1. What type of videos does Mixed Bag Media make?
Mixed Bag Media specializes in short (1-3min), interview-based, documentary style storytelling for business, industry, higher education and non-profits, always with a goal in mind whether it is prompting the viewer to take action or simply become more knowledgeable about a complex subject.
Video is a great medium for making a human connection. A video has a personality, it can tell a compelling story, it can engage the viewer emotionally and make them care about something.
2. What do we need to think about for our video?
The three main questions you need to answer up front are:
- What’s your message?
- Who’s your audience?
- What’s your budget?
These three questions are the starting point for any good video production. The answers to these questions inform every aspect of the production, from what gets shot and who appears on camera to how the script is written and decisions about the editing and graphic styles.
What’s your message? Never start a video project without knowing what message you want the video to communicate. Make sure you know this at the outset. If you’re not sure, we can talk to you about the message. We love to collaborate.
Who’s your audience? Knowing your audience means you can speak to them in their language – literally, in the case of on-screen spokespeople or a scripted VoiceOver as well as visually in the choice of locations, images, and editing style and graphics styles. For instance, you communicate to college-age engineering students differently than manufacturing plant employees.
What’s your budget? Budget determines what approaches and techniques can be used, and which ones can’t. Many of our competitors offer one estimate and you can take it or leave it. We regularly work with clients to design a production for maximum impact using the available dollars. By knowing your message and your audience, that opens up avenues for creativity and different approaches that can all achieve successful results.
3. What is the production process?
There are three phases of production:
Pre-production is the planning phase – concepting, script writing, casting, location scouting, hiring the crew, scheduling the shoot. For instance, determining:
- Locations (both for interviews and b-roll)
- Target TRT (Total Run Time)
Production is the video shoot itself.
Post production is what you do with the footage once it’s “in the can” – editing, graphics, color correction, audio sweetening and music. This process includes two rounds of revisions. We assemble a first cut in relation to what our understanding of the video should be. That first cut gets sent to you and this is when story changes can occur, i.e. if a soundbite doesn’t play as well as you thought it did in person, now is the time to find something from another interview that is better. After we make those changes, we send a second revision and the goal of this is really just to check spelling of names, confirm music choices, make sure all graphics are formatted correctly and to make any last small tweaks before producing what will be considered a final for approval.
4. How do you charge?
- Half day (up to 5hrs.) and full day (up to 10hrs.) rates
- Once we know the scope of the project we figure out how much time, how many people, and what other resources will be needed for each phase of production and use that total to calculate costs using our rate card. For a copy of our rate card, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. How do you decide on a specific story to tell?
- We are storytellers
- There are always myriad possibilities for a narrative, never just one. The trick is to find the one that tells the essential story – the story you need to tell. This is sometimes different from the story you think it is – part of our job is collaborating with you to figure out the best way to present your message and tell your story.
6. How do we choose who should be on-camera?
- Who gets interviewed is a very important consideration. Can they tell their part of the story clearly and succinctly, and with presence and energy? Videos make a human connection. That means when it comes to the human subjects in the video, authenticity counts: onscreen facial expressions, body language and voice create a human connection with the viewer. It’s important that on-screen speakers be well spoken and clear – they’re the face of your company or organization.
- 3-4 interviews is typical for a 2:00 video
- Diversity of speakers is always important to consider
7. Do you write a script?
- During pre-production, we craft a log line; essentially a one sentence description of what this video should communicate. From there, we often create an outline of what topics ‘must’ be covered and figure out who should speak about which topic.
- By figuring out what needs to be communicated by who, we then create interview questions that we hope will result in the desired answers.
- If the production is mean to have a scripted VoiceOver, rather than interviews, yes, we can either write a script, have the client check it, offer changes, then proceed on to the production phase, or the client can write the first version of a script, then we consult and how to make it video friendly and work toward a final before actual production begins.
