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3 Things Your Video Production Company Wants You to Know

By Food for thought

Clients feel more empowered seeing all the new and different approaches to video and yet they have some unrealistic thoughts about how inexpensive it should be to create a really compelling video. We will consider 3 things 3 Things Your Video Production Company Wants You to Know

Now, that everyone can buy an HD camera, many people assume that video production should be quick, easy, and inexpensive. They often don’t put enough thought into what it takes to produce a video, the art of storytelling, of capturing memorable shots, and of thoughtfully sequencing those shots.

Here we will discuss a few things potential clients should consider before producing a video.

  • Saving Money Shouldn’t Be the Number One Concern

Many people will say to me, “We could do the video ourselves, but we do want it to be professional. However, we don’t need it to be really high quality or expensive.” Clients who focus too much on price are often disappointed with the product.

I totally understand the lack of knowledge clients have about the costs of video production. It’s not easy to understand why one video might cost $2,000 and another one of the same lengths might be $100,000. It’s a tough world to navigate. But, focusing on price alone often leads to producing a video the client doesn’t even end up using. So, the effort to save money backfired, and they ended up wasting money.

A few years ago, I bid on a video project. The client signed an agreement, and then discussed it with his web designer. The web designer who owned a consumer camera thought, “wow if he’s willing to spend $2,500 on a video, I can do it for him and charge him a lot less”. The client was thrilled with the cheaper price and went with the web designer. He ended up with a video that he couldn’t use at all. He was embarrassed in front of his clients who were doing testimonials, and the web designer ended up with an angry client who refused to pay.

I would advise clients to discuss openly with prospective companies the budget they have in mind and ask to see some of the videos the company has done which fit in with that budget. Clients should look for a company that’s done work they love and someone they feel comfortable with. Clients should also ask about the company’s process so that they can decide if they’re comfortable with the process.

For instance, my company focuses on conducting interviews and developing a script from the interviews. We rarely do storyboards. If a client likes a storyboard, we probably aren’t going to be the best fit for them. But, finding a company that realizes your vision, has videos you love, and has a process you understand and like is so much more important than finding the least expensive company

  • Video Is Stronger Than Audio

Many moons ago in the news business, a business I was in for 20 years, the focus changed from creating a script and then matching video to that script to what is now called “writing to video”. The shift meant you’d decide what video you have or will have and then you develop your script to narrate that video.

Visuals are so strong that when a person is watching video, their mind is focused on the visual, and if the script or narration is not explaining what they are seeing exactly, then they just find it irritating or confusing.

Imagine this, you see a doll on video. If the script says “this doll was recovered during a break in”, you get that. But, if you are seeing that same doll and the script is saying, “There was a break in last night, and this doll was recovered”, until the script refers to the doll, all you can think about is “why am I seeing that doll?”

So, all that is to say thinking through what visuals you have is a great start. What do you want to show or explain. If you develop a script, which many clients do, before they call, then you might have to adjust your script to fit your visuals or simply be willing to use text to emphasize the words.

  • Allow Your Video Production Company The Freedom To Be Creative

My favorite clients are the ones who don’t want to produce the video for me. They are the ones who let me have the freedom to tell their story in a creative way. I’ve done all types of videos, and I love them all. But, the clients who come to me with every detail already worked out and don’t allow for freedom and creativity rarely get as good of a video as those who say “what would you do?” I love the flexibility to add something fun or funny or dramatic to the video.

I think most video production companies employ really fun and creative types, and clients get the best products when they allow the company the freedom to make a project fun. We usually end up spending more time than the budget really allows on those “fun” projects, but they are always worth it. Clients tend to get the most out of their marketing dollars when they allow people who love to be creative the freedom to do what they do best.

Click on our portfolio to see how videos work.


Video is now the primary medium for communication on the internet and it’s never been more in demand.

Video Is and Will Be!

How Fundraisers Can Successfully Use Video

By Tips & Tricks

Today, people perpetually use Instagram and social media and love the instant gratification they provide.  For nonprofits, this means that to connect with their target audiences, they must quickly achieve with a video on their website’s home page what telethons formerly allotted hours and celebrity spokespeople to do. This is How Fundraisers Can Successfully Use Video

Video has traditionally been relegated to that gala centerpiece and staple, reinforcing good work, pulling at heart strings and opening wallets of a room full of loyalists. Well, it’s time to think outside the ballroom! With video’s reach eclipsing what conventional collateral can communicate, nonprofits must integrate video as a tactic in fundraising and marketing strategies.

