DRAGONFLY’S GUIDE
Commissioning Guide

Use the index below to find out more about digital video production.

2020

Commissioning Guide 1

MAKING SENSE OF
our video production services

Use the index below to find out more about digital video production.

01

Why choose
video?

Proven power to persuade: It is also proven that out of the five senses, sight and sound account for 85% of the information we take in. This shows just how much power and potential video content has. Film and TV are so dominant in our culture; largely because of video’s power to persuade. There is nothing more prestigious and respected than a quality video. The right kind of production can glamorise and increase interest in even the most ordinary of subjects.

renewable energy animation

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OUR ANIMATED VIDEOS

Demonstrations made interesting:

Running video displays is an effective method to increase the interest in your exhibition stand. Rather than pay for a person to train staff or sell a product globally you can send a video that is equally effective and more affordable. Every time you develop new strategies, these can be communicated with a video streamed from your website.

Unlimited potential:

The possibilities of video are endless and well produced video can have an impact on the way we see the world. Video can help to create an impression, influence a mood, make an impact and show life in a way that helps a viewer gain a fresh understanding.

02

Guide No.
TWO

Your Objectives

CHARITY GUIDE 02

Guide No.
TWO

Commissioning Guide 2
Setting your
objectives
Setting your
objectives
Now that you have decided that video can be useful for your business, 
how do you go about commissioning one? Contacting a production company 
will result in discussions about the treatment and production standards 
required to put your ideas in front of an audience. At this point you may 
find it helpful to invite ideas from credible production companies. Asking 
the best production company to brainstorm and develop ideas tends to be the 
usual route taken by those from an advertising or design-centred background. 
This can help you to achieve a video which is creative, startling and 
tailor-made to target your audience effectively. In any of these cases, you 
need to best establish the best company to produce excellent standards of work 
on your behalf. To make best use of the skills and abilities that you are paying 
for, you’ll want to brief your production company comprehensively and take on 
board their expertise and advice.

dragonfly purple
THE PRODUCTION

Process

Pre-Production – includes scriptwriting and storyboarding. The budget will also be agreed at this stage between the Production Company & the client.

The Shoot – includes location filming with a camera crew and director. This may also include other elements, such as actors and presenters.

Post-Production and Video Editing – the filmed footage is edited together. This may include recording a voice-over, adding graphics, composing a music score or soundtrack, and including animation sequences with the finished video.

Duplication and Delivery – copying the video as DVD or converting to any digital format (such as QuickTime) streaming over the web or encoding for use on mobile devices, plus cover design, packaging and distribution.

WHICH PRODUCTION COMPANY?

How to choose:

Make comparisons
Having a selection of quotes and proposals to choose from will give you more information about the film production industry, and this will better prepare you for making a decision.

Style and substance
Try to find production companies with examples of previous work that are similar to the video you want. If they’ve done it once, they can do it again. Remember to take note of each company’s style and communication. Stylish companies tend to produce stylish videos. And if a production company struggles to communicate with you, how can they hope to communicate with your audience?

Thoroughly briefed
Once you invite a few production companies to present their ideas, you should give each of them a full brief and be prepared to answer questions. Involve the people you may employ to promote your business and show them what you do. The more they know the more likely they are to have ‘Big Ideas’. Big Ideas can make an impact and engage your viewers.

Commissioning Guide 3
Commissioning Guide 4

GUIDE 04

Guide No. THREE

Preparing a 
brief
Preparing a
brief
A brief should tell the production company what your 
video is for and the kind of production you would like. 
The brief needs to contain:

- what you want to achieve
- who you will want to see it
- how you will portray the theme
- the timescale and deadlines

Corporate video briefs tend to be circulated within an 
organisation before the production is approved. This allows 
all interested parties to agree that every important point 
is covered. The more detailed the brief is the more 
cost-effective the project will be as the production company 
will have a clear guide to what you want and how it should 
be delivered.
04
05

Question No.
FIVE

The Proposal

GUIDE No. 05

Guide No.
FOUR

The video
proposal
You can expect the production company to come back to you 
with a full proposal for your video production. This should 
contain:

- A full explanation of the creative ideas, probably in the 
form of an outline
- A detailed breakdown of the budget
- A schedule of the production according to your deadlines
- Examples of work of a similar style and quality to what you 
want to buy, and produced by the same team that will be working 
on your project (many large production companies subcontract extensively)
- A face-to-face meeting with the producer, not just the salesman.