8. What is a typical schedule for a video project?
- 6-8 weeks
- Pre-production generally takes 2-3 weeks, video shoots usually are between 1-3 days and/or half-days, and then post-production is generally 3-4 weeks.
9. Can anything else be done with the video footage you shoot?
Yes! Video is a digital asset. Digital assets can be used in more than one way and many times over. You can use:
- short video clips can be taken from the main video and shared on social media
- if planned for beforehand, specific comments can be captured for use on social media or elsewhere that will Not be in the main video
- text from transcribed audio can be used in blog posts, industry articles, and social media
- audio from the main video, or other soundbites on other topics, can be easily shared for inclusion in podcast productions
- The “Iceberg effect” – In an effort to be as conversational as possible, most interviews we conduct last between 15-20min. That means a large quantity of the interview answers are often not used in the main video and therefore are available for use somewhere else.
10. Do you do remote recording/filming and is the quality good enough?
- Yes, we can conduct effective interviews via Zoom and other online methods
- It’s always preferable to shoot in person, but we have won awards for our remote productions. It’s absolutely a viable option if being with an intended subject in person is not possible.
- Directed smart phone filming is possible and can be quite good.
11. Do you travel for shoots?
- Yes, we have and yes, we can.
- We can also fly a Producer and/or Director to a specific location and hire a local crew to perform the technical aspects of the project.
12. Who are some of your clients?
Georgia Tech, Emory University, Printpack, Masterack, Adrenaline, Gladstone Institutes, ID Logistics, Thomco, Oro Loma Sanitary District, Manex.
13. Where are you located?
Our offices are in Decatur, GA (near Atlanta) & Concord, CA (near San Francisco).
14. Can you do both Video and Photography for the same project?
- Yes, we have and yes, we can.
- We added photography as a service in 2019 as a way to provide more and even better service to clients. Any video project takes a lot of scheduling and coordination, so while people are gathered who may not always be in that place, we love to shoot video and photography in order to capture the most usable content possible at one time.
15. What do I get when the project is over?
- Once a final cut is approved, we provide clients with internet-ready .mp4 video file that can be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, the company website, or any other number of online video platforms.
- As an added service, we also provide an .srt (closed captioning) that should be uploaded at the same time as the video.
- For an additional fee, we can also deliver all raw footage on a hard drive for client archival purposes. We keep all footage we shoot and projects we create, so this is purely by client preference, but is not needed.
16. What should I wear?
- shirts or ties with real thin pin stripes or small, repeating patterns of any sort
- solid white
- solid black
- solid fire engine red
- jangly jewelry (multiple bracelets, necklaces, charms that may make noise when hitting upon one another)
- solid colors
- pastel colors (blues of any sort, greens, pinks, yellows are all good)
- large/bold patterns
- suit/sport jackets
17. What is a shoot day like?
A shoot day can happen many different ways and in different locations, but most often, we come to one location, i.e. a college campus, a manufacturing facility, or an office building and move around to different environments there.
- Crew arrives, sets up
- Interview 1
- B-roll with Interview 1
- Change environments
- Interview 2
- B-roll w/interview 2
- Interview 3
- B-roll w/interview 3
- Crew packs up, departs
18. What is Smart Video?
Smart Video means knowing your audience, knowing the message and purpose of the video, knowing the possibilities. It mean that before the shoot you know what will be done with video, with photos, with audio, etc.
19. What role does Curiosity play in the creative process?
Curiosity is the key ingredient to exploring a subject and making an interesting video from it. One of our interview subjects, Dr. Linton Hopkins, an Emory Healthcare doctor still practicing in his 80s, said that curiosity was the key to a good life and a long career. We think that applies to video production as well.
Wikipedia says that curiosity “is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning.” It’s the main ingredient of our method and it’s the one thing we can’t do without.
20. Why do you call yourselves Translators?
We often work with specialists in highly technical fields and are able to present their stories in a way that can be understood by the layperson.