First things first, corporate film production is not the same as post-production in film.
Think of it this way: it’s just like making a movie, but corporate video production incorporates the vision of a company into the story.
A corporate film production agency makes videos for organizations. These films can either be promotional or informative or both, but to get through to the audience, the production agency has to understand the goal of the company. Production companies vary in size and affordability; you should always hire based on your needs.
But if you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
This post was updated on March 2021
Corporate Film Production: The Basics
Why would a company make a corporate film?
Corporate film production is used in these instances:
To advertise a business.
Businesses often put out marketing videos when launching new products or services. These videos help build some hype while educating customers on the benefits.
Training new hires.
To run an effective business, you need to consider automating multiple processes. These days, new hires sit through training videos as part of their on-the-job training. Corporate films simply speed up the training process.
Companies use internal marketing videos to make annual reports more interesting. These videos break down charts, numbers, and other data into content that can be easily understood.
To attract new sponsors and investors.
These days, most investors and would-be sponsors, don’t just want to make more money. They also want to make a difference in the world. A corporate film production helps a company put out its vision.
Documenting business conferences.
Conferences are not all about expense reports and long keynote speeches: there’s also some pageantry and glamour associated with them. Sometimes, there’s even dark humor like the roast of a company executive. Corporate film productions document such events so that those that couldn’t attend can catch-up.
Corporate films are made for a variety of reasons, but they always need to communicate the objectives of your business. These films are made specifically to serve the interests of a company.
Who Does What in Corporate Film Production
The number of people you hire to work on your corporate film depends on your budget. A bigger crew does not always mean better production quality.
Corporate film production has everything to do with making a movie, and everything to do with promoting a company’s interests.
The marketing development team
This production team is directly responsible for scripting. Their job is to find out what your company is about, what your audience has to say, and how to best present the information to them.
In some instances, they will also perform peer testing to see how well a target audience receives the video. The consultancy role played by this team can expand into other aspects of marketing such as media buying.
So, taking the time to recruit the right talent for your marketing team can save you a lot of money in the long run.
The production team
Here you’ll find the producers, directors, and production assistants.
In case you are wondering, the difference between a producer and a director is that while the former oversees the film creation process, a director is a creative leader that makes all the artistic decisions. We have an in-depth article on the subject: Producer vs Director: What’s the Difference?
And let’s face it, film production takes detailed planning and the right industry connections. A competent film production team will have all these connections at their fingertips.
A well-oiled production team has;
- Access to the right gear
- Contact with the best casting agencies
- A good relationship with media houses and other publishers
- An effective online content management strategy
- A reasonable rate especially for over-time
- The ability to stay within a budget
This team includes (but isn’t limited to) video editors, sound engineers, transcriptionists, graphic designers, and animators.
Post-production can take hours, days, sometimes even weeks. Editors take hours of film and compile it into a story that has structure and precedence. Sound engineers add some music for mood and pacing. Graphic designers and animators add all the graphics and motion to the corporate video for some context. They also work with the marketing department to create posters and other marketing materials.
Sub-titled videos have also become popular on YouTube, so you might need them on your production. Work with expert transcribers and professional translators to ensure your content reaches a wider audience.
Should You Hire a Corporate Production Agency?
Well, it all comes down to your budget and marketing priorities. The gear alone will set you back a few hundred dollars. That’s fine if you’ll do more corporate film productions in the future.
What to do: let your priorities guide you in making this decision.
- What level of professionalism do you want to achieve?
- Do you have the skills, budget, and time to achieve it?
Engaging a professional production agency is not just an excellent idea but also a financially responsible one.
You get a high-quality product and the chance to draw from the agency’s vast pool of experience. Such agencies can also get you reasonable rates with media houses.
Still not convinced you should hire a corporate film production agency? Our article on outsourcing video production might just change your mind.
Getting into Corporate Film Production
Are you thinking about getting into corporate film production? You probably think it sounds like a soul-less and rigid way to earn a living. Well, we say you’re wrong.
Corporate videos don’t have to be boring.
It takes creativity to be any kind of producer: that’s what makes companies clamor for your services. Creating corporate films is especially challenging because of the subject matter of the videos.
