We kick off every project with a round of discovery. It’s our chance to ask and listen and really begin to learn what your story, audience, goals, and challenges are. This phase includes conversations, research into your brand, your market, your products, your people. Through this research we find and ask for inspirational material that may influence the overall concept of the video. These can be links to existing commercials, videos, films. It can even be books, magazine ads. Anything that will inform the style and tone of the piece. This is also the time for us to evaluate what your competition is doing, to make sure that we differentiate your brand from theirs.
Armed with a strong sense of your brand, audience, and goals we then begin to develop concepts that we feel would best tell your story. We will write 1-3 written treatments that loosely define our story and stylistic approach. We often accompany these treatments with relevant links to help see the idea more concretely. These treatments serve as conversation starters to really narrow in on the concept that will guide us through the rest of the process.
Whether you have a half million dollar budget or 25K, we work closely with you to ensure that we give you the best results for your money. Essential to every creative kick-off is the question – where will you see the money on screen? For the biggest production value, we’ll scale the scope to work within your budget needs.
Once we have our concept defined, we move into scriptwriting. We work closely with the client to develop a messaging outline that provides structure for a script. As we write, we bring in all that we’ve learned about the brand, the story, and the tone defined by the concept. This is where we bring the inspiration, or the humor, or the emotion that helps to connect the story to your unique audience. The format can range from voice over to dialogue to written graphics titles. All of these components serve to deliver your messaging in a style and tone that makes audiences take notice.
Style and story boarding can happen in parallel with the scriptwriting. The approved concept sends us down a path of visual discovery where we develop a look for your video. We make and find imagery that matches the style that we will capture in production. We also design any graphics and effects that bring the concept to life.
We cast for all types of productions. Whether it’s real people for a documentary / testimonial piece or comedic actors or models to bring a particular look we know how to find the right people for the video. Our staff has many years of directing and production experience to make sure that the talent in a show will make it the best it can be.
We’re so lucky to be in the Bay Area, which has some of the most amazing locations on earth. We’ve also be incredibly fortunate to have shot in many of those locations. We know how important the backdrop of a film is to bring style, realism, emotion and we go to great lengths to secure them on a budget.
Once we have gone through the pre-production discovery phase and have a clear creative path, it’s time to begin production. This is where all of our pre-production efforts pay off. The script is written, we’ve casted the best actors, hired a talented production crew, the locations have been selected, and the storyboards are laid out. Production is where we execute on a well thought out creative plan.
Whether it’s a documentary approach or a production with a large cast of actors interacting with on-screen motion graphic elements, we have the experience. Our roster of directors have produced everything from national spots to intimate customer stories.
For animated pieces and stories that rely heavily on motion graphics and visual effects, our Creative Director Aaron Barry will be there to guide your project through all stages of the production. Our team of producers will ensure that the product, and your experience through the process, will be a success.
In addition to having some of the most talented creative minds and craftspeople in the business, Studio B Films also has all of the resources under one roof. We are the proud owners of a variety of digital cinema camera packages, lighting equipment, sound gear and production vans. This provides us the flexibility to create stunning, cinematic results on time and on budget.
Some say that this is where the story really comes together. Even if you’ve shot to a well-planned set of storyboards or gotten the exact answers to interview questions you wanted, things often change and get better in the edit suite. Beyond story, this is where the pace and the tone are often defined for the final show. It’s an exciting phase that leads to many creative opportunities around music, style, structure, composition, etc. It’s where you start to feel what the audience will feel. Since our projects range from feature docs to comedy spots we work with the best editors to capture the story, pace, and tone of each piece. Our facilities consist of a fiber-connected SAN with support IT staff to allow for several HD/4K projects to run at once. We have established solid post workflows using every camera format out there to ensure that our projects are delivered on time and on budget.
Music is HUGE. It can be the anchor to a piece that drives the pace and emotion. Choosing great music can make or break a video. There are many routes to pairing a fantastic tune to your show: needle-drop, composing, paying known artists. We guide you through the options that best fit your budget to give you the best bang for your video buck. There are countless music libraries that offer decent tracks that can accompany your video for a reasonable price. We’ve also worked with some amazing composers who can cater a track to fit perfectly with your visuals — this is a wonderful option that will cost more but is often well worth it. If budget allows, bringing a known popular song can give it more punch than anything else. It’s the most expensive option and, again, is worth it if you can manage it.
Motion Graphics & Animation
Once we have a rough edit, that is when the motion graphics and animating phase usually begins. Because motion graphics and animation are costly to produce, it’s best to have the overall edit defined as much as possible. When we are compositing graphics into live-action footage, we ask for a cut to be nearly final before we begin the process of incorporating graphics. We can always develop assets and even animated separately from the cut and then composite as one of the last steps to be sure the scene will not be changed or removed. It is during this graphics phase that we begin to really hone the style and look of the video.
Color correction is a sometimes overlooked craft but it can often make the difference between a nice looking video and a stunning final product. There are two main goals in color correction: normalizing the look and stylizing. Normalizing (or primary color correction) is the process of matching shots with each other in both color balance and contrast. Since things are often shot at different times, different locations, and sometimes with different cameras the footage can be noticeably varied. This brings all of the clips in-line with each other visually. The stylizing phase (or secondary color correction) is where you get to make creative choices based on how you want your audience to feel. This phase works scene by scene as well as across the entire show. By playing with color, contrast, blur, and vignettes you can help evoke reactions in your audience to each scene. Color correction can also be an opportunity to “brand” your video so that it works visually with your other marketing materials.
Some say sound is even more important than picture. If you have gorgeous picture but the sound is poor then it drops the perception of quality by a huge percentage. Whether it’s just getting a professional mix done or intricate sound design, this is an area not to be taken for granted. From cancelling the room noise in a shot to the most subtle design elements, good audio will also help make your message more memorable and meaningful. This is one of the final touches to a video that, along with color correction, is part of the “finishing” phase.
Social Media Distribution
When your final product is delivered, Studio B will be there to help you navigate the deep waters of online distribution. Whether your video is going directly on your website, or being released at a specific event, making sure it creates a splash in social media is an important part of today’s production world. Our social media specialist can be there to make sure your story is consistently told to the audience who matters most to you. No matter what level your social media expertise may be, Studio B Films will be there to support and advise.
Online Marketing Strategy
Don’t know where to start when it comes to Social Media? We can assess your needs based on your current online presence and branding, point out opportunities you may have missed, and outline specific long term actions for social media success. We can even help create a new online presence that is totally unique to the story you want to tell.
When you come to us for a video, we always keep the final audience for your story in mind. Whether your final video is going on Facebook, will be spread through your Twitter followers, be a news item for your industry’s blogs, or will be a mainstay on your Vimeo or Youtube Channel, Studio B will be there to make sure your story is consistent and interesting. We’ll work with you to hold onto the integrity of your message, and hopefully open up profitable conversation between you and the world of social media.
The ideal platform for your online distribution will change depending on the length and content of your video, and your own branding strategies. Videos on Facebook and Twitter will reach a different audience than those on LinkedIn or Google+. When you put your video out into the world, we’ll help you keep in mind the social networks that work the best for your story, and provide recommendations for the type of tracking tools and management services that will help you see how far your reach goes.
Building A Conversation
Our social media specialist want to help you build a conversation with your audience. We’ll point you towards the niche corners of the internet where people are talking about you. Navigating social media is just that, a social experience, and your video will be a good conversation starter. Studio B will be there to make sure there aren’t any lulls in that conversation.