the blog

Congratulations Rachell!

Golden Egg FIlm Festival

Our short film From Hell to Here directed by Rachell Shapiro has been accepted into the Golden Egg Film Festival, and it is up for two awards – Best Supporting Actor and Best Soundtrack. It will be screening in Cancun, Mexico in late April.

The Cost of Video Production

“How much does a video cost?”

video production cost

We’re asked this question all the time.  One could just as easily ask:  how much does a house cost, or a car, or a meal?  Are we talking bungalow or mansion?  Econo-box or luxury sedan?  Fast food or five star?  At any given time, one or the other might be fitting, and similar comparisons apply to “how much does a video cost?”  Of course, when asked this question, our approach isn’t to make fun, rather we attempt to determine what it is our clients are trying to accomplish and how to achieve their purpose in a way that best fits their needs.  Figuring that out helps us define what their particular video might cost.

There are always multiple ways to present messages and costs are related to the creative approach, but our goal when we’re first asked that question is to begin quantifying the job.  What’s the message you are trying to convey and what’s the purpose you are trying to achieve?  Who is the audience and how do you envision reaching them?  Here is where we begin to determine what we’re dealing with.  Are you trying to promote a product or an event?  Train your staff on an operation or procedure?  Advocate a position or raise funds?  Document an issue or just have fun?  What’s the story you’re trying to tell and why do you want to tell it?

When talking about cost, context is helpful and for clients that are inexperienced in commissioning a video, we let them know that length is not always the determining factor.  Individual shots lasting only a few seconds might be quite elaborate and consume significant resources to accomplish – large cast and crew, complicated sets, and specialized equipment – while some longer form programs are significantly less expensive to produce when considering a per minute basis.

As we delve deeper, we ask:  When you close your eyes and imagine the program, what do you see?  How much material must be covered and what’s your target length?  Is the program scripted or are interviews required?  If scripted, do you have narration? Is that narration voice-over or on-camera?  If interviews are required, how many and where might they take place?  Is there a need to dramatize aspects of the story?  If so, what’s entailed and how many scenes are envisioned?  What locations might be required?  Will we need to travel?  What’s the production schedule?  Is it a fast turn-around, or is there time to conduct research and proceed more deliberately?  Does all footage need to be new source material, or can stock footage be utilized?  Costumes?  Props?  Make-up?  Graphical animations?  Music?  Special effects?  Languages?  Distribution requirements?  Captions?  Packaging?  Collateral materials?  There’s a lot to consider.

Clients don’t always know the answers right away, but as they contemplate the questions we ask, we begin to define the scope of their project and help them understand what approaches are available within their targeted budget.  It’s our job to educate and to support them through the process, to answer any questions and quiet any apprehensions, to make it easy.

In just a few minutes we can determine if we’re talking about a fast food meal from the drive through in our economy car that we’re planning to take back to our bungalow, or if we’re traveling from our mansion to a five-star restaurant in our luxury sedan.  Either way, whether the budget is lesser or greater, messages can and will be presented with simplicity, with elegance, and with impact.

If you have any questions about what your video might cost, give us a call.  We’ll help.

Sincerely,

Tim Phillips and the Rock Creek Team

Why Blog?

social media

Here at Rock Creek Productions we have been talking about starting up a blog for a while. We have slowly but surely over the last few years moved into the social media-sphere via Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Youtube and even Pinterest. But we recognized that where we might really be able to add value to the conversation of video production and digital media is via the blogosphere — especially in a town chock full of businesses, non-profits, and government agencies that need and want to create videos that educate, train, motivate, fundraise, and recruit and might not know where to begin on how to make a video; how to pick a good vendor; what questions to ask; how to figure out a production budget; what “craft services” is, how much gear to expect on a shoot; and the hundreds of other questions that always come up regarding that ambiguous, vast, ever-changing world of “videos.”

Rock Creek is not the new kid on the block as far as media production companies; we’ve been around going on 18-years (in production company world that’s pretty darn old.) We started…(ahem)…back in the good ‘ole days when we were still editing in analogue, shooting on BetaCam, had a huge tape library, and edit systems cost over a hundred thousand dollars.  Needless to say, we’ve been around for a while and have grown, adapted, and advanced with the changing times and technologies. And what we have found in our 18-years as a company is that we have accumulated a lot of experience and knowledge that we think might benefit someone out there. We don’t presume to know everything or be the ultimate experts but what we do have is an incredibly experienced, passionate team of people that have a lot to offer. So instead of keeping that all to our clients, and ourselves, we thought let’s share it with the rest of the world – or at least to those ten’s of people who stumble onto our blog.

So wish us luck on our blogging adventure – and check back here often for our incredibly informative, sometimes witty, always well-intentioned posts.

Sincerely,

Rachell Shapiro and the Rock Creek Productions Team

Review from the American Library Association!

We have some exciting news! Our documentary film Peace Through Education: Stealing The Light has been reviewed and recommended by the American Library Association. They have listed our film on their Booklist. If you would like to see the review, please click on the link below.

http://www.booklistonline.com/Peace-through-Education-Stealing-the-Light/pid=5405287

Documentary Filmmaking

 

 

Best Contemporary Issue Documentary Award Winner!

A huge congratulations to Aimie and the rest of the Rock Creek team on receiving the Best Contemporary Issue Documentary award at the 2011 DocMiami Film Festival. Well Done!

doc miami nternational film festival

doc miami nternational film festival