“Corporate” sounds cold and mechanical.
Just think of the words you might associate with corporations. Water coolers, bottom lines, stable, and complex words like fiduciary. Is it possible to turn these things into something worth watching? Well, yes. It’s challenging, but it’s possible.
Start here: Take a look at what other corporate film producers are doing.
You first have to observe the industry before you can conquer it. Take the time to learn past techniques and what other producers are doing. Observe their narrative patterns and interviewing styles. Go down to basics like camera techniques, selection of backgrounds even to the lighting.
Once you compile some notes, you can apply the same aspects to your production. But, don’t simply imitate, perfect on what other producers have done in the past.
As Pablo Picasso once said, “good artists imitate, great artists steal!”
Please don’t infringe on someone’s copyright, but make something that sets your work apart from the rest. That’s the best way to make corporate videos less boring.
Can Corporate films go viral?
In truth, corporate films are not made in the hopes of attaining gold or platinum status on social media. Such productions are valued for the subtle way they engage the viewer’s emotions. In a broader spectrum, they expand a company’s sphere of influence. So just focus on the quality, and the rest will come.
So far, it sounds like anyone with a laptop, microphone, and a decent camera can do this job. That’s true, for the most part. But, how does one make something that’s as informative as it is entertaining?
The truth is you’ll have to work on some bland productions, especially as you start, but you can only go up from there.
Here are some helpful tips for beginners:
Work on any corporate film production that’s available.
Keep making more films, that’s the secret to getting better. Rome wasn’t built in a day: and neither will your career in corporate film production.
Higher paying customers respond well to film producers with a proven track record. Give lower-paying companies a chance so you can gain some exposure. This will also allow you to compile a portfolio that can be useful when pitching to new clients.
Improve your craft as you go.
Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes, it’s the only way you’ll learn. You’ll also face some criticism from both your audience and other producers. Don’t take anything to heart, instead, you should view it as a teachable moment. Your craft will improve if you learn from such moments.
Leverage your experience to justify higher invoices.
You’re confident in your skills and have the portfolio to back up your claim. What next? It’s time to ask for more money from your clients. Companies are willing to pay more if you are competent and confident enough to ask them, and if you display professionalism, like using a printable invoice template, it adds more to your credibility.
Acquire better equipment.
Corporate film production is a precise art. Your iPhone camera or old handy-cam may be sufficient for the minor leagues but they won’t do when working for big-league corporates. Buy the best gear you can find.
Prioritize the dependability of your gear over its price and efficiency since you don’t need to shoot for long hours.
Repeat each step.
Learning is a journey, not a destination. Even the best corporate film producers need to learn new tricks to stay on top of their game. Stay informed on the newest gear and software, subscribe to relevant blogs and newsletters. Use any means available to improve your craft.
More Corporate Film Production Tips
Now that you have your lights and cameras, it’s time for some action. Start by envisioning the entire production in terms of length, and what you intend to capture in every shot. This will shore up your confidence.
Context and contrast are key to producing a compelling corporate film production.
How do you achieve this?
Let’s say you’re interviewing 3 or 4 subjects. Don’t lump them all in the same room. Use various sceneries and backdrops to create some contrast. You could interview one of your subjects in their home, another in the office or at a park and so on.
You’ll also need some way to keep your interviewee from freaking out in front of the camera. There’s no exact science to this, but performing a dry run will help them drop their guard as well as trust the person behind the camera.
The lighting setup can also make or destroy your shoot.
Aim for natural lighting as opposed to something bright, especially if you don’t have a makeup artist. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your interviewee to repeat a statement or clarify a point. Feel free to make some bloopers; you’ll edit them out in post-production.
As you can see, corporate film production is a diverse field. Best of all, you don’t have to sell out on your artistic integrity. Mastering this subtle art throws some learning curves your way, but it easier to learn than a field such as fictional narrative film production.
Where to Find Corporate Film Production Experts
There is a lot to corporate film production. Even as you hire a production agency, you need to understand what exactly you are paying for. Going with the wrong choice can negatively affect your reputation, sales, and bank balance. Mistakes can be costly.