Why Reading Through Proposals and Contracts Is More Than Just About Price

Why Reading Through Proposals and Contracts Is More Than Just About Price

With any creative service business, one of the most significant considerations in partnership is the price. Of course, budgets and pricing matter – you should never sign on for more money than you can afford no matter how great that company might be for your project. At the same time, fishing for a business that will come under budget for your project only for the sake of saving money can present its own host of problems.

Before we get too far, Monzo Media Productions is not a law firm, so this blog does not offer any legal advice. Instead, I want to help you realize that contracts are more than just pricing. It’s wonderful if a business can fit into your budget, but it’s important that expectations beyond the budget are discussed at length before you sign the contract.

What Else Is In A Creative Service Contract?

First things first: the proposal, quote, and contract are different things. You should receive a proposal first to get a feel for how the business will meet the needs of your project and if your visions align. They should also give you an idea of their pricing so you can decide if more serious talks about entering an agreement with them are necessary. On another note, it’s also important to understand the difference between a freelancer and a company, which could change the way the entire process looks.

If you choose to move forward, both parties should set exactly which services will be done and the business should put together a more formal quote. You should also receive a separate contract that outlines the entire business agreement in more detail.

Once the proposal and quote are set aside, the budget is no longer in the spotlight. Your new focus should be exactly how the business defines the scope of the project, the timeline, and their terms for dealing with delays, payment, cancellation, and more. 

This is the time to read every word and make sure you fully understand the terms to which you are agreeing. This legally binding contract could force you to pay for parts of the project regardless of your satisfaction, allow the business to delay deadlines even when you aren’t flexible, and more. Further, less experienced or vigilant businesses might leave terms vague or completely missing, so it’s a good idea to bring up these concerns.

Why Proposal Meetings Are So Important

Having a detailed conversation from the start is so important to avoid miscommunication, misunderstandings, and dissatisfaction during projects. I personally like to have proposal meetings rather than only sending proposals to potential clients for that reason. Both sides should have the opportunity to ask questions, further explain expectations, and iron out any details so that everyone is on the same page before a contract is signed. It’s even better if you know what to look for when hiring a company before you start these discussions.

I’ve often found that potential clients bring preconceived notions from other projects to the table subconsciously. They might have had a previous business offer a certain number of film days, a quicker-than-usual turnaround, or even complimentary services that otherwise might cause extra fees. These expectations are not intentionally hurtful to the partnership, but they can and will affect the experience if not addressed right away. 

Being “Difficult” Now Means Being Satisfied Later

I get it – being confrontational isn’t in everyone’s comfort zone. At the same time, creative businesses should be well prepared to address concerns and reach agreements. If you don’t feel comfortable with something in a contract, or you need further clarification on terms, there’s nothing wrong with asking for their input. 

Make sure that all details are ironed out not just with video production but with all business. As always, you should ask a lawyer about any legal questions you may have before you go ahead with signing any contracts.

For more advice on working with creative businesses, contact Monzo Media Productions.

When to Use Stock Footage or Film Your Own

When to Use Stock Footage or Film Your Own

If your video production project is coming up soon, there are a lot of decisions to make before your filming days begin. You should have an approved storyboard, cast, sets, and more all ready to go, but part of this process is deciding when you need to use stock footage or film your own b-roll.

Filming your own footage and using stock footage have advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, your decision will come down to the availability of the perfect stock footage and its price, both of which you should discover before it’s too late to change course.

Deciding to Use Stock Footage

Every video production project is different, so only you and your chosen video production company can decide when it’s best to use stock footage. However, there are a few rules to follow when you’re making the decision.

  1. Define exactly what you need your footage to show, both literally and emotionally, to best communicate the message
  2. Consider whether any laws, policies, or other factors surrounding your industry or project might make it difficult to film your own footage
  3. Weigh the difference in the price of the stock footage you find and what it would cost to film your own

In many cases, using stock footage makes more sense for video production, such as with casting considerations and legal barriers. For example, a healthcare company might be limited by HIPAA in their ability to film their own offices with real patients due to personal health information and privacy concerns. In that case, buying stock footage of actors who have already consented to the footage would be easier and safer.

All three of the above considerations are equally important to discuss well before production to avoid production delays or budget issues. The last thing you need is to realize during filming that you overestimated the availability of stock footage for exactly what you need, or that you underestimated the price of buying the stock footage. Further, it could be too late to adjust your filming timeline or budget for the project.

When Not To Use Stock Footage

Stock footage is the convenient choice when filming your own b-roll could add film days, casting, and set considerations to your project, so it’s a great resource to consider. At the same time, it does have its own set of limitations to take seriously.

