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September 4, 2020

Video Production FAQs

one person films an interview with another person

Our team of talented filmmakers is ready to share your message in engaging, compelling videos. We’ve answered often-asked video production questions below. Please reach out anytime with additional questions and to discuss the specifics of your video project.

How long does it take to produce a video?

From the start of your creative planning through to the video premiere, the timeline to produce a video is 8 to 10 weeks. Learn how to plan and schedule a nonprofit fundraising video.

We definitely want to create a video for our organization. Where do we start?

You’ll first need to identify the goal of the video and who is your intended audience. Those decisions help determine the format for the video and what will be the most important message you want to convey. Review these 5 tips to improve your next org video to get started.

How do we stay safe from COVID-19 while filming?

Both in our studio and on-location, we follow COVID-19 safety precautions. We use shot-gun microphones and zoom lenses to maintain safe distances. Our videographers wear masks, frequently sanitize equipment, use hand sanitizers, and stay home if they feel unwell. We ask clients to consider and support people who are vulnerable and at greater COVID-19 risk by adapting their video plans beforehand. We also do not film in anyone’s home.

How should we select locations to shoot?

In order to maintain everyone’s health and safety, we ask that filming locations be outside or in large spaces where adequate ventilation is available and we can maintain physical distancing.

What preparations should we take for the day we film?

Help the people who will appear on camera be ready, yet not overly rehearsed. Plan for 45 minutes for each interview. Share an overview of the topics that will be asked, but don’t provide the exact questions in order to help interviewees answer in a natural manner. Solid color clothing is best. Avoid white, bright red, and all-black outfits as these colors pose potential technical problems. Please provide information about COVID-19 safety protocols for everyone who will be present.

What is the best length for a video?

Videos created for pre-pandemic live events were usually three and a half minutes long. We currently recommend appeal and organizational videos be only two to three minutes long when included in livestreamed virtual events. We also suggest the video be quick-paced to keep the attention of your online audience.

What is b-roll?

B-roll is additional footage intercut with the main shot that adds context to the story being told. B-roll captured during the main shoot often includes exterior shots that establish location, background activity that defines a place, or action shots that support the spoken narrative of the video.

Can we reuse our previous videos in the new video?

Quite possibly. Previous video footage, b-roll, and photographs are all helpful during the post-production process. All of these assets can enhance your visual storytelling. In our COVID-19 world, you’ll want to review previous footage with an eye toward exterior imagery and footage of people by themselves. An alternative is to identify previous footage with text overlays indicating the prior time period of the footage.

How do we select music for our video?

We utilize a music licensing service and select music beds that match the mood of your video, whether that is uplifting, sentimental, or reflective. If you have a type of music in mind, please send samples with your other assets.

For virtual events, what should the balance be between pre-recorded and live feeds? Is there a ratio that works best?

We recommend 40% live feed and 60% pre-recorded segments. That ratio keeps the live event feel of the program allowing for interaction with the audience, while also staying on time and on pace.

Can you help us cut the video into short pieces for social media?

Yes. We can edit a video with multiple interviews into short segments that you can repurpose on your social channels. An alternative is to film promo pieces when we film the longer video. Consider writing copy specifically for the social media clips.

Do you film with drones?

Yes, we do. Filming with drones offers great opportunities to showcase new facilities and outdoor spaces.

Please contact us if you have other questions and to schedule your media project. You’ll also find additional resources on our media production webpage. We are here to help you produce videos that inspire your audience to learn more and support your organization.

Pictured above: Filming an interview for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Virtual Gala.