Top 5 Questions to Get Your Video Started

There are many steps to get from idea to broadcast. With the help of a great video production company — we know one! — you can spend your time and money smartly and efficiently. Here are some things to consider before you get started.
1) DO YOU HAVE A SCRIPT? If you answer yes to this, then great! You’re way ahead of most people. But if the answer is no, we can help. If you’d like help scriptwriting, we’ll need to discuss your goals for the video. What is your message? What are the key points you want to make? Sometimes clients will write the script themselves and ask us to collaborate on it or polish it up, get it to time, etc. If you don’t have a script or even a concept, we’re happy to help with that. But remember, you know your product or business better than anyone else, so we’ll ask you to provide bullet points or a quick summary, anything to help us understand you better, then we’ll take it from there. Do you want it to be funny, tell a story, use testimonials or do something out of the box entirely? We’ll help with the creative, but if there are any offers, disclaimers, tag lines, or sales event type info, we’ll need to know ASAP. The more information we have, the more we can help. And lastly, this is important; once the script is approved, there may be costs associated if you make changes. It’s not just us either. Contractors, talent, and voice-over artists charge for their time. If they have to do something again, even for a minor change, it’ll cost. So be careful.
2) DO YOU NEED A SHOOT? Does the script or concept for your video call for shooting original footage? Do you require actors or a spokesperson? A finalized script will determine most of this, and it’ll allow us to determine the number of shoot days, the locations, and the amount of crew needed. Not to mention props, wardrobe, SFX, permits, insurance, and all the post-production requirements, and more. You can see why a script or even the simplest of outlines or treatments is required. It tells us so much and answers a lot of budget questions too. Next, consider thinking about the things you want to see in the video. What are the most important visuals? Think about what days you are available to shoot for scheduling and deadlines, and finally, let’s build a shot list based on… You guessed it, the script.
 3) WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET? Once we determine a concept for the script and whether or not a shoot is required, we can accurately budget your production. There’s a lot to think about when budgeting, all those shoot days required in the script can get expensive, the talent and/or spokesperson add costs, as well as the locations you choose. Permits and insurance costs for locations need to be figured in. Did you have an animated 3D character or logo? Those visual effects and graphics you want can be pricey. Original music? Do you want a version in a different language? That big idea looks good on paper but can get expensive in a hurry. We’re here to help you scale a production to fit your budget. There’s more on this in another blog post. “How Much Does It Cost?” The good news is, we want to find a way to do your project!
4) WHEN CAN WE START? Once the script is being finalized, the budget has been approved, it’s time to do the work! If talent or a spokesperson is involved, you’ll want to look at headshots of potential talent. Maybe you want to do an audition or have them submit a video. If you need a voice-over by an announcer, we can send samples of voice talent to choose the right sound. You can schedule a time to listen in on the recording if you like. Maybe a location scout is in order. Perhaps we need to review and purchase wardrobe and props, hire crew and build out the overall production. We’ll also need a logo as soon as possible, preferably in EPS, AI, or PSD file formats if available. (JPEG is not ideal, but large JPEGs or PDFs can sometimes work). If you have brand requirements or guidelines, now would be a good time to pass those along, including Co-Op requirements, fonts, colors, etc. If it’s a car commercial, we may want access to the Dealer Toolbox. (Running footage or stills?). Meetings and calls will be scheduled to go over everything in detail as needed. We do it all, and we do just about everything in-house. That means you have an efficient and dedicated team working on your project from start to finish.
5) WHAT’S YOUR DEADLINE? Some people have weeks or months to get a project done. Some people only have a few days or less. Don’t worry. We’re fast. But to get started, we need to know how to finish. And that means knowing when the rough cuts or proofs need to be sent out, when the project deadline is, and how it will be delivered. But before we get to that, there’s the editorial or post-production part of the project. You are welcome to be as involved in that process as you like. Once everything is shot or compiled, you may want to visit us to sit in on the edit. We have large client suites with big-screen TVs and all the amenities to make you comfortable watching or participating in the process. If you can’t make it in, we’ll deliver proofs via We’ll upload a private file where you can offer suggestions or changes and share the production with colleagues or allow them just to enjoy the great work you just completed. Once finished and approved, the Vimeo link offers several download file formats for just about anything you need. Hang on to that link; it doesn’t expire! If you require a specific file format for web or broadcast, we can do that too! Typically, we have file specs available for most TV stations or networks, but detailed traffic information with contacts and due dates is always appreciated. Once you’re done, we still have work to do. Your project and all its assets are archived on LTO, a high-end tape format that stores your original footage, graphics, animations, voice-over, music, and everything else used in the production and saves it off in our digital archive. So, when you’re ready to make changes or build something new, we have all the original project files ready to go. Our archive dates back to 1997!
Those are the basics of what it takes from start to finish. We’re here for you, so if you have any questions, email us from the contact page or give us a call at 510-632-4629.

Atomic Productions is a full service film production company driven by customer service and creativity. Oh, and we watch Jeopardy during lunch.

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