Handy Trail Tips
We hope these guides and tips prove helpful. If you have any comments, questions or would like clarification, let us know - email us or call +1 (203) 292-7744
VFX companies by country
If you have any thoughts, suggestions or comments on this ever changing list, let us know!
Suggested Pre-bid Meeting Agenda
The pre-bid meeting is critical to effective broadcast and video production planning. This sample agenda should help surface potential cost drivers and allow the timely consideration of production options. It is a customizable Word doc.
Looking for Influencers / Celebrities for your Brand?
You might want to review these resources. Below are their links and pitches.
https://www.epollresearch.com/corp/products/escore The industry standard for celebrity ratings. Tells you why a celebrity is appealing or not. The definitive source used by all media to determine celebrity value. Easy access to your target demographics. Fielded weekly with more than ten years of trends.
https://juliusworks.com/ is a SaaS influencer marketing platform that provides marketers with rich influencer data, advanced search capabilities, and the campaign management tools required to organize a successful influencer marketing strategy. Julius search brings over 50,000 influencer profiles to life and allows subscribers to identify creators via audience demographics, total social reach and engagement, strengths and interests, brand-work, and more. Julius campaign features enable subscribers to initiate and track a conversation with an influencer or their representation.
http://celebritydbi.com/ The Celebrity DBI evaluates celebrities in 15 key markets worldwide, representing the views of more than 1.6 billion people – approximately 50% of the world’s adult population.
http://www.qscores.com/ The recognized industry standard for measuring consumer appeal of personalities, characters, licensed properties, programs and brands
https://pro.imdb.com/signup/index.html?r=/ The leading information resource for the entertainment industry. Industry professionals rely on IMDbPro every day. To check filmographies & credits. Access profile pages for more than 4 million people and cast and crew listings for more than 2 million titles. Find industry contacts & talent representation. Stay connected with contact details for over 200,000 industry professionals and companies. Track in-development & production titles. Keep up-to-date on over 25,000 projects not available on IMDb.
Managing Your TVC, video or print project
Managing Production Costs
Production budgets are more influenced by CREATIVE direction than by any other factor.
If the script or layout is overly reliant on executional gimmickry, no amount of production management expertise will resolve your budget challenges.
While agency producers and art buyers can certainly find suitable suppliers, they are not the ones (usually) held accountable for the “quality” of the work.
Because of the “quality” issue, most creative teams are less likely to risk working with ’unproven’ directors or photographers.
How do you improve quality while reducing costs?
Reinforce to your agencies that the creative teams will be held as accountable for the production cost of the ads as much as the production teams are.
Agree to the deliverables internally prior to briefing the agency.
Agree to the production budget for each deliverable prior to briefing the agency.
Declare the deliverables and budgets in the advertising brief.
Do not review scripts or layouts unless each is accompanied by a rough production estimate and do not move forward with a project if it exceeds the stated budget.
Review all the work with your production consultant before testing in order to gauge the accuracy of the agency’s estimate, which, for extra assurance, should then be corroborated with the agency’s production head.
All this to say: you should not approve creative that will eventually exceed your budget to produce. This will require your creative teams to seek the counsel of their respective production heads to assure that nothing they intend to present has any hidden ‘cost driver’ that will increase your costs. Even if you are excited by a script or layout, it is imperative that you agree to a definitive cost projection from the agency PRIOR to testing.
Once a TVC, video or print concept is approved for production there are distinct phases of production which can have a big impact on costs.
1) Production planning - As production consultants we emphasize production planning. This is where we have the largest impact and is too often rushed, with serious impact on costs and the final product. This usually occurs in the preparation, discussion and approvals around the pre-bid meeting.
2) Pre-production - The estimate is approved and the project has been awarded. Prior to the actual shoot we begin casting selections and approvals, location scouting and selection, set designs, approvals and execution, location / set dressing, wardrobe recommendations and approvals, etc.
3) Production (Shoot) -
4) Creative Editorial – (Post Production 1 or PP1) - Raw footage to approved rough cut
5) Finishing - (Post Production 2 or PP2) - Approved rough cut to finished ad
6) Trafficking & Distribution
7) Adaptation / Trans-creation (Post Production 3 or PP3)
A typical TVC should take between 8 – 14 weeks to produce, videos are generally less structured and can often be produced more quickly. A typical print ad should take between 6 - 10 weeks to produce, but often less... depending on complexity. Digital production schedules are all over the map depending on the deliverables.
Typical ad production cost drivers
Reduced production time frame – rushed production
Many on camera performers
Well known music track
Unclear brand approvals of the graphics / animation / finishing process - who has the final word and getting that input in a timely fashion
Bringing Along Your Marketers
We often work closely with marketing procurement folks going through the process of building the internal case for production consultants. In many cases marketers are familiar with production consultants, in some other cases, not so much.
Our first focus is to be sure we have the marketers (stakeholders) engaged with our role and value proposition. It can often be an adjustment for marketers to work with a subject matter expert, but we are keenly aware of the strategic value of the brand - agency relationship. We have all seen brands transformed by the power of excellent advertising. Our goal is to work collaboratively with the agency to optimize all productions.
Secondly, we focus on what the marketing teams are doing now. What media are they advertising in, where and how much? Are the results aligning with the business requirements?
Third, which vendors are marketing working with now and why? How do their costs compare to industry norms? Is there the potential to develop a strategy to optimize costs with marketing and procurement? If so, we develop the strategy.
Fourth, if so, execute that strategy.
Fifth, sustain, measure and optimize the results. We constantly reassess for further optimization opportunities.