What are video styles?

LIVE ACTION:   Images of actual people in actual locations.

ANIMATION:  A frame-by-frame technique to create movement, whether hand-drawn or a manipulation of real objects, or even sometimes with people.  Types of animation include: cel, stop motion, and CGI (computer generated imagery).

MOTION GRAPHICS:  Computer programmed motion of images, shapes and/or text with its foundation in graphic design.

COMPOSITE:  Any combination of the above.

What are common video genres for digital marketing?

A video genre is the combination of style, tone and subject matter. Some genres are better suited for certain goals as well as certain video styles. It’s fun to help you discern which is best for your particular video needs.


Succinctly telling your WHY and the details of your project in a narrative form is itself an art and critical to your crowdfunding effort. Your fundraising results depend on an impactful video and it’s cohesive content.


Real people telling real stories of their experience. Since the beginning of advertising, this genre is proven to be the most persuasive genre used in advertising and promotion.


A dramatized everyday life situation to illustrate a point, a product or service benefit, or give support to a story.


This is a common genre used for websites. A single person presenting directly to the viewer, or a conversation captured of a small group of people delivering content designed around talking points.


A genre utilizing humor, whether physical or intellectual, to support your overall message or be associated with your brand. Proven to have high engagement when executed well.


Messaging centered on a specific product, service or event announcement, can apply any ‘style’ of video, but the main purpose of the content is to provoke action.


A graphics, animated or illustrative video that is most effectively used in explaining intricate or complex ideas. Or it can simply be a light, fun, youthful way to communicate any message. Mo-Graph is short for ‘motion graphics’.


When an audience can emotionally experience your event as if they were there, it’s an effective way to encourage their engagement, participation or conversion. Most often used to promote future events, increase revenue or encourage future involvement.


Most commonly used in commercial or promotional videos. Your message is communicated by applying a comedic, dramatic, satirical, anecdotal, musical or metaphorical format. It is a memorable and powerful strategy for video. It may or may not have a narrative story structure.


Scripted storytelling in a three-act structure. Sometimes your story or concept is best told in a narrative form by a scripted film drama or concept. This genre can be applied for web, commercials, and short films.

How much does a video cost?

Cost is determined by the production scope. What does ‘scope’ mean, you might ask? Well, it’s all the various aspects of your video: the length, how many people are on camera, is it interior or exterior, on location or private residence, how many cameras are needed, what type of lighting is required or desired, is there dialogue sound recording, etc. And then there’s the post production aspects: is there music, and if so is it stock music or original, are there sound effects, is a voice over needed, are there titles or animated graphic elements, any stock footage or photos needed, etc. You can clearly see a professional video can have a very wide range in scope and therefore cost.

HOWEVER, a ballpark cost for a professional video production generally starts at $3,000 for a simple web video of a single person talking. For a more intricate web video, with larger scope, an average starting cost to keep in mind is $6,500. Any commercial, broadcast quality video will generally start at $25,000.

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Whats the difference between film, video and digital images?

Film is a silver coated emulsion on plastic or celluloid that reacts to light to capture images. Film requires photosensitive chemical interactions to create the final images we see. Film is highly volatile in that it will scratch easily, and greatly diminish in high temperatures and bright light.

Videotape is a magnetic wave that is recorded and reproduced as a linear analogue visual image. However, each reproduction of videotape results in a loss of resolution, or what is called a ‘generation.’ Videotape, while less volatile then film, has a short shelf life of approximately 20-25 years.

A digital code is the most common method used today to capture visual and audio recordings. While videotape was able to record a digital signal it was computers that offered the best advantages for digital data: non-linear editing capability with incredible latitude to alter images, and a non-degrading reproduction of images and sound. As long as there’s no electronic disruption or technical corruption a digital signal is forever.


What are my legal responsibilities with posting videos?

As long as you own and personally created all the content in your video you are free to post it publicly. However, if people are in your video you need to get their permission in writing in a talent release. And if you’ve used any pre-existing copyrighted source materials like footage, photos, or music, then you need to be sure your have permission for use in the form of a license. Now it’s impossible to monitor all activity online, however, if you are a business organization seeking a commercial goal from you video, whether directly or indirectly, it’s imperative you have a producer who knows copyright law and can service your clearance and Risk Management for your videos.

What is Risk Management?

The pro-active management of proper clearance processes and documents required by copyright law regarding intellectual property use, to reduce the risk of infringement and liability. It can be damaging and costly to a business to hire a producer without proper risk management experience and knowledge.

What is a Copyright?

Legal protection and select rights granted to the creators or owners of intellectual property (IP).

There are 5 basic copyrights:

  • Exclusive right to reproduce
  • Exclusive right to distribute
  • Exclusive right to display
  • Exclusive right to perform
  • Exclusive right to create derivative works

In music, each song has two components of ownership, the composition of the song, and the master recording of the song. There is often multiple owners of a single song.

