The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production

By Trishna Mitra, Digital Marketing Specialist at Abernethy Media Professionals

 

What if I told you that by 2019, 80 percent of internet traffic will be video traffic? And no, I don’t mean just cat videos or viral memes, like Chewbaca mom. I’m talking about corporate communications. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a trend in content consumption that is increasingly favoring video over other types of mediums. You’ve probably already noticed the changes and seen the facts, so I’m not here to convince you of that. Rather, I want to share how to overcome the daunting prospect of moving toward a primarily video communication strategy for your company.

Abernethy Media Professionals (also known as AMP) has been in the video production business for the past fifteen years. Our work includes project management, production, post, or any combination of the three. That’s why we don’t believe in the “standard job” when it comes to planning a good video. Over the last decade and a half, we’ve learned that when it comes to creating video, flexibility and adaptability are the name of the game. As things change for our clients, we must pivot quickly and meet them where they are. As a result, we’ve created agile processes to help our clients plan ahead and keep up with the growing, constantly changing demands of video production. Today, we’re sharing those not-so-top-secret processes with you!

 

Plan ahead to: Create footage with longevity

Make the most of production day. This is the most important thing you can do to prepare for video communications. Especially when it comes to online content, it can feel like things become irrelevant pretty quickly. So, create content that is evergreen, shoot multiple versions of your video that you can steadily release over time, and get visual assets (like stills and b-roll) that can be reused in newsletters, across the website, and in other videos. All it takes is a little forethought during pre-production to plan how you want to make the most out of your video and content.

 

Plan ahead to: Use your budget wisely

Or, as we like to call it, “managing expectations.” You want the look of a professional video, but you don’t have the budget for it. Or perhaps you’ve come up with the creative and now need a crew to execute it, just to find that you don’t have the budget to get everything PLUS the lighting you need to get the look you want.

Quality video production comes at a cost, so it is tempting to turn to the film school student looking to add to his resume. However, when you go with an experienced crew, you’re getting quality, reliability, and professionalism. And that can save you hours on set and the costs of reshoots if things go awry.

 

Plan ahead to: Allow for logistical constraints

It’s time for a CEO address. Top leadership will all be around to shoot an internal company video for employees across the country. Flights are booked, the crew is assembled, and you’re ready to go. And then at the last minute, the CEO cancels because something’s come up. Now what? Coordinating schedules can be difficult at best, which is why we recommend incorporating some flexibility into your planning process. Think about possible alternative solutions during pre-production so you’re prepared for whatever might come down the pipeline. AMP’s team of experienced professionals can provide the gear, the crew, and the support to help you as your needs change.

 

About Abernethy Media Professionals

The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production

Abernethy Media Professionals is a full service video production company. AMP’s Camera Crew division offers production support across the Southwest and Pacific Northwest areas. We provide the right crews, equipment, and expertise for your shoot. Our Creative Services team provides script to screen production support, and our experienced producers partner with agencies and in-house corporate communications representatives on digital media projects across the country.

 

Want to know how to trade in your tax visor for Disney ears?

Producing content is chaotic. In your media department, chances are you and your employees already wear too many hats. You don’t need to put on yet another one during tax season.

Would you prefer a vacation over running around tracking down addresses and other freelancer management tasks this tax season? Read on.

 

Hand over that lovely green tax visor and take a spring break instead. Here’s how:

 

1. Get in touch with our partner company PayReel.

PayReel was started when Crew Connection’s founder saw a need in the media industry for simplifying freelancer management. The PayReel team and its custom software instantly replace the paperwork involved with onboarding and paying freelancers while also keeping businesses compliant with federal, state, and local regulations such as paid sick leave and insurance. Chat with a real, live person when you contact PayReel at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Leave your payroll services and details up to PayReel so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production.

 

2. Hand over the paperwork and the risk.

A lot of productions often means a lot of temporary workers. And all those workers make for a not-so-magical mountain of paperwork. PayReel takes the burden out of onboarding as well as tracking and sending 1099s.

Speaking of those temporary workers, are you sure you’re the right person to classify all of them? It’s only your job and possibly your freedom on the line.

At PayReel, they talk about worker classification a lot. They even created a whole series on the subject. They take it seriously because the government does, too. Meaning they’re more than ready to fine companies that get it wrong. But don’t worry, when you work with PayReel, their staff help you decide if the seven dwarves are eligible for full benefits and take the punishment if they’re ever wrong.

