Step 1: development
There aren't the proper words to express how important development is. Let's imagine your film is a skyscraper. Development, then, is simultaneously the design and foundation of your skyscraper. Without it, not only will your film be an ugly mess, but it, along with your investment, will come crashing down around you.
Here are just a few of the things we tackle during development:
Objective. Before we can even consider writing a script, we have to understand the objective of your film. Is your goal to generate new leads? Is it to advertise a product or service? Or are you trying to raise brand-awareness? Whatever the goal, we can design your film to help you reach it.
Call to Action. Speaking of objective, the best way to clarify yours is by establishing a clear CTA. This could be as simple as saying, "Visit our website today to schedule a free consultation." It's important to clarify your call to action before production begins, that way we can design your film (or films) to accommodate it.
Message. This is different from the objective of your film in that it begs the question, "What are you trying to say?" rather than, "What are you trying to do?" We'll spend a great amount of time determining what message you want to share. Will your message be service- or product-oriented, like, "We produce a healthy alternative," or would you like to share something a bit more social, like, "A healthier world is a happier world"? Whatever your message is, it'll be the heart of your film, so it's vital we articulate it.
Audience. Knowing the audience of your film is just as important as knowing its objective, if not more important. Who do you anticipate seeing this film? Where are they in your sales funnel? Are they cold leads, warm leads? What do they know about your company, and why are they even interested? Your audience will help us shape the tone and aesthetic of your film. We don't want to be advertising to teenagers when your market is individuals in their mid-forties.
Tone. The tone of your film is really a compilation of all the things above. We generally ask our clients, "If this video was a movie, what genre would it be?" Is it a drama, a comedy, a thriller? What kind of tone would you like to set for your company? Would you like your film to be exciting, uplifting, heartwarming, heartbreaking? Whatever it is, the tone will affect the way your film looks, sounds, and feels.
The Script. This is the final step of development. The moment that counts, when we begin pouring the concrete for your foundation. A good screenplay allows you, the client, to visualize your film before we invest the time and resources into producing it. Once we have the first draft, we'll send the script your way and collect any critiques and revisions you may have. And only when you're totally satisfied with what's on paper will we move on to the next step: pre-production.
Step 2: Pre-production
Continuing with our skyscraper metaphor, think of pre-production as the blueprint for your film. Pre-production is our plan of how to take your film from script to screen. The goal here is to make everything go as smooth and efficiently as possible. Sounds good, right?
Here are just a few of the things we tackle during pre-production:
Location Scouting. Your film's got to take place somewhere, right? We take the time to scour the city in search of the perfect location(s), bearing in mind the tonal and aesthetic elements we discussed during development, not to mention the script itself. We also have to consider things, like: is this location accessible, is it too loud, does it have power, is the light good..? You know, boring technical stuff.
Shot-list. This bit of pre-production is self-explanatory, yet one of the most challenging parts of the process. Establishing a shot-list ensures that, when it comes time to call action, we're as quick and efficient as possible. Creating a shot-list also gives us the chance to further visualize your film before investing the necessary resources into shooting it.
Scheduling. Like we said, pre-production is all about making a plan. Part of that plan includes scheduling each and every scene/shot so that, as always, things move forward with as little bumps as possible, saving as much of your time and money as possible.
Permits. More likely than not, your film won't require any permits to produce. But in the event that it does, have no fear: we'll handle it.
Casting. Your film may not require any actors, but if it does, we approach our network of local talent to determine who will best fill the part. Before making any decisions, we'll provide you with our actors' headshots and reels for your review. We want you to be happy with the face and voice of your company.
Props. You may not think so, but chances are your film will require a handful of props. We've accounted for these props in the budget, and it's our job to shop for and purchase such items during pre-production to ensure they're ready to go when we press record.
Step 3: Production
Believe it or not, this is the quickest and, sometimes, the simplest part of the entire filmmaking process. Production is when we have the pleasure of calling, "Lights! Camera! ACTION!" Production is also when, if we've done our job right, all our hard work in development and pre-production pays-off. The idea here is to make production a swift, easy, and enjoyable process for you, for us, and for everyone else working on your blockbuster.
Step 4: Post-production
In post-production, all the material we've gathered and created comes together, bringing your film to life like your own beautiful Frankenstein.
Here are just a few of the things we tackle during pre-production:
Editing. We rearrange and manipulate footage gathered in production to create a single body of work. Development and pre-production ensures that the least amount of footage as possible winds-up on the cutting-room floor.
Coloring. Believe it or not, coloring footage is a huge step in the process. Long story short: professional video cameras compact footage, turning it flat and colorless. In post-production, we color that raw footage to match your brand and the tone of your film.
Animating. While our films don't typically involve lots of animation, there are times we like to give our productions a modern twist, animating lower-thirds and motion-graphics.
Scoring. We're one of the only companies in town that offers original music for each and every one of our films, expressing the inexpressible with all-original music. This is one of the most underestimated steps of the filmmaking journey. Original music not only separates your film from ever-growing herd, but it infuses your story with an almost-unfair amount of power. After all, our goal is to move people, isn't it?
Mixing and Mastering. Like our footage, we don't use audio straight from the recorder. Instead, we mix and master it so that your audio is warm, audible, and crystal-clear. This step is simple but not to be skipped. What's heard is just as important as what's seen.
Step 5: Revisions
Our clients always have the chance to review their film and request any minor changes they wish. Should more than a couple hours' worth be required, additional fees will be negotiated and agreed upon so that you end-up with a film you're proud to share with the world.
Step 6: Delivery
CONGRATULATIONS! Your film is complete. But the fun doesn't have to end here. We'll help you advertise your film, as well as manage your YouTube or Vimeo channel to optimize your investment. If you're interested in these services, please give us a shout.