18th March 2020 SA STUDIOS NYC

17 Questions to ask your production company

As producers of commercials, corporate videos, and branded content, we get asked a lot of the same questions.

As we are production company producers of commercials, corporate videos, and branded content, we get asked a lot of the same questions. Here are some of the most popular ones:

What is the best method to communicate the vision for the video we need?

Great question! Generally, a phone conversation and a written outline of your vision, are typically the best ways to communicate your ideas.

I didn’t see a video like the one I’m thinking of. Can you still help me?

We have an extremely talented team of artists who love nothing more than trying new things. The videos in our work section are just glimpses of what we’ve done in the past, not the boundaries of what we can do in the future! We’re confident that we can fill your production needs, even if your concept is completely outside the box.

Do you travel?

Yes. We will go anywhere in the world

I need a video. How much does it cost?

The short answer? It depends. Think about it like this: if you ask an architect how much a building costs to construct, he won’t be able to answer you until he has a little more information – How many stories is it going to be? What kind of rooms are you going to need? Where do you want to build? Pricing a video production company works the same way. We need to know the ins and outs of your project in order to make sure we approach it in the most strategic way possible. We want your production to match your needs – even if it means a smaller project with a lower budget. Our team will work with you to figure out the best solution for your business at a reasonable price. Or give us a call to get started on a quote for your project.

Why should I tell you my budget? Aren’t you just going to spend it all?

Your budget is your budget for a reason, right? If you tell a car dealer that you want to spend ten-thousand dollars, he’s not going to show you a new Porsche. We aren’t trying to fleece you, in fact, we’ll happily show you a range of pricing options that fit your needs; it may be that the most expensive option full of crazy 3D animations and layer after layer of sound design isn’t the best way to reach your goals. Still, we know that our team can do some really cool things to make your video stand out, and we want you to see that potential too. At the end of the day, we want to make sure you get every dollar of value out of your production, so when you give us an idea of what your budget is, we can give you a finished product that’s worth every penny.

Where can I find a production company who specializes in my industry?

You don’t need a production company that specializes in your industry, you need one that specializes in great video production! We come up with creative solutions for a living, so why work with a partner who is going to make your video look just like your competitors’? Over the last 10 years, we’ve developed hundreds of concepts for companies across the globe in a staggering variety of markets. We always look forward to learning new industries and coming up with the perfect solution for every client.

Will there be any additional costs with my video production that are not on the original quote?

We pride ourselves on our ‘Bottom Line’ pricing structure. We do not want our clients to have any surprises or unexpected costs. So what we bid is what you pay in the end. The only caveat to this is if there is a scope change in the project during production. But if any added costs come up we will always get them approved before they are incurred by the production.

Will you help us develop content for our commercial?

We offer directional services and will assist in storyboarding, scripting, and any pre-production needs you have. Content development is a strong suite of ours.

Do I own the rights to my video?

Yes you do; it’s all yours! We retain the right to publicly share your video for our portfolio unless you note otherwise.

How many people will be on the film crew when they arrive at our location?

It depends on the project and the complexity. It can be just one videographer or our typical crew consisting of 4-5 people: a Producer/Director, Director of Photography, Sound Technician, and a Production Assistant. Sometimes we will have additional production personnel such as a Gaffer or production company Coordinator.

How do your rates compare to video production firms in New York City?

We are by far one of the most competitive pricing production companies in town. We try to maximize any budget and do more with less.

I saw a video on YouTube that I really liked. Can you do something like that?

Sure we can, but we’d like to make you something even better! You want to stand out from the crowded multimedia circus, not build your video to look just like someone else’s. We’re going to tailor your project to fit your specific needs, and that means approaching it with an open mind. Still, if you love something, you love it! That’s just one more source of inspiration for us to draw on in order to make your production everyone’s new favorite video.

How many revisions do I get to make on my video production once I see the first cut?

We have a very structured approval process. You have 2 opportunities to make comments and changes on the finished video, we call it the Rough-Cut and the Final-Cut stages. You can learn more in our production process section.

How long does it take to make a video?

We have worked on some truly insane production timelines and delivered amazing results but we don’t recommend it. For a commercial or web video we recommend awarding the job at least three weeks before shoot day. A typical 2-minute Brand Film typically takes 3-4 weeks from concept to delivery. But the production time for high quality video production does vary based on what we are producing. Most productions need a minimum of 3 weeks to complete, based on how complex the production. For instance, longer training videos will take longer due to the length of the final product.

I need video footage without editing…?

Yes. We can shoot video and hand over the unedited digital files to you, we do it all the time!

Should I use internal employees or hire professional actors in my video?

Using internal versus professional actors for talent all depends upon what kind of video you are producing. If it is a testimonial video about the company then real people is always better. But if you are producing a production with a host or needing to re-create narrative scenes then stick to professional actors. The end result is well worth the investment. If you just need extras for the background of scenes then employees are ok to use, as long as they sign a waiver.

We don’t have a location to film. Can you find us a location? How much does that cost?

Absolutely. Our Production Coordinator and Producer will work together to source the best location for filming. We work with film offices and location scouts when we need to find something very specific. Some locations like a home location can be secured for minimal budget, maybe only a few hundred dollars, but larger more challenging locations like a hospital ER may cost more for the day.

Can we film at our office? Or should we use a soundstage?

Depending on the project we can absolutely film at your office. If we are featuring your company or product then filming at your office or manufacturing facility is important. But if we need a more controlled environment for interviews or to build sets and create narrative scenes then a soundstage is usually the best bet. We work with several different stages in New York City and have relationships across the US with stages so we can always find the best location to film your production.

Do you provide scriptwriting, or do we have to write the script?

SA Studios NYC, provides full scriptwriting and creative development services – just like the big agencies. We will learn about your business through production meetings, phone calls, and our creative brief. We do ask that our clients be prepared to provide us with as much content and information as possible so we can best learn about your business and what is driving you to produce this video production.

I have footage that needs editing…?

Yes. We can edit your existing video footage. Reach out and we can get you a quote.

If we haven’t answered your question here. Please get in touch and we’ll get back to you right away.
Send us a message here.


We would love to hear from you and learn more about your project. For more information about any of our services, please give us a call or use our contact form to get the conversation started.