 

3. Get back to work.

With PayReel handling your freelancer management, you can get back to your production, or your Netflix binge, or even your spring break. Whatever you do, just don’t get back to worrying about tax management: PayReel makes tax season vacation season.

 

One more thing: There are certain career paths (like tax lawyering) that really require a special type of person. Unless you’re one of those, (which we’re not) you’re not legally allowed to give your employees tax advice. Send them to the IRS.

 


 

About PayReel

Juggling content production and freelancer management can get messy. PayReel makes sure their clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and freelancer management (even taxes) up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact PayReel anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.

 

Thoughts from the 2017 Realscreen Summit

Crew Connection Manager Ashley LaRocque attended the 18th annual Realscreen Summit in Washington, D.C., in early 2017. Here we distilled all the goodness from the people she met and things she learned into one easy-to-digest article just for our readers! Enjoy.

 

Crew Connection: What was your favorite session or speaker?

Ashley LaRocque: Jay Hunt, the Chief Creative Officer for Channel 4. She was candid, funny, and brought a whole new perspective on how to encourage innovation in the development world that not only applies to managers in any industry but breaks barriers in the broadcast world. She encouraged an environment of fearless brainstorming where higher-ups exude support to pitch ideas that may fail at first, but thrive in the long run. Channel 4 executive development is in the trenches with their developers and it has paid off with a progressive programming lineup that has catapulted Channel 4 to the front of European television.

 

CC: What was the coolest new technology, tool, and/or production idea you saw?

AR: There was a huge emphasis on mobile technology for shooting broadcast. There were a few keynote speakers in the adventure television industry that shoot solely on mobile phones, particularly the Samsung Galaxy. While that isn’t “new” technology, knowing that  you can send someone out to remote locations with just a phone and make a show from it—that could really change the future of television and where the footage comes from, as well as how experienced the cam ops really need to be.

Sony also had a table set up with new 4K and 6K camera demos. That’s certainly not “new,” but it was one of the few hands-on gear demos.

 

CC: What surprised you the most during the conference?  

AR: The openness of execs to make connections with producers. In many small sessions, execs of networks like Discovery and Nat Geo encouraged us to contact them directly, stay in touch, and even bug them if necessary! While most of the conference was geared towards independent producers pitching show ideas, the open and encouraging mentality of these VPs and SVPs really gave the delegates a feeling of support. All ideas were strongly welcomed—since those ideas are the future of the industry.

 

Thoughts from the 2017 Realscreen Summit

Ashley poses with one of our full service video and post production crews, JSS Productions, based near D.C.

 

CC: What is the number one thing you’ll remember from the conference?

AR: The amount of show ideas that flow through these companies. They receive thousands of pitches a day. What I drew from that was how much more beneficial a service like Crew Connection rould be for companies. Even though the VPs and SVPs who field pitches don’t actually organize video and post production crews themselves, it gives great insight into how busy they are and how we could take a huge element of logistics off of their plate—or off their production manager’s and/or coordinator’s. 

 

CC: What advice would you pass on to those who couldn’t attend the conference?

AR: Get out there and talk to people. Don’t be afraid to go straight to the source—straight to the woman in charge. They are human too, and appreciate a good story regardless of your approach.  That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to conference after conference, but reach out and just ask to be heard.  Most execs respect that directness. Even if you don’t have immediate success with your idea, you’ve at least made a new contact you can reach out to again in the future. Your connections are what you make of them.

 

CC: What was the most fun thing you did outside of the conference while in D.C.?

AR: Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time for sightseeing. The conference was all day and evening. However, I did hit an awesome local sushi spot called Momiji in Chinatown. It was in a basement and definitely didn’t look like much, but it had some incredible sushi. On my way out of town, I saw Marine 1 (now I think called Executive 1—the President’s helicopter) flying in.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign In to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

When the right location means everything, count on Crew Connection

Where you choose to eat. Where you choose to work. Where you choose to live. Location means everything.

That’s why it’s one of the first things we ask you when you’re searching for a video and post production provider on Crew Connection. So we must have location filtering pretty locked down, right? Maybe not as much as you’d think. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

Crews who have satellite offices or are based in small cities will often serve locations outside of the standard 25 mile radius at little or no cost. If our stellar crew in itty bitty Mason, Texas, happens to be the only one available to cover your event in Austin on short notice, Crew Connection gives them the flexibility to choose if they want to charge for travel or not. All you have to do is hop into your Crew Connection messages to work out the details with them before booking the project.

