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Frequently Asked Questions

How much?

We often hear the phrase, "$1,000 per finished minute" thrown around. Did you know that phrase was started back in the 70's before videotape existed? It stuck around through the 80's because of the astromomic price of videotape in the early days, but in 1982, gas cost $1.25 a gallon at its peak and coffee was still .20¢.

We often say that hiring a video company is like buying a car. What you pay is directly linked to what you want in it. The higher the quality and the more time we spend on your production, the higher the investment.

We do tend to completely discount length of video as a basis for expected prices. Many people ask us, "How much for a 5-minute video?" It completely depends on the production.

• How many videos are we filming in one location in one day?
• Is it "talking head" video, or is it more complex?
• Do you want graphics and animation?
• Do you want to hire actors?
• Are we traveling?
• Are we writing custom music and lyrics?
• Is this a multi-camera live event that we're filming/editing?
• Do you want a crane, dolly, slider or cam-copter used?
• Do you want a more high-end cinematic look, which sometimes requires a different kind of camera?
• Can a small crew handle the job, or will we need help?
• Are we handling the whole production and writing scripts?
• Do we need to buy props and/or build a "set"?

So, you see that if we're creating a 30-second video, but we're traveling to Wyoming, renting a 50' camera crane, compositing a 3D animated space alien into the production and writing a really snappy jingle with instrumentation and lyrics, it's going to cost more than putting a camera in your showroom and having you talk about your business for the same amount of time.

We carefully quote each job we do. Tell us what kind of production you want, what you hope to gain and how much you want to spend and we'll scale our work to your needs, your expectations and your budget.

Also,  we are not "selling you a video", for if that was true, we could show you a catalog of twenty videos and you could choose one of them. We are being hired for our services, which will provide you a production that is customized to you, and that won't be relevant for anyone else.


How long?

Video production has no definitive time span. It all depends on the vision of the client and producers. A project, like the demolition of a building and its subsequent reconstruction, can take years. But a TV commercial can be turned around in a couple of days.

We will work with you on your deadline. Our turnaround times are excellent, and we are very straighforward when it comes to realistic expectations. We won't tell you it'll be done in a week if we know it'll take two.




This is your business. Your baby. If you want to promote your passion with a sub-standard video that has bad image quality, bad lighting and bad sound, that's your call. But when you want to make a statement about your business to your potential customers, which is more impressive? Something done cheaply and poorly, or something that you've chosen to do as an investment in the future of your business?

If you're dying to do it yourself, hire us to teach you how.


Why actors?

You've seen your local cable commercials, right? Similarly, you've seen the spots that run during the Super Bowl, right? That's the difference between using your good looking niece who's never been on camera, and hiring an actress who has been trained how to cry, laugh, get mad, get glad and do ridiculous, embarassing stuff in front of the camera and a crew just because we tell her to.

A professional actor does their job in such a way that his performance can go unnoticed because it's believable. It's bad actors and their bad performance that you'll notice.



Love 'em. The work a nonprofit does in a community can only be measured in the impact they have on the lives they change, and it's not a fair measurement because that impact is normally something that can't only be quantified in money.

Because so often a nonprofit has to receive a grant to do video production, and their work is so important that we want to take the time we need to really tell their story in a special way, we scale our prices down considerably for nonprofit storytelling.

We have never asked for a corporate rate from a nonprofit and we never will.



Production companies don't normally get so lucky as to survive in their home cities exclusively. We're no different.

We have had the great opportunity to do a lot of traveling to different states and different countries over the years. So if you're selling vacations on the beach in Costa Rica, we'll just have to suck it up and go there. And you can come too.

In seriousness, if you have a story to tell or a product or service to market, we will be happy to travel to where the production needs to take place whether it's in a cow pasture three counties away or a baseball stadium three-thousand miles away. We work anywhere in the US and Canada as well as portions of the rest of the world that are considered safe for American travelers.


Why should I do video now?

Great question. Business evolves, and so does the way we talk about business. What used to be called statistics is now called 'metrics'. In 1993 when you started receiving your first AOL disks in the mail, folks had little choice if they wanted to market their businesses. Billboard, radio, TV and newspaper were the mainstream, while placemats, park benches and really nice pens were secondary possibilities.

Nowadays the choices are much more plentiful and a great deal of it is free! People are using video for chats, social sharing, corporate communication and business promotion. It is the way people, and businesses, speak in this millenium.

And think about this. Video is the most accurate way to represent yourself and your business, second only to a conversation in person.



Can I have something unique and special?

The only time we are every constrained in our creativity is when the client constrains us.

We approach every production with the idea that we can do something amazing and unique. It's up to you to let us do our best work on your behalf.

We created a new philosophy called 'See Spot Share', and its entire purpose is to take production to new heights so you get noticed in new and creative ways. If the video is meant to be shared online, it needs to go farther than your small group of friends. We want people to SEE the SPOT and then SHARE it, and they won't do that if it doesn't move them in some way. It's often a bigger investment than a talking head, but then, a talking head isn't unique or special, is it?




Now that you have the information you need, let's start figuring out how you
can use video production for your promotion, learning or nonprofit needs.


Copyright 2014, Allen Film & Video, Ltd. All Rights Reserved