Whether you need an organizational video to increase awareness about your mission, a fundraising video to garner contributions or a recruitment video to incite volunteerism, nonprofits of all sizes can leverage the power of video to tell their story and connect with viewers.  A successful video will spark interest, evoke emotion, inspire sharing and prompt advocacy.  iPhone footage posted to YouTube can be compelling and has its place, but for the nonprofit to fully utilize video as a platform to build credibility and a brand, here are some key things to consider:

How Fundraisers Can Successfully Use Video

Plan your video:

Map out what your video needs to accomplish for your organization and determine your audience. Is the objective to engage constituents—donors, members, alumni already versed and vested in your mission—to fortify and steward their commitment? Or will video serve as an introduction to your organization, provoking universal appeal and branding? Will the video be housed on your website and require evergreen messaging, or will it drive a campaign with a time-sensitive call to action?

Consider what the tone needs to be as it will communicate the personality, culture and resources of your organization. Would a service recipient or trustee testimonial best convey your message? Celebrity endorsement? Still photos and voiceover, or would animated statistics set to music be most persuasive?  It’s important to answer these questions and define the vision and outcome objectives of your video before starting production.


Gone are the days of sponsorship proposals in folders. Savvy nonprofits facilitate advocacy through social fundraising—enlisting constituents to create videos declaring support of the organization and soliciting donations from their individual networks.

Bridge that digital divide by sending video sponsorship kits on a thumb drive and give potential underwriters a dynamic visual expectation of the event and marketing exposure that printed proposals cannot achieve. Often, prospective donors occupy a table of ten and play in a foursome, but leave not knowing ‘the good cause’ for which they donned a tux or spent a day on the links. Don’t expect people to pick your brochure out of a goodie bag. Furnishing your organization’s video to a supporter who has organized a third-party fundraiser ensures accurate representation of your nonprofit. This is an excellent way to ensure you are controlling your organization’s message at gatherings that your staff has not had a part in planning. 

Creating your video budget:

You don’t have to break the bank but you do need to recognize video production as an investment of time, talent and financial resources. Anticipate and incorporate it into the budget as this will be a marketing and development tool. Nonprofits always teeter between wanting communication pieces to look good without looking like you’ve spent a lot of money. Whether using a high-definition camera and Mac editing suite, a production company or ad agency, you will be most efficient and cost effective if you understand what goes into video pre-production and post-production.

Working with video “professionals” implies they have the capabilities; but be sure to ask how long they’ve been in the business. A more experienced production company will have greater knowledge of how to work with limited budgets. They typically also have more contacts and connections to stretch your budget even further.

Also, be sure there is “chemistry.” You want a professional to share your passion for the project or programs they will be bringing to life. Interview multiple firms and come up with questions to be sure you’re satisfied they “get it.” Ask how many rounds of revisions they will provide and what your role is in the editing process, and be sure they will adhere to any brand standards so you have complete confidence in the working relationship before making an investment.

Messaging and final touches:

Don’t talk about what you do. Show what you do, why you do it and the impact your organization makes. This is the beauty of video—it engages more senses to create an emotional bond to the wonderful things your nonprofit does. To use this medium as a jazzed up brochure is not a good investment. Save the list of services for your website. Convey the impact and accountability of the organization and avoid jargon, acronyms and other insider references. Speak to the viewer and address their emotional needs.

Carefully pick the music and narrator’s voice that will be the bed of the pictures and words.  Think about the difference Morgan Freeman’s voice makes in a narration or what a score by John Williams does for a Spielberg epic. Set aside some funds for the right music bed and a professional voice talent. Be active in the selection process for both. You will realize a greater return on your video investment when you focus your attention on showing the impact, not telling, and connecting on an emotional level with your audience through just the right narrator and music.

Quality, not quantity:

Keep it short. Remember, you are not making a documentary. If it is too long, viewers will miss your call to action, statistics, contact information, etc.  Production value adds appeal and credibility, and will ideally make people watch until credits roll.  Remember that people will watch it online too, and attention spans are even more truncated in that medium. Keep the video to three to five minutes max.


What do you want the viewer to do upon watching your video? Whatever your call to action, make sure they can do so from wherever they are watching. Are you leaving them with a way to advocate: contact info, a website address, a response mechanism, or leading viewers to other content or sharing existing data? Incorporate measurable objectives. Have a distinct URL and activation code, and incorporate a drop-down that asks ‘How did you hear about…’ to track the effectiveness of this communications tool.


Let viewers serve as ambassadors. Post on multiple video-sharing sites. If YouTube is the gold standard, shorten the link and share it on your Facebook Page and Twitter. Optimize through tagging the video with key phrases: industry, video content, and cause. These annotation features allow constituents to endorse and further the conversation on your behalf. To that end, consider formats for screens of all sizes when producing and err on the scale of the smartphone. Mobile’s screen size is how a majority of recipients will view videos these days.