For instance, certain niches, topics, and other project parameters could be too eccentric or specific. Stock footage is filmed without consideration for your unique project, so it might be difficult to find exactly what you need. Many videos could show a man walking up to a counter, but is there one that shows exactly the type of counter you need without showing his face and sets the right mood for the story? 

You’ll likely spend a lot of time searching for the right stock footage, and you might even come to find that the perfect one is outside of your budget. If you’re thinking about using stock footage by altering it, such as cropping the man’s face out of the frame, you’ll also want to think hard before purchasing. Many times, altering existing footage – especially cropping – could result in reduced quality.

At the end of the day, filming your own footage might lessen frustration, reduce budget, and improve your project overall. You might even take advantage of the opportunity to build up your vault of evergreen video assets to use for other projects in the future.

Thoroughly Consider Your Project’s Footage Options

Both stock footage and original footage can turn out polished and professional while staying within your timeline and budget – it just requires thorough planning before the project begins. Make sure you find stock footage that meets your needs exactly before you rule out filming your own b-roll during production. 

If you need more advice about finding the right stock footage for your project or filming b-roll, contact Monzo Media Productions.

Reshoots for Video Productions: Pros and Cons

Reshoots for Video Productions: Pros and Cons

Let’s face it: reshoots are annoying. There’s no feeling quite like wrapping up a successful day of filming only to review the footage and realize something went horribly wrong. Maybe your white balance was off, the lighting is terrible, or your subject was out of focus, and now the footage is unusable.

Once you get over the initial disappointment, it’s important to remind yourself that reshoots happen to the best of us. Everyone from business videography professionals to Hollywood filmmakers has had to go back and reshoot scenes, interviews, and b-roll. These professionals might have even needed to reshoot for reasons beyond technical issues, such as aesthetics or minor details that ultimately needed to be changed.

Reshoots aren’t all bad, either. In fact, you can turn a less-than-ideal situation into an opportunity. Let’s talk about reshoots and how to do them properly.

How to Do a Proper Reshoot

When you review your footage and see irreparable mistakes, it’s no longer a question of “if” you need to do a reshoot, but “how.” All you can do now is move forward with the reshoot properly to make the most of your film day and ensure you won’t have to go back.

First, you need to identify what went wrong during filming so that you can set up the scene correctly this time. Maybe you conducted a stellar interview but realized later that the entire video was out of focus. How could this have happened? Think about if the interviewee moved the chair once they sat down, or if there were any last-minute adjustments that could have put the subject out of range.

Once you determine what went wrong, you can confidently reschedule filming. While you prepare for film day, think of the reshoot as an opportunity to evaluate what could be done better. Review the footage and look for issues beyond the one that triggered the reshoot. For example, could you have changed the location, wardrobe, or the questions asked? You might also give the interviewee notes so they can prepare better, such as asking them to focus on one subject more or rephrasing something they said the first time. This second opportunity will also allow the interviewee to get more comfortable with the camera, considering they’ve already done this once and can reflect on the experience.

If focus was an issue, make sure on the reshoot day to pay closer attention to the interviewee and instruct them to not touch anything on set, including the chair they’re sitting on, to ensure the entire frame stays in focus. You can also resolve to double and triple-check the frame before, during, and after filming to ensure that you won’t have to reschedule after packing up for the day. Now, you can walk away and enter the editing process with usable — if not improved — footage.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reshoot When Needed

Reshoots are, in general, something to avoid. They certainly cost you more money, cause production delays, and often lower morale. Despite all these negative factors, reshoots can have positive outcomes. Needing to reshoot once in a while is not necessarily the sign of an amateur, and going back to film the right way with the intent to improve upon the first try is a sign of a true professional. Don’t be surprised if the resulting footage is even better than you planned for!

If you need any assistance or advice regarding reshoots, contact Monzo Media Productions

What Is Micro Content?

What Is Micro Content?

If you’re at all interested in content creation, you’ve most likely heard of content batching. If you haven’t heard of this, we’re about to blow your mind: You can create a year’s worth of content to publish automatically with only a little bit of effort in just 1 or 2 days. How? The answer is creating micro content.

Simply put, a piece of micro content is a short video, generally only between 5 and 59 seconds long, that packs huge amounts of value for your audience. Content creators can plan to film or create all their micro content videos at the same time and then schedule them to be posted consistently over a long period of time. 

If you want to nurture your network and leads, provide value, and drive traffic, start offering these small video tidbits in your content calendar.

Benefits of Using Micro Content

There are many different types of content a business can publish online, but micro content is unique. When done right, micro content can pack a powerful message while lessening the chance of your viewers losing interest or getting distracted. Micro content also cuts down on the time you need to dedicate to content creation, allowing you to focus on your core business instead.

Unlike longer forms of content, like blogs, articles, case studies, and full-length videos, micro content is extremely easy to absorb. It cuts right to the point because the video only has enough time to highlight the point. For example, it can feature the most inspiring line delivered in an interview, the most moving soundbite from a testimonial video, or the most helpful tip from a thought leader. 

If you plan properly, you can shoot your short videos in batches. With practice and foresight, you can create 50 of these videos in only 1 or 2 days if they’re simple enough. Once you’ve figured out how to batch content like this, you can have videos for use throughout the year, scheduled on autopilot. With less effort and time spent, you’ll gain consistency in both the frequency of your social media posts and in the value you provide.

How to Take Advantage of Micro Content

If you provide educational content, try creating a series of short videos that deliver the most important lessons in very simplified terms. If you want to show off your business, create a micro content series with visually exciting footage of your workplace, your bestselling products, or your employees in action.

Micro content has limitless potential, so get creative with what you choose to highlight. Keep in mind what your target audience would be most interested in seeing, and don’t forget to implement these videos into a larger funnel that you’ve created. 

The best places to post these videos are on platforms that prioritize short video content, such as on Instagram and Facebook as Reels, on TikTok as posts, or on YouTube as Shorts. Make sure you always provide a call to action and links to the next stage of your sales funnel, such as your website or shop. Micro content also works great for LinkedIn as well.

Get Started Making Micro Content

If you’re interested in seeing how micro content works or discovering new styles, check out the Monzo Media Productions YouTube channel. A great example is our “Biggest Mistake – No Purpose” video, delivering in half a minute one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when producing a video or creating content. 

No more planning out an entire storyboard, casting, filming for weeks, and going through an extensive editing process. Instead, sit down, jot down some topics to talk about and film yourself for 30 seconds. Add some text and pre-made outro graphics and schedule to publish whenever you want. It can be this easy for you!

Want more advice on creating micro content? Contact Monzo Media Productions and let’s talk about your video marketing goals.

Casting for Your Videos

Casting for Your Videos

If you are planning on producing videos that feature people and tell a story, you’ll need to get familiar with the casting process. You’ll want to create a casting plan early on in your pre-production process to ensure you can find the right people to feature in your videos. Often, who you cast will shape the story and message of your video, so you’ll need to make a decision about who will be featured.

It’s likely that you’ll need these individuals to perform well in both “active” roles – like speaking parts – and in accompanying b-roll footage. By getting clear on your goals during pre-production and making confident casting decisions, you should be able to cut down on both filming and editing time.

Be Intentional about Whom You Interview

Before you get started with casting, think about the message you’d like to convey in your video. If you’d like to showcase a particular job role, you’ll want to specify during casting that you need people who have experience in those roles. If your message is to tell a brand story, maybe you’d like to have people representing different roles in the company and highlighting various experiences and perspectives.

Instead of spending days or weeks interviewing candidates, have an idea in your mind of a few people you know who would be best for the video. Having 50 interviews with everyone you can find will not only waste time in the casting and filming process but also make it difficult to review all the candidates and select the right ones. 

The last thing your production process needs are production delays. By being intentional about the casting process, your editor won’t have to go through all the interview videos, and your video will feel more cohesive when finished. 

Cast the Natural Choices

As you’re conducting interviews, take note of which candidates can speak well, have a notable experience or story to tell, and don’t seem nervous or difficult to direct. Keep in mind that it’s best to have b-roll footage that complements interviews in your video. You’ll want to choose people who do well speaking on camera as well as acting out the experiences that they’re talking about, for your b-roll footage.

Keeping your video’s story in mind, try to hone in on the interviews that seem the most natural. Make sure you also include a variety of people, both to represent diversity and to highlight different perspectives. If you’re casting people for b-roll footage who won’t have an interview, it’s especially important to have an organic representation of people who fit well with the message being communicated by the speaker.

Cast Your Video for Success

When it comes down to casting the right people for your video, it’s about following your gut. Who do you know has charisma and a great story to tell? Who really moved you as they spoke about their experiences? If you were impressed during the interview, then it’s likely that your audience will be impressed as well. 

By following your intuition, you can save yourself time during filming and save your editor time in post-production, when they would otherwise be performing some heavy-handed editing on subpar performances. 

Looking for more guidance on casting? Contact Monzo Media Productions to discuss your video project.