Corporate video production questions

4 mins read

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from corporate clients about the world of corporate video production

Do I have to learn a script for my talking head interview?

Not at all! In fact this is a common mistake that people with little experience of corporate video production make. It’s critically important to NOT learn a script and recite it off the top of your head as the camera picks up every nuance in your face and body language – and if you’re reciting from memory – it shows all over your face.

There is nothing quite as excruciating as a corporate video with a talking head who has the look of fear in their eyes.

The most effective way to produce talking head interviews is to have an interviewer who has even a basic understanding of the questions that he or she is posing – and to extract a conversation about the topic in question.

How much does a corporate video cost?

A piece of string question of course. Buy a decent yardstick for a professional corporate video production company producing a video for a large corporate client would be £1000 per minute of produced footage. This can include a raft of different elements but tends to feature pre-production, scripting, the shoot itself, editing, motion graphics and potentially CG animation.

Any other tips for a talking head interview?

Yup – here’s another couple. One of the best ones is to keep answers short. I’ve forgotten the number of times I’ve told interviewees to give a more condensed, sound bitey version of their last answer.

Another one is to be aware of where the talking heads are taking place. A production company worth their salt will make sure talking head interviews have good locations – preferably with great sound quality to make sure everything works out well for the edit.

I’ve got a nervous colleague who doesn’t want to be camera but I want them to be – what should I do?

This is a common issue which rears its head in talking head interviews. The main thing you can do is trust the instincts and abilities of the production company’s interviewer. If they are worth half their salt, they’ll know how to create rapport with their subject and chat to make the interviewee more relaxed. This will lead naturally into an interview which will do a lot more to put the subject at ease and make everything look good.

Do I need to ask my staff to sign image release forms?

It’s certainly the case that if you feature any third party in your corporate video, you will need to ask their permission to use their image. Otherwise you’ will have to mask out their picture in post production.

As far as your own employees are concerned, the water is muddier. Technically you still do need to ask permission, but frequently going as far as having a official release isn’t needed. Some forward thinking HR departments include a clause in each employees contract stipulating that they may be used in photography or video. It’s always best to ask your HR department what the policy is.

What is the situation with data protection in my video?

Data production is very serious business, featuring a person’s personal details in the background of your video could leave you liable to be sued. A decent production company will be aware of these rules, but ultimately it is up to you as the client to ensure that any instances of people’s details being featured in your video are blurred out in post.

How long does it take to produce a corporate video?

This is in the piece of string territory. Frequently the turn around for client’s is quite tight – so it’s possible to plan, shoot, post a corporate video in a week if you are really up against it and all the stars aline. I know of other production companies who’ve managed half of that – which isn’t a situation I’d like to be in.

Who owns copyright of the corporate video?

This is an interesting topic that pops up from time to time. Technically, the production company retains copyright of all the imagery associated with the shoot, in a similar way to how a photographer has copyright of any image they take. A fee is normally negotiated with the production company if the client wants ownership of their footage – perhaps to go elsewhere to have revisions of the corporate video in the future.

What are the payment terms for the project?

The industry standard for live action corporate video production is to have 50% of the production budget upfront. This takes care of the production necessities including script writing, story-boarding, studio hire, transport and in some cases, crew. The remaining 50% is frequently invoiced for 30 days after completion of the project.

How does licensing of library music work?

It’s important to be aware that library music can restrict use of your corporate video if it’s not licensed properly. Often, on popular music libraries online like Audio network or Audio jungle will offer 1 or 2 year licences. This can obviously be very problematic if you want to use your corporate video for more than 1 or 2 years. It’s always important to insist on licences in perpetuity – eg music you can use in your video indefinitely.

What insurance does the production company need?

As a minimum, the production company should have £2m public liability insurance plus employers insurance to cover their crew and further insurance to cover kit. IF they haven’t, they are not a professional company and leave you liable if something goes awry.

Do we need permits to shoot on the street?

Again, this is where you sort the men from the boys as far as production companies are concerned. Yes, permits are required pretty much anywhere if you are shooting exteriors. Every council in the country has a film department which will issue a permit for shooting on their streets/public areas etc. Private properties like country estates, parks and beaches will often have their own permit requirements too.

How do I get my finished corporate video seen online?

Getting your corporate video production seen is a totally different ball game to having it produced in the first place. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo happily swallow up thousands of hours of video content a day, which means you have to work hard to getting it seen by the masses. Here at Hightower we have many years experience getting content seen online, using methods like blogger outreach and YouTube seeding campaigns. Feel free to get in touch to talk more!


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