Click on the portfolio to see the video

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Professional

By Food for thought

It’s no secret that making a corporate video can take time, patience, and a lot of tedious work.  It’s also no secret that just because you own a video camera, you aren’t a videographer.

Creating original content that engages your audience and keeps them entertained isn’t something where you should cut corners.

So, why hire an amateur when you could hire a professional?

Well, you shouldn’t.  And here are the top 3 reasons why hiring a video production company will better serve you than using an in-house, freelance, or amateur videographer.

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Professional

1. Professionalism

A video production company, like Sheffield, or professional agency will produce a product that is high-quality, dazzling, and a video that aligns with your personal business goals.  Creating a corporate video takes many different people to come alive – professional companies already have a team that works together like a well-oiled machine that will bring you the best product for your business.

An experienced team of video engineers can help you focus on the most practical ideas based on the most effective method to remain aligned with your marketing strategy. Their years in the field have made them keen to adapting to the needs of others, and knowing what will work best in each industry.

If you try to use a company employee to shoot, edit, and produce your company’s video, you run the risk of him or her trying to wear too many hats.  Their regular daily duties will suffer, as well as the overall productivity of the finished video.  Producing a video is more than a one-man show.  A company employee may also have the tendency to create a finished product that feeds their ego, instead of helping the company achieve bigger goals.

Freelance teams can also be incredibly problematic.  Managing a team of freelancers can be hugely time-consuming – and time isn’t always a luxury you can spare.  It can be hard to coordinate multiple schedules when working on a tight deadline.

Not only will you get to work with a team that respects your business’ marketing strategy, but you will also grow your professional network by working with a business.  It’s a win-win for you and the video production agency.

You get an amazing product that will bring in clients, and they have another piece of work for their agency’s portfolio.  A professional company will work hard for a clean, polished product because their success is your success.  They want to help your business thrive and they don’t want their name on a video that is poorly made. Building a solid business relationship is a surefire way to gain the trust and loyalty from your customers and the community.

2. Budget

There’s truth in the saying, “you get more bang for your buck.”

Working with a professional company can save you loads of money in the long run, and provide you with a product that can be used for many different marketing campaigns.

An agency or video production company that specializes in video creation will be able to work with you and create a product that is exactly what you’re looking for, while staying within your budget (no matter how limited).  The company will already have access to equipment, a qualified team, and the ability to edit a high-quality video, so instead of needing to purchase cameras or hire multiple people, this will be much easier and cost-effective.

Using an employee that’s already on your payroll will actually cost you more money than hiring an agency.  Buying video gear is a poor business investment because cameras and equipment are constantly changing.  Chances are your employee doesn’t have the experience using high-end equipment to create videos, so the camera won’t get used to the best of its ability and the product won’t look nearly as polished.

Hiring an agency will increase your ROI because the business you are bringing in through your video marketing will make up for any funds spent on creating it.

3. Originality

Because video production companies work with a variety of clients, their ideas and creativity won’t become stagnant and lack the proper drive you are looking for.  Part of an agency’s job is to stay up-to-date on all the latest trends across the industry, so they’ll be able to provide a creative vision that is sure to reach your targeted demographic.

Knowing what is popular and up-to-date in the world of video production is a full-time gig alone… The research, workshops, conferences, and studying that goes into knowing the hot new trends provides the agency with information that will help them create a better video for you.

Professionals will know how to create a video that will trigger an emotional response from your audience and that it’s all about proper storytelling.  Professional videographers know what goes into delivering your brand’s message in every digital medium and social platform.  They also know how to tell a story that will stretch across all different platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook.  You will be guaranteed that your story will be told, and it will be told by the pros.

If you feel like your brand isn’t going anywhere and your marketing efforts are struggling, then it’s even more crucial that you bring in a video production company.  Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes looking at your business plan and marketing strategy can be very good.  Allowing new people to enter your business plan can lead to new ideas and new marketing perspectives.

Instead of wasting time and money on a video that may not be the high-quality, look into different video production companies that are trained and specialized in creating original corporate videos.  Don’t be afraid to contact a few agencies and get their quotes so you can be sure you are getting the best finished product that fits within your budget.

Videos can accurately SHOW people who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do for them.

Video Can Show Accurately

Video advertising for competitive edge

By Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized

It’s certainly no secret that you can generate local, national and even global exposure by advertising on TV. If done correctly, the results can be very rewarding–but if done incorrectly, it could cost you your investment. Since most entrepreneurs seek out “the most bang for their buck” when it comes to advertising, if you really want your TV advertising campaign to be effective, it’s imperative that you plan your strategy carefully. Here are surefire steps to producing  video ads that will give you a competitive edge

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