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Nine Misconceptions About Video Production

There are a lot myths and misconceptions surrounding the video production industry. It has a reputation of being expensive and complicated. At the same time it has a reputation of being cheap and easy. The truth is, like any other industry you really do get what you pay for. The trick is to get the most for your money, and that has as much to with the purpose of the video as it does quality of the production company making it. I hope to give you some new insight about video production.

1. Video marketing is not that important - FALSE

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for how we experience the internet, and it’s feeling good. With the age of cellphones rocking 4k video, the stakes for high quality content have never been higher. This means better writing, clearer messaging, and high-production-value videos. Statistics show us that people are 86% more likely to purchase your product if you have a clear memorable persuasive video.


People are swiping right passed photos and looking for great video content. It is just a fact, and your production better be better than the selfie video you customers make for their social media pages. Otherwise, you could damage your credibility and do more harm than good.

2. Video production costs more than its worth- FALSE

It is no secret that video production can become a heavy investment. However, that does not necessarily have to be the case. Click here or video pricing info. If you are a super small business, the investment of $10,000 could just simply seem out of the question. However, if you found a great production company, you could get many videos produced for that same money. Let’s call it 5 different versions. Everything gets shot in one day, and the edits vary justenough to represent a series instead of a one 

off. Now you have some teeth in your video marketing.


The return on your investment will be substantially greater than the investment itself. If used correctly 

(social media, website, YouTube, etc.) you can see massive returns. Remember, everything you do that makes your marketing better, everything that creates a stronger connection with your buyers ultimately will grow your business. A good production company is key.

3. You can do it yourself - POSSIBLY

Now I know I am going to get a lot of push back for this segment, but I don’t care it needs to be said. Unless you have some serious video skills, like you used to do it professionally in a passed life, you will not produce effective video content on your first time out. Now it’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between. The problem with a gamble like this is, if your production is crap, people will think you company is crap. Therefore, it is important to get a great video production company to take care of this for you.


If budget is in your way, here is a tip. Video people are generally a cool unique bunch. I know because I am one. If we can have more creative control over a project, and the client lets us do our thing without all of the energy that goes into bringing the client over the finish line you may be able to barter some of the production fee. We like cool stuff too. It just may be the solution that you need to really upgrade your brand before you can actually afford it.

4. Every production company is the same - FALSE

Not every production company is created equally. I don’t want to keep belaboring budget, so I won’t. However, if your production company is comprised of two people, and all of the gear fits in a briefcase and a duffle bag, you may not want to set your expectations too high. You really need a minimum of a four-person team to really get the job done, and that is really pushing it. That assumes the talent does not need any wardrobe, hair or makeup help. At the minimum you need a director, cinematographer, sound person and a gaffer (lighting person) You can learn more about the video production process here. If you production company tries to convince you that two people can do all four jobs, you know that they are not expecting to produce a high quality video. They have already succumbed to the notion that you are more concerned about what you spend, as opposed to what you receive.

Think about that! The people creating the ad that will represent your brand believes that the cost is more important than the result. If that is the case, what type of job can you expect? Hire a professional company, pay them properly and reap the rewards! According to market research, when it comes to engagement, 54% of the audience focuses on the quality of production, and 46% focus on the message and storyline.

When a person is uneducated about a purchase, they will always use price as a way to measure their decision. In video production you get exactly what you pay for. Cheap production companies will give you a cheap price however, their product will match. 

5. You should always make short videos - FALSE

Did you know 91% of audiences say that they decide if they’re going to continue watching a video within the first 10 seconds? Damn that’s fast! Modern audiences have a short attention span. Therefore the 2-minute is not a valid rule.


Here are a couple of tidbits to think about. YouTube and Facebook reward longer videos. They get better placement in searches and are given the priority. YouTube is owned by Google and they are linked. So, if your video gets priority on YouTube, it will help increase your Google Rank.


Finally, not every topic can be distilled down into a two-minute presentation. A marketing minded video production company, or a marketing company in tandem with a great video production company will write a compelling story, execute the impeccably, and people will watch your video until the end.

6. Longer videos are more expensive than shorter videos - FALSE

This misconception actually follows perfect logic for the layperson. More time = more video = more work = more money. The work is not only in the length of the video. The length of the video actually have very little to do with the cost. Let’s add some perspective, shall we? The latest James Bond “No Time To Die” cost 1.5 million dollars a minute to make. The most expensive tv commercial cost $33 million dollars to make. WTF???? That is a million dollars a second. I am sure you can get your 30 minute infomercial made for thousands. Here is a link to the most expensive commercials ever made. Here.


It's clearly not the runtime that increases the cost. It’s the crew size, the gear caliber, the talent, the amount of shoot days, amount of locations, stunts, special effects and list goes on. To see what video production costs, click here.

7. You can make a viral video on demand - FALSE

If I had a dollar for every client that said they wanted to make a viral video, I would be casting Tom Cruise in my next feature film. Viral videos cannot be replicated. It always makes me chuckle when a prospect walks into our studio, and they believe that their product is so efff’n good, that any video we make is going to go viral. I am here to tell you…It’s not.

A viral video is usually a chance capture of something outrageous. Allow me to expand…Imagine a dog doing backflips on a trampoline in the middle of thunderstorm, when in the background a bolt of lightning hits a tree and sets it on fire. The dog freaks out, falls off the trampoline, runs into the house, jumps on the owner, and knocks the camera on the ground and the video ends with the tree burning in the rain. Now that video could go viral. I and I want to emphasize could.


The idea that your new phone case invention is going to compete with the dog video is just naïve. So, forget about making a viral video, because it’s not happening.

8. Royalty free music, photos & clips are free - FALSE

I totally get how the term royalty free could be misleading. When it comes to music production there are companies like ASCAP and BMI that collect royalties for the artist every time the music is played. Yes, every time a song is paid, by law, the artist is entitled to a royalty. Royalty Free means, that artist has waived his or her rights to collect royalties under specific license conditions.


Each license is different and has its own specific different “right of use” terms and conditions for a flat fee. These licenses usually define, audience size and authorized platforms. For example, you can buy a license from Pond 5 for $49 and this gets you under 250,000 plays on YouTube, Social Media and your website. If you want to use it on TV or Radio or in a Film, the license fee could be more. When a production company charges a couple hundred dollars for royalty free music, is usually to cover the cost of the search. It can take weeks to find the perfect composition for a video.

9. Editing changes are quick - FALSE

All editing changes take a billable amount of time. Nothing takes five minutes. Let that sink in, nothing takes five minutes. Now if you are adjusting different elements at the appropriate stages, you are going to have a very happy video production company staff. You director and editor will appreciate your feedback early in the process. It signals to the director and the editor that they are on the right path, or that they may need to adjust.


The most expensive time to make changes to the video is after the cut as been completed. What needs to be considered is, if you want to insert a 2 second clip in the middle of a 30 second fast paced video that is timed to the beat of some music, with the graphics moving in sync, you are going to throw the entire sequence off. Then the editor must re-edit the entire video from the point you made the change. You can easily increase the editing budget by 30% or more. So, not only are changes not quick, but they can also be very costly too.



I hope this article clears up some of the myths and misconceptions about video production. Of course, there are exceptions to every single point and scenario in this article, and every now and then someone does win the lottery. Play the odds, and don’t gamble with the credibility of your brand, you’ll be glad you did.

Salvatore Marotta

Creative and Film Director

SM Media Group

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