Don’t be tempted to take one production company’s idea and then ask 
someone else to make it. As well as breaching copyright, the video will 
never be as effective. Trust whoever has the best idea to make the film 
they propose.
Commissioning Guide 5
Commissioning Guide 5
The video
proposal
You can expect the production company to come back to you 
with a full proposal for your video production. This should 
contain: 
- A full explanation of the creative ideas, probably in the 
form of an outline 
- A detailed breakdown of the budget 
- A schedule of the production according to your deadlines 
- Examples of work of a similar style and quality to what 
you want to buy, and produced by the same team that will 
be working on your project (many large production companies 
subcontract extensively) 
- A face-to-face meeting with the producer, not just the 
salesman. 

Don’t be tempted to take one production company’s idea and 
then ask someone else to make it. As well as breaching 
copyright, the video will never be as effective. Trust 
whoever has the best idea to make the film they propose.

GUIDE 07

Guide No. SIX

The first meeting: What to expect
The first meeting: 
What to expect
Agreeing a production schedule and the video content in the 
initial meeting helps to ensure the future stages go smoothly. 

Ask the producers for a worded proposal of the type of video 
they would recommend, including the content, style and price. 
In this initial meeting your own team and the producer and 
scriptwriter from your chosen production company sit down 
and agree a plan of action. It always pays to involve your 
own users or internal customers in these discussions. 

By the end of this meeting you should have agreed:

- a detailed schedule for the production
- the key points for the script
- where, when and how the scriptwriter will find 
information within your organisation

Agreeing a production schedule and the video content in the 
initial meeting helps to ensure the future stages go smoothly. 
Ask the producers for a worded proposal of the type of video 
they would recommend, including the content, style and price. 
In this initial meeting your own team and the producer and 
scriptwriter from your chosen production company sit down and 
agree a plan of action. It always pays to involve your own users 
or internal customers in these discussions. 

By the end of this meeting you should have agreed:
 
- a detailed schedule for the production 
- the key points for the script 
- where, when and how the scriptwriter will find 
information within your organisation
06
07

Guide No.
SEVEN

Live Action

GUIDE 07

Guide No.
SEVEN

The cost? 
Everybody always wants to get value for money, but you don’t 
want to compromise production values. Suppliers can vary 
enormously from companies that offer advert broadcast-quality 
material through to wobbly wedding videos. 

There should always be in the final mark up a little capital 
allowance should things not entirely go to plan. Ask your 
producer for a fixed quote. A reputable corporate film 
producer will agree to fix a price based on an agreed scope. 
Only if the scope changes will the price change, and not 
without prior agreement.


VIDEO PRODUCTION COSTS
Commissioning Guide 7
Commissioning Guide 7
The Cost? 
The
Cost?
Everybody always wants to get value for money, but 
you don’t want to compromise production values. 
Suppliers can vary enormously from companies that offer 
advert broadcast-quality material through to wobbly 
wedding videos.
There should always be in the final mark up a little 
capital allowance should things not entirely go to plan. 
Ask your producer for a fixed quote. A reputable corporate 
film producer will agree to fix a price based on an agreed 
scope. Only if the scope changes will the price change, 
and not without prior agreement.

VIDEO PRODUCTION COSTS

GUIDE 08

Guide No. EIGHT

Breaking down the 
costs of a video 
Breaking down the
costs of a video
The main factor that determines the quality of your film is the 
experience of the crew and the quality of the equipment. Equipment 
costs are usually incorporated in the costs of the camera crew or 
editors that use the equipment. Camera equipment and editing suites 
(or studio hire) is usually hired at a day rate, even if it’s 
required for only a few hours. Music is another area to take account 
of. Many video producers use agencies to source music; music libraries 
sell copyright-free material, although it may be less ideally suited 
to your production, and therefore a little weak. 

