Whether to promote a product or their services, or to enhance their reputation, more and more companies and organisations are looking to create their own bespoke image film. Hardly any other medium transports and combines information and emotions as unsurpassably as the moving image.
In this article, Filmpuls explains what to look out for in image film production. He shows how to find the perfect video production company and what to look for as a client when creating an image video.
How to create an image film
This guide is aimed at clients and decision-makers as well as employees in marketing, public relations and communications. It shows the most important factors to look out for in this type of corporate video with expressive images in high quality. In doing so, the guide adopts best practice and perspectives from an image film agency.
7 points you have to consider for the perfect image film
In order for an image film to be successful and to develop its full impact, seven basic steps are advisable and indicated on the part of the client:
|What I have to do myself as a client when creating an image film:|
|1||Define statement request||✔|
|2||Make a decision in principle: Filming, shooting or staging…||✔|
|3||Evaluate and find production partners||✔|
|4||Budget: benchmarks, budget level, type of budget||✔|
|5||Avoiding pitfalls and landmines through a clear contractual basis||✔|
|6||Supervise the implementation of the image film||✔|
|7||Plan distribution and accompanying communication measures at an early stage||✔|
The individual points are explained in detail below.
1Create image film: Define message / message
The statement desire is the message. which the image film conveys. Unlike a concept or script, which is created by the video production company and defines how it will be delivered, the message is not about details. But about the core of the statement and the top level. The viewer should be able to say, “I learned, saw, felt that …”
Part of creating an image film is that the client defines the message he wants to convey. If a company is not able to do this, it has a fundamental problem.
If the statement request cannot be defined by the client, the task and the essence (the DNA) of the sender is not sufficiently defined. Or the people in charge of marketing and communications are simply sitting in the wrong chair. In both cases, delegating this task to the production company does not solve the problem. In this case, it is more advisable to work with a management consultancy (definition of your own positioning in the market) or branding agency (guidelines for corporate storytelling).
This also includes the correct use of the medium “film” and a brief understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a video. There are also limits to moving images. Not only when it comes to employer branding or corporate identity.
|An image film is the wrong medium if …|
|1||… an Excel spreadsheet is to be filmed, i.e. the pure transport of numbers (without their explanation or interpretation by a person) is in the foreground.||✔|
|2||… the image film must have neither a narrative perspective nor an attitude. Movies are always subjective (just the angle of the camera selects).||✔|
|3||… the video constantly repeats the same information or emotions. Movies can do anything but bore.||✔|
|4||… the film, because of its content, does not meet its audience’s needs for guidance and direction.||✔|
|5||… the time frame required for professional preparation of the content and professional implementation is lacking (the online film cost calculator from Filmpuls provides guidelines for this).||✔|
|6||… no heterogeneous target group is to be addressed. (In this case, the production of several, possibly shorter videos is recommended).||✔|
|7||… the image film is supposed to be a self-runner. Without flanking measures, every video ends up as a zombie with <50 viewers on YouTube.||✔|
If any of the above points apply, the best alternative to creating an image film is often: do without an image video.
- What video films are good at. And when videos are the wrong medium.
- Why an image film is sometimes the worse alternative
2Creating an image film: Filming, filming or staging?
Even when creating an image film, there are three basic options for every film production, one of which must be chosen for your own project:
- The camera can film what’s there with little pickiness.
- Alternatively, it can purposefully shape another, optimized reality from one reality – that is filming.
- Or a new world is created and staged from scratch especially for the image film.
The first variant is comparatively cheap, the latter procedure is costly.
- Documenting, filming or directing?
- Video concept: can you answer this question?
- What does Production Value mean in Film and Video Productions?
If the desired statement does not already indicate the nature of the cinematic realisation, it is advisable to define the concrete type of realisation in close contact with possible providers (video productions) or with a film consultant at an early stage.
With the decision for one of the three implementation variants, the course is set. In terms of content, as well as calculation.
3On choosing the right production partner when creating an image film
Not only the way of realization is crucial when creating an image film. If a video is not created in-house, it is important to find the right video partner for the planning of an image film. One should be aware of the fact that every film project is always also a common journey and let these aspects flow into the evaluation of the partner.
At the latest at the pre-production meeting (PPM) it becomes clear whether the right choice has been made. But then to change production companies and have the film produced with another video production company is close to a production cancellation. Especially since, even if often only with a mail signature, there are contractual agreements.
