making a Budget
Not to state the obvious here, but there are a lot of elements that go into a production. From sound design, to props, to costumes and more, each part adds up. Especially in terms of costs. That’s where budgeting comes in. As much as we’d like to go into a project thinking solely about the artistic vision we labored for months or even years developing, money is an important factor. It does, after all, make the world go round!
Going into a project with a realistic understanding of your budget is the first step in creating the production you’ve always dreamt of.
In movie production, a line producer will break the script down scene by scene to identify each element that needs to be included in the budget. Each scene typically consists of 7 main elements: location/set, actors/actresses, costume, vehicles, props, set dressing, and equipment/crew.
After the breakdown, we create a production schedule. The schedule comprehensively lists what will be shot and when and cast and crew needed for those days. The schedule informs the process of itemizing everything involved. Knowing exactly what is needed from the start helps the production company and the client prepare for costs way in advance and stick to a deadline. At AOMN, we’re here to help you with all the ins and outs of budgeting. We know that your time and money are vitally important. That’s why we work with you to come up with the perfect plan.
First, it’s important to determine your priorities. What level of quality do you need for your project? (Hint: if the answer is “high quality,” we’d recommend our services!) Where can you cut something to make room for something you think is more important?
Think about deadlines. How quickly does this project need to be produced? How much money can you reasonably allot to expedite any given aspect of the video? Like we’ve all heard before, time is money. That is especially true on film sets. Every minute of any production adds up in labor, location and crafty costs, on top of a lot of other things.
When piecing together your project, consider the 3 main elements of video development costs. These are time, talent, and tools. The more time, talent, and tools you need, the higher the cost. Budget, just like any other aspect of video production, breaks down into Pre-Production, Production and Post Production.
Pre-Production is the preparation that happens before shoot day. This includes writing, producer planning and prep, and director prep. Each process is allotted a certain number of hours based on clients’ needs, which we always keep in mind when we make a budget.
So the prep is all done when shoot day rolls around, awesome! But shoots have their own costs associated with them that we have to take into account. Everybody on set is being paid for their time, of course, and they all have to be fed on what can end up being 10+ hour days. Even the location, the very ground the cast and crew stand upon, has fees associated with it.
Post-Production is, you guessed it, everything that happens after the video is shot. This includes editing, animation and graphics, sound mixing, color grade and more. Again, each element of postproduction is allotted hours in the budget.
So, to summarize it takes a budget to create a solid product. Of course, that’s not to say that your budget has to be huge! Nearly all of us here at Act Out Media Network have been in the spot, whether as student filmmakers or as a weekend short film creators, where we had little or no money to make a production happen. That experience lends itself to us everyday in the creation and assessment of our project budgets.
At Act Out Media Network we’re here to guide you every step of the way, including helping you make smart decisions with whatever amount of funds you or your company have. Regardless of the project and budget you have in mind, the important thing is that you’re in good hands. We want to see your vision come to life the way you imagined.