 Voiceovers and actors again come through agencies that have dealt with 
auditioning and provide a list of possible candidates who suit your job. 
The bigger your budget, the more you can spend on music, talent, location, 
design, graphics and animation. Of course, it is obvious that a video with 
better music, talent, locations, design and animation stands a better 
chance of being effective, so unless your budget is huge you will need to 
be creative. A more expensive production can be slicker and have more impact, 
so it is worth considering carefully how much you can spend. At the same time, 
a tight budget does not mean a bad video. It just means everyone will have to 
be more creative.
08
09

Guide No.
NINE

Scriptwriting

GUIDE 9

Guide No.
NINE

Commissioning Guide 2
The Script
The
Script
When the project starts there should be a script and some 
initial research to back it up. The script tells the story 
and ties the scenes together. Usually the script is mostly 
words – such as voiceover narration, a presenter, and dialogue
for any actors – with only a sketchy idea of the visual content. 
You should run through the script provided by the producer to 
gauge that no resource is being expended on unnecessary areas or 
discussion in the video. While it is wise to run the script past 
all the relevant people in your organisation, be careful that too 
many voices don’t dilute the final script. If there are any legal 
concerns these should be addressed with your solicitor at 
this stage.

GUIDE 10

Guide No. TEN

The
format
The
format
Dragonfly only shoot in high-definition (HD) format. 
It is easy to transfer HD footage to standard quality but 
it’s impossible to turn standard footage into HD, so it 
makes sense to record everything in the best possible 
quality, regardless of how the video will eventually 
be used.

What's more, we can deliver your final files in any format you
require - some social media platforms require shorter edits, or
difference aspect ratios. Whatever you need - just ask one of our
producers.
10
11

Guide No.
ELEVEN

Filming Days

GUIDE No. 11

Guide No.
ELEVEN

The
Shoot
- Anything required of you will have been clearly defined. 
You may also need to be available to answer questions that may
arise during filming.

- A good producer will continue to think about your video’s 
objectives as it develops, and more questions are likely to 
arise as the video comes to life. When questions arise during 
filming it is important that decisions are made promptly as 
an expensive film crew can be left idle. 

- Poor communication can extend the duration of a corporate 
production and rapidly increase the cost. High-end corporate 
video production takes time and energy. There is always the 
possibility that the shoot may inconvenience and those in 
the workplace. 

- Sometimes the camera can simply observe work in progress 
with minimal disruption, but sometimes a certain amount of 
direction may need to be given. It is worth considering the 
impact a film crew will have on staff or locations. Filming 
can be scheduled for less busy periods, when the crew’s 
presence will be more welcome.

- The production will benefit greatly from a friendly and 
helpful workforce, as their full cooperation will be needed. 
Access to interviewees and sensitive areas should be agreed 
in advance to ensure no surprises on the day of the video 
shoot. Read more about our location filming service here.
Commissioning Guide 5
Commissioning Guide 5
The video
proposal
- Anything required of you will have been clearly defined. 
You may also need to be available to answer questions that 
may arise during filming. 

- A good producer will continue to think about your video’s 
objectives as it develops, and more questions are likely to 
arise as the video comes to life. When questions arise during 
filming it is important that decisions are made promptly as 
an expensive film crew can be left idle. 

- Poor communication can extend the duration of a corporate 
production and rapidly increase the cost. High-end corporate 
video production takes time and energy. There is always the 
possibility that the shoot may inconvenience and those in 
the workplace. 

- Sometimes the camera can simply observe work in progress 
with minimal disruption, but sometimes a certain amount of 
direction may need to be given. It is worth considering the 
impact a film crew will have on staff or locations. 
Filming can be scheduled for less busy periods, when the 
crew’s presence will be more welcome. 

- The production will benefit greatly from a friendly and 
helpful workforce, as their full cooperation will be needed. 
Access to interviewees and sensitive areas should be agreed