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The stages are quite similar to those involved in creating a TV commercial:  

We need to get together to find out about your idea, to explain a few options, and to talk about general pricing alternatives.  This stage ends with a proposal and an with a deal memo or an agreement.  Often we are asked, during the first phone conversation, "how much it costs to produce a tape X minutes long?"  Really - the length of a tape is among the least important factors in determining the cost.  We need to know more before offering any estimate.  Usually the more we know, the more money we can save for you.  Also, during this stage we must agree on a preliminary schedule.  

This is the stage when the script is written.  It may take several drafts.  The finished script is used as a base for a list with production elements (any special talent, equipment, graphics, and so on).  On more complex projects, some research may be necessary to pin down a final budget and a final schedule.  Obviously, very simple projects don't require a lot of pre-production.  If all you want is to videotape a seminar, both the "Evaluation" and "Pre-Production" stages can be completed with a brief visit to the location of the event.  For stage shows, we may need to be present at several rehearsals, and the lighting director must be instructed to work with us amicably.  If any copyrighted work will become part of your product, please let us know if you need assistance in securing the clearance (otherwise we'll assume that it's taken care of).  When certain copyrighted materials are essential for your project, let's make sure that they are available before spending any real money!  

This is, essentially, the videotaping stage.  If the planning is done correctly, it's usually a very simple process.  If we shoot in a studio or on location, everything will be prepared ahead of time.  Most likely, however, we'll be shooting at your business place.  All the people and special elements that will appear in your commercial must be available at the scheduled time.   In most cases, it helps to invite a few good-looking friends to act as customers - or for backup "roles".  (We can hire professional actors, however they are quite expensive).  The people who appear in the picture must avoid wearing anything with narrow stripes (watch that shirt or necktie that will create moiré patterns!)  Gray, blue, green, or subdued red clothing look better than  black or white.   We'll provide some basic makeup, if needed.  We'll need to maintain together a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.  If you invite a lot of guests, a lunch buffet (light foods only) may be a good idea.  Every location must be available for minimum 90 minutes before and after the shoot, and a building electrician or handyman must be present during this time.  ATTENTION: if we record live sound, be sure that someone knows how to turn off ALL electrical appliances!  For public locations, any access approvals or insurance matters should be solved ahead of time.  (You know your landlord better than we do, so we will not interfere in any business dealings with "the building" unless you ask.)   

The post production is basically the editing process, when the best images are assembled along with the special effects, graphics, voice-over, and music, on a professional tape format.   Some homework - such as choosing the best shots and a review of the script - should be done before we go to the editor.  For this purpose, we may preview together a VHS copy of all the material available.  Many times we'll also put together a draft tape before final editing.  If you can, we suggest that you join us during the editing of the Master tape.    

That's the phase when the tape (or the disc) is duplicated and shipped as intended.  This is a rather automatic process, since all the variables should have been planned during pre-production.  On large projects, quality control work is still necessary (for duplication and fulfillment.)  Usually, at this stage the project is taken over by the client's personnel.  If the new product is at the center of a new business ("selling media products"), the next steps are determined by your business plan.   

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