FAQ

Do you have any additional fees you tack on after the project is done?

No. SolidLine Media has a ‘Bottom Line’ pricing structure. Whatever budget we agree to in the production agreement is the budget you will spend. If there are any additions due to production scope changes we will discuss and approve those before they are incurred.

Can we use a teleprompter for testimonial responses?

We do not recommend using a teleprompter for anything other than direct to camera scripted videos. You may get the content exact but most people do not come across naturally when trying to read candid responses to questions from a teleprompter. It is better to be truly candid and real. Read more…

Can you provide video files for online use?

Absolutely. We encode on a Digital Rapids system and can provide any file type for any occasion, including online use. We have optimized YouTube and Vimeo settings as well. Read more about encoding here.

How long does ‘one production day’ mean?

A typical production day is 10 hours long.

Should we film indoors or outdoors?

Depending on the subject matter we like to have a variety of shots in our productions. If outdoor shooting is possible we need to take into consideration weather concerns as well as environment issues like loud sounds, or people that may be milling about in the background.

Why should we hire SolidLine Media?

That’s easy! Because we are awesome! While that certainly is true we do understand that filming a great fit is important in a production company. Take a look at our Why SolidLine page and learn about key SLM differentiators and why we are the right choice for you.

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 $5,000 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 Chicago and have relationships across the US with stages so we can always find the best location to film your production. We also have an in-house sound stage at our office downtown Chicago.

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

SolidLine 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.

Why do we need a professional hair and makeup artist?

If you are creating a narrative video with actors, or simply producing interview videos it is always a very smart idea to have a professional hair and make-up artist. This will ensure that everyone on the video is looking their best. Reducing shine on bald heads, getting rid of hair ‘flyaways,’ or just adding some color to brighten a face is all very important. Learn more on this important topic on our blog here.

What should I wear to my on camera interview?

Being prepared for your interview is very important. Check out this “What to Expect” PDF we created to help ease the preparation process.

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

Our typical crew consists 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 Coordinator. It depends on the project.

Do you freelance or outsource your creative staff?

SolidLine does not outsource any of our creative work. It is all completed by our in house full time crew. This is very unique in our industry as often other production companies will piecemeal teams together on a project by project basis. We believe that a consistent crew results in better videos. Our team works hard to learn and understand our client brands so they can design the most effective videos and graphics possible. This is very beneficial as we work on multiple projects for most of our clients throughout the year.

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

SolidLine prides itself 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.

Do you charge extra for travel?

SolidLine Media does not charge extra for travel anywhere in the continental US. This is a very unique program at SolidLine and something that enables our crew to work and establish great relationships with clients across the country. Currently SolidLine has clients in 34 states and 5 countries.

Why should I hire a professional narrator?

A professional narrator is essential to making your video production successful. Many people do not think about the fact that the audio is just as important as the video, but it is. Stick with a professional narrator. It adds $800 or so to the average production budget, but you will not regret this decision. Read more…

Is it true that videos cost about $1,000 per minute?

Unfortunately this video equation is way out of date. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s this was a fair estimate for corporate video work because video production was mainly just filming and editing with minimal graphics. But today with the advent of computer editing and special effects as well as motion graphics and 3d animation, the $1,000 per minute is no longer accurate. For instance, a 2-minute promotional video could cost $10,000, or could cost $25,000 or more depending on how complex the concept. Read more…

What is the difference between Motion Graphics and 3d Animation?

Motion Graphics and 3D Animation all blend together, but they are different. We use a ton of 3D animation as part of our motion graphics abilities, all rolled together. Generally speaking, motion graphics describes text / color / shapes and logos in an animation environment, typically combined with a video project. Through the use of animation techniques such as transitions, rotations, scales, and opacity, a great deal of information can be presented to a viewer in a successful and more enjoyable manner. What sets motion graphics apart from 3D animation is that a lot of animation work for a project can be completed in a reasonable amount of time within a smaller budget. 3D animation, although very much the same, is considered much more flashy and impressive. Much more planning and consideration needs to go into 3D animation projects, especially when character animation is involved. Just like motion graphics, there is a lot of crossover gray area, where 3D animation is used to show off a product or logo. But character animation is really where 3D stands apart from 2D / motion graphics. Popularized by DisneyPixar in the last 20 years, having a cute character selling your product is something that people strive for. 3D animation is very time consuming and expensive, but stands out from the crowd.

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. Read more…

What are the necessary steps to make a video?

It is critical that you have structure when making any high quality video production. SolidLine has a proven production process to make any video come to life. Check out our Production Process Outline here.

If I want to make a change after I approve something will there be additional costs?

Yes, changes that are requested after the included revisions will incur additional expense. We will always discuss those costs with you beforehand as to ensure it is approved to make the change.

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

SolidLine has 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 about our process here.

How much does it cost to make a video?

Production costs vary based on a variety of factors (final length, days of shooting needed, motion graphics and 3d animation needs, editing time, narration, music, etc). The average SolidLine Media production starts at $10,000 and goes up based on the services needed. For instance, if you were producing a promotional video with 3 days of filming, motion graphics and a narrator you would be looking at around $25,000 for the production. Read more…

How long does it take to make a video?

A typical 2-minute Brand Film typically takes 6-8 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, and can go up to 8 weeks and longer to complete based on how complex the production. For instance, longer training videos will take longer due to the length of the final product. Read more…