When it comes to creating a video, everyone is bound by schedules, deadlines and pressures. So knowing how long it takes to make a video – from that first sales call, all the way up to final delivery – is really important.
You can’t rush perfection. We’ve all heard that, right? Or some variant to that effect. And on occasion, that mentality is entirely accurate. When The Supremes sang “you can’t hurry love,” they were bang on the money.
But that’s a luxury our industry can’t afford. If a client has an upcoming event or a product launch, an explainer video or brand piece video needs to be aligned for simultaneous release. So when we jump on a sales call, we like to make it clear, right from the start, how long our process takes.
Process is king
From the first Discovery call, through to final sign-off, you’re looking at typically around 6-10 weeks. Because, like any event planning, we need a stretch of time to ensure your video is of the highest quality. Think of it like getting married. Sure you can have an abrupt Las Vegas style drive-through wedding (no judgement) but if you’re spending a bundle of cash on something unique and special, you want everything to be at its best. And that takes time.
Time to learn about your company, to understand who your audience is and the message that will get through to them in the most effective way. Time to consider every facet of the script and the visuals we can employ to strike an emotional chord with the viewer. And time to guarantee your feedback is taken on board and incorporated at every stage.
A journey of discovery
But let’s back it up a bit. Before we start talking about serving up an amazingly beautiful cake, we need to talk about the ingredients. Everything starts with the Discovery call. This can be the most intense part of the process. Because it’s our way of getting to know you. And understanding what it is that makes your company so special.
From here, we have to distil all these juicy morsels into a coherent and appetising message. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, it’s not. Imagine giving a presentation on a person you’ve only just met. And you only have 200 words to do it. But once we hammer out a strong script, with a clear message, things start to take shape very quickly.
Making a script move
At this point, we have the words. Because the script is just the voiceover. The next stage in the process sees the designer and animators brought in for the style and visuals. The written storyboard is.. well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s a written description of what you will see on screen. It’s an electric experience where the team comes together to craft engaging and inventive visuals that elevate the words being said.
As with the script, this is then sent to the client for approval. We relish client feedback and use this time to both explain the reasoning behind our choices, and make changes where necessary. Then once we have approval, we knuckle down into the animation phase.
Using a chisel to find the statue in a block of marble
This is, by far, the longest part of the process. The visual storyboard is an extremely accurate guide, working almost like a flick book. You should be able to scroll through the document and essentially see how your video will look. It’s then the animators’ job to bring these images to life, through motion.
Meetings are continually held, wherein we check-in on one another, and ensure that each scene is performing as we hoped and expected. But ultimately, it’s as much a labour of love, as it is an assignment.
Say you pass by an old building and look up. At the very top, you see there’s a bit of flourish. A section of the brickwork which is covered with relief art. For someone working on that building, that relief would have been their sole focus for a long time. Every line and curve carefully thought out and meticulously carved. And it’s exactly the same for our team.
Where is the audience’s eye coming from and heading to? Do these elements feel floaty and disconnected? Is the motion organic and believable? Not only do they have to breathe life into these static images, they have to sit with them for sometimes days to make certain every nuance is captured.
Well this all sounds good
The last stage of the process is one that is just as important as the first. Music and sound brings so much together. It can elevate a piece or absolutely sink it. So we have to take the time to find a tone that compliments the overall arc of our message. On top of that, we have to craft a bed of sound that works in harmony with the music.
For argument’s sake, let’s say we’ve made an abstract video for you – one that features lines of code represented by geometric shapes. The voiceover may explain what it is and the visual style heightens this realisation but to really cement the concept, our sound designer will create appropriate layering. That could be the sound of typing, or a digital stream of data, or even a series of beads clacking together. You’d be surprised what you can utilise to embed the idea of a concept, with seemingly unrelated sounds.
How long is a piece of string? Sometimes it depends on the string
But to answer the question posed at the outset of this blog, there are other factors to consider. Does your video require 3D animation? Is it a text-led video, intended to be viewed without sound? Many questions that spring from the initial sales and Discovery call, define how long the process will take. And even then, because we don’t put a limit on feedback and amends, the process time can shift.
Which is why we say 6-10 weeks. As we are always conscious of outlined schedules, commitments and deadlines. And work tirelessly to produce a final video that everyone involved can be proud of.