At Crew Connection, we strive to empower our video and post production providers to make their own business decisions while ensuring that you are matched up with the perfect team for your project—whether it’s around the block next month or at each of your international offices next week.

Click here to make sure you’re up to speed on everything you should consider before hiring a non-local video and post production provider.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

 

Your money, even faster: Get paid easier and faster with Crew Connection

That first drone flight, that interview with one of your favorite musicians, that rush you get from living out your passion everyday—working in video and post production is fun. Invoicing is not.

Here are some Crew Connection best practices that’ll help you get paid easier and faster so you can spend more time reveling in that new-gear smell.

 

Get familiar with the process

You will be paid within 30 days from the date you upload your invoice to Crew Connection. The later you upload it or the more versions you have to upload, the longer it will take after your shoot is wrapped to get paid.

 

Consistency is key

Once the estimate you created is approved by your client, it becomes a project. You can then easily base your invoice off of that project. If you base your invoice off of your project every time, we’ll likely have fewer questions for you and more time to cut your check.

Need a refresher on creating an estimate? Click here.)

 

Work smarter

When you’re creating your next estimate, notice how we lump together items like transportation, tolls, etc. under the “Travel Expenses” bucket and additional gear rentals, hard drives, etc. under the “Gear” bucket. Feel free to use that same organization technique when it comes to your invoices. After all, we know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

 

Tally it up

Be sure to include your preliminary total, less our finder’s fee, and your net on every invoice. Not sure what we take commission on? Get the scoop here.

 

Hard work always pays off

And in fact it pays off even faster when you include the additional hours that you worked, like 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 

Provide proof of purchase(s)

Spent some extra cash on the job? Include those lunch, parking, and other receipts as pages of your invoice or as separate “invoices” for the same project.

 

You’re so close!

Uploading your invoice on Crew Connection is the fastest way to get it in front of our crew coordinators and get you paid. It’s easy. Promise.

 

There you have it! Even though we built our online database to make getting paid fast and easy already, these little tips will set you up for success from your very first estimate.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign In to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

 

Is your ad agency conning you?

When you’re trying to produce frequent, disposable video content, there’s something really appealing about trusting the people who gave you the vision and the execution for the project wrapped up with a neat little bow. If that same ad agency also happens to provide the most affordable bid, well that seals the deal, right? Wrong. (Sometimes.) It turns out that ad agencies have been illegally outbidding and undermining freelance video production providers. It’s bad enough that the Justice Department is investigating.

 

How is this happening?

Creative departments don’t want to break the budget when they’re looking for fast, frequent content with a short shelf life. As clients begin to expect more video for less cost, agencies respond by creating in-house video firms. Such firms become competitors for editors, pieces and parts crews, production houses, post-production houses, and more. It can provide a one-stop shop for clients and gives the agency access to a bigger piece of the revenue pie. So far, so good, right?

Sure…if it’s done fairly. The shady part is that some agencies use their unique position with clients to steer business toward themselves and away from independent video providers. They do this by telling independent crews the range they should bid in, underbidding them, and then making it look like their in-house firm won the contract fairly. The bids provide a paper trail to make it all look legitimate, when in reality, the process was heavily (and illegally) influenced. Not looking so good anymore.

 

 Okay, what can I do about it?

1. Take the process into your own hands.

After your agency comes up with a stellar vision, get your own bids for the project. This cuts them out of the communication and ensures you get accurate, uninfluenced bids from all parties.

 

2. Make sure you find quality freelance video production providers.

This can feel like a big job to fit into your schedule, which is why even the sharpest clients fall prey to savvy agencies. That’s where Crew Connection hooks you up. We make the whole thing easy peasy by providing the best crews at the best rates—whether you’re shooting interviews at each of your international locations next week or need à la carte services for your next series today.

If you’re not sure if we are (or anyone else is) a good fit, here are five questions to ask about a crewing service to determine if they’re worth their weight in salt.

 

3. Hire the best fit.

If you’ve sought your own bids from the best crews and production teams and you still feel the agency is the best fit for the job, by all means, hire them.

 

Bottom line:

Yes, some ad agencies are playing sheep just as they devour your budget and produce low quality work. But you don’t have to play the game. Be a savvy consumer and skip the con.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.