For the music business copyrights are even more defined as follows:

  • Performance – right to publicly play or reproduce the song
  • Sheet Music – right to reproduce the song in print
  • Reproduce – right to reproduce the song in a media format
  • Licensing – right to give permission of use for a song
  • Foreign markets – which will have various applications of all the aboveright to publicly play or reproduce the song

Can I use any music I want in my video?

Yes, with proper legal clearance, or if you created your own original music. Most music is copyrighted intellectual property (IP), meaning permission must be granted in the form of a license or in writing to use it in any format publicly. The more obscure the artist or music owner, the faster and easier it is to secure clearance for use. Any major label song release can take up to 6 months in clearance negotiations.

What’s Public Domain Music?

It is music (or any IP) not subject to copyright protections or laws, due to it’s existence beyond the terms of copyright protection, or loss of it’s private ownership identification.

What is Creative Commons?

A form of copyright where content creators who want to share their work may do so. However, it is usually on the condition that their work be properly attributed. There are six different types of licenses you can obtain when sharing your work in creative commons. Some allow you to distribute and modify for commercial and non-commercial purposes, some only allow you to use them for non-commercial purposes, and some require you to subject your new work to the same license as the shared content. Any violation of these laws is stealing.

Does Stock Music require a license?

Yes, however, it is usually licensed under a blanket agreement by the service or supplier of the music. Therefore Stock music is a very streamlined and easy way to license music for video production.

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use is a provision to freely use copyrighted IP without a license or permission, for one of the following purposes:

  • News or critique
  • Education, scholarship or research
  • Parody


What is Motion Graphics?

Also known as MoGraph, it’s like animation and can be used to create an ‘animated’ look and feel, however it’s very different from animation as a video production technique. Motion Graphics takes graphic images or text, and manipulates them in a programmed motion on the screen. The foundation of any quality motion graphics is excellent graphic design. The better 2D (two dimensional) graphic art abilities of your designer, the better your video motion graphics will be.

How is Animation different from Motion Graphics?

Animation is a frame-by-frame creative process, whether it’s hand-drawn or created with digital art tools in a computer. CGI is the common acronym for Computer Generated imagery, meaning animated computer developed images. Whether animation is hand-drawn, or CGI it’s a very tedious and precise art form requiring experience, skill and talent.

Does Motion Graphics take a long time?

Of course the length and complexity of the motion graphics piece will determine the overall time needed for creation. Generally it’s about 6-8 hours of motion graphics designing per :30 seconds to one minute of content. The variables that play into estimating time is complexity and total number of the images or text to be used. I’ve had our motion graphics artist create hand-drawn or hand-created elements for a project that were then programmed in the computer. This added step will most definitely increase the time needed for completion.

Additional Forms of Animation

CEL ANIMATION:  The traditional method of hand-drawing or painting art on a celluloid, transparent sheet which then is photographed with light shining through the celluloid from above and behind. Think Tom & Jerry or Disney’s Bambi. This old-school method of animation will always be near and dear to our hearts.

LIVE STOP-MOTION ANIMATION:  This is the art of manipulating a solid, 3D object ever-so-slightly and photographing that movement frame-by-frame in sequence. When the film is played back at a pre-determined frame rate the movement will be ‘animated’. It’s important to know your frame rates of photography beforehand to determine exactly how much movement is required in each frame to have the desired animated result. Think Wallace & Grummet or Tim Burton animated films. Stop-Motion has very effectively been used with unconventional items such as living persons, and physical paint on glass that’s manipulated for each frame, the creative possibilities are endless with this technique.

CGI:  Computer Generated Imagery is most commonly 3D animation created using computer graphics software. Sometimes the origin of the art is hand-drawn on digital tablets using digital art tools, however, most CGI is originated from existing source material or basic shapes that is then modified and manipulated in the digital environment for the final effect. Think Toy Story or anything from PIXAR.

COMPOSITE CGI:  This form of animation is most commonly used in special effects in film and commercial production. It’s specially designed CGI animation to be used with existing film footage, photos or ‘plates’ that are combined seamlessly for a final enhanced visual image. This type of animation commonly requires numerous software applications and/or plug ins to achieve final resolution and effects. Think any Superhero feature film, it’ll be loaded with Composite CGI.

WHITEBOARD ANIMATION:  This is a specific software animation application that conforms a live action photo of a hand and pencil image that then through automation of the software ‘draw’ your supplied images or photos. It’s very popular for Explainer videos, however, be careful to select images and photos that look hand-drawn, an intricate photo or image can become tedious to watch in this animation style.

Our Process:

1. Creative Ideation

Along with your strategic direction, we develop a creative plan for your
video including concept development, scripting, storyboarding, research,
testing—all pertinent components needed to ensure your video is spot
on for your goals.

2. Pre-Production

The better the planning, the more seamless the shooting and editing. Budgeting, crew selection, casting, booking, locations, permitting, legal clearance and all the many details are determined and locked in.

3. The Shoot

When the right client, creative, and cast & crew come together, magic happens. Experienced professionals on your set will ensure a successful shoot day on time and budget.

4. Post-Production

When we manage the editorial and sound post production, we focus on every detail and nuance to bring your video to life.