An image film is a project. The decisions that have to be made together on the way to an effective film are correspondingly diverse, short-term, complex and demanding.
Often the principle of rolling planning cannot be avoided due to external constraints. Examples: short-term availability of filming locations, weather, etc. How do you find the right production partner? In practice, the choice of a film production is made:
- because already in the past for other tasks a cooperation with the customer and high satisfaction of all involved parties took place.
- because work samples (showreels) and references of the production company prove that it can successfully deal with comparable tasks.
- based on personal recommendations from their own network.
- Which film producers will never freely admit!
- The competence to recognize incompetence in film and video
- 5 deadly sins for video producers and filmmakers
When creating an image film, both the client and the producer are caught between the conflicting priorities of marketing/communication, business and art. Conflicts of objectives and different weightings of priorities are unavoidable. This makes functioning, efficient communication all the more important. Special attention should be paid to this when choosing a production partner.
4Benchmarking, amount of budget, types of budget
How much does a film cost? The answer is simple: as much as a car … – the only question is whether Smart or Bentley!
The small car is the filmed video when creating an image film. The luxury cars are staged image films. The engine of the car, to stay with the comparison, is the statement desire. The road on which the car will later drive, the distribution channel.
The spectators, they are the passengers.
However, the ultimate responsibility at the wheel for the safe transport of passengers always lies with the driver. The driver, that is not the director, but the client of the image film.
|Cost intensity by type of implementation|
|Filming||Low price is in the foreground and is more important than content quality|
|Filming||Price-performance ratio attractive|
|Staging||Quality is in the foreground, price high|
Guide values and orientation parameters can be evaluated with the online film cost calculator from Filmpuls. These can neither replace an individual conversation with a video producer nor the many years of experience of a producer.
- Online film cost calculator: from image film to web video
- Films are projects: What does it mean for practice?
- What does an image film or a web video really cost?
- Calculation scheme for film and video (with budget example)
5 Produce image film: Watch out for landmines!
When creating an image film, it is not only important to pay attention to cinematic aspects, but also to legal aspects. The creation of moving images has two intertwined components under European law: Film is a thing and at the same time the subject of copyright. A thing can be bought, while copyrights also concern the protection of personality.
In particular, they must be discussed and agreed upon in practice when the order is initiated:
- Who owns the rights to the footage? This becomes particularly decisive if the video production is unable to complete the film for reasons unforeseeable at the time the order was accepted.
- How many correction rounds are contractually owed within the scope of production up to final acceptance?
- Which rights are transferred? Closely related to this is the question of
- what period?
- which countries?
- which types of use and distribution channels?
- Can the image film be reworked later without involving the video production? (Adaptation to changes in the company, use of sequences in other films, etc.).
- What insurances are in place at the contractor or are to be taken out to cover the production (examples: Additional liability insurance for filming in Great Britain or the USA, personal injury insurance in the case of temporary availability of well-known actors).
- Is the contractor allowed to advertise with the film? How? On which platforms? What is provided for in the contract if the agreement is breached?
- Where is the original footage stored? How safe is the storage location? How long does the contractual obligation to retain data last? Are intermediate steps of the work process also archived?
- Who owns the proceeds from film props that were bought especially for the image film and are sold again after filming?
Likewise, it must be ensured that the rights of all persons appearing in the video are transferred to the company(not to the producer!) must be transferred. In the case of musical compositions, attention must also be paid to the composers’ music rights. If unlicensed film recordings or pieces of music from third parties are used for image films, these must be purchased separately, regardless of the duration (additional costs). If the video producer has forgotten to do this, despite a valid production contract between the client and the video producer, the following occurs no automatic transfer of rights to the beneficiary.
- Correctly define and agree milestones and interfaces for commissioned films
- Checklist: Which consents and rights are mandatory for video recordings?
6Create image film: Distribution
A produced image film is a film. Not anymore. No less. If an image film is not supported by accompanying measures, it remains what it is.
In order for a film to inspire and have an impact, it must first be found by its audience. A focus on only one channel is rather rare. Social media channels and the company’s own website are often used, as well as on-site events with potential customers.
YouTube alone only manages this in exceptional cases. It is more promising to run a small (or larger) campaign for the launch of the film. Be it with the help of your own, already existing, presence in social media, with video e-mails or with screenings for employees or at customer events.
An additional making-of video of the shooting is always helpful and welcome when creating an image film. Anyway, this also includes photos. Both, film and photos, help to generate additional attention (or for the flanking transport of background information).
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