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15 February 2011

Video Production Services In 2011

video production servicesVideo has gone from the ugly stepchild of film to the de facto standard. This is surprising for those who have been around video production since the 1980s, if not shocking. Quality independent movies, tv commercials and documentaries were all shot on 16mm or 35mm film. Only news programs - local and network, and cheesy local tv commercials for mattress warehouses and used car dealers were shot on video.

What passed for broadcast video production technology in those days had already evolved beyond 2 inch video, but field production and news production was still achieved with 1 inch video recorders and 3/4" video systems. UMATIC was also used to describe the smaller video recording system. On the camera side the pinnacle of quality and utility was the Ikegami HL-79D. While your author recalls the price of a 79D with lens in those days as close to $100,000 (US), a recent internet search produced references to prices (in 80s dollars) closer to $75,000 or so. Still, given the fact that today's consumer HD camcorders deliver higher resolution (though other specs may fall short) for anywhere several hundred dollars to a few thousand, it is amazing how far the quality has come and how low the prices have fallen.

Gone too is the boat anchor of video tape. Now we can record on flash drives (though they don't last forever), copy the video to our computers and off we go.

So how does this effect you, the potential client for video production services? First, some cautionary notes: Because the cost of video production equipment has dropped it has made it much easier for people to buy video cameras and video editing software and call themselves a video production company. But the skills required to produce, direct, shoot and edit video, including full post production services like narration (voice over) and music, sweetening and sound effects, are not so easily acquired. Look carefully at demo reels and years of experience before hiring someone to produce your viral video.

As with most things, you do really tend to get what you pay for - the low bid rarely offers the best value or quality.

Before seeking bids on your next video production ask yourself these questions:

Do I need a broadcast quality video production? (If your use does not include airing on local, network, cable or satellite television the answer is no.)

Do I need HD (High Definition)? (If your use is only on your website or YouTube the answer again is likely no.)

Do I need professional voice over (narration) or on-camera hosting? (This is a quality and cost call you need to make.)

Do I need original music, no music or royalty free (library) music? (Again, this a quality and cost choice.)

So don't buy more video flash or expense than you need but do plan and source quality video production from an experienced video production service to avoid problems with quality and delivery of your program. And know before you start what it is you intend to accomplish with your video and where you intend to run the finished video production.

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