If making a film is something new for your organisation, Nova’s Matt Stephenson offers a guide to what’s involved.
1) Find your film company. Check out the different suppliers – watch a couple of their films, see who employs them regularly and get a feel for their quality – the way their films look and feel. Do they engage you? Do you want to watch any of them to the end? Only choose the best, don’t settle for someone because you think they’re the cheapest.
2) In fact, don’t start with a budget. OK, so you know the far end of what you might want to spend, but the budget isn’t the first consideration. What you want to say and who you want to say it to – that’s what matters. Young people, older people, technically-minded professionals, people who don’t speak English… all of these affect the creative treatment of the work. The idea and the audience are what’s important – cost comes later.
3) Think about where your film will live. Is it on a website, is it for TV, will it be shown to an audience as part of a presentation, is it for social media? Again, these things all determine the way we edit, the images we choose, the way the film is coloured, the duration of the final product.
4) Get us in for a chat. It doesn’t cost anything to talk through your ideas and find out what’s possible. We can give you some ballpark ideas about the cost of your ideas too – and help you find other equally effective and less expensive ways of achieving your aims. We don’t want to get you to spend more money, we want you to have a film that works. A bad film is worse than no film at all.
5) Here’s the cost part. If you still like us after you’ve met us, then we start refining ideas together. We’ll email you a brief and proposal that explains what we’re thinking will work, how long it will take and how much it will cost. If you like what we suggest then fine – we get cracking. If you think it still needs work, then we change and develop the idea until you’re happy. You need to be able to picture the final film in your head – it’s our job to help you do that.
6) The next bit is down to business. If your film is scripted then we work on drafts of the script until you’re happy. We write the script for you – we’re good at that. If the film is interview based, then we work with you to schedule the interviewees. We’ll also liaise with you or anyone else you suggest to arrange times and places to shoot any additional footage we might need.
7) And then we start shooting. For everyone at Nova it’s a matter of pride, friendliness and professionalism to ensure that everyone we work with enjoys having us around. People find being interviewed stressful – we take the fear away and make it enjoyable. We’re in your place, working with your people and we do it on your terms.
8) At some point there’s a tea-break. We have never said no to biscuits.
9) And then the editing. We love editing. It’s the bit where everything comes together and where you can create the real impact – the story, the awe, the fun, the personality, the emotion.
10) And then you get to see the first cut. We have never missed a deadline. We want you to be amazed so we make sure that the film you see is everything you’d hoped for and more. But sometimes you might need a few changes – show the film to the people who matter and see what everyone thinks. Come back to us and tell us what needs to change. When you’re more than happy, we’re happy too.
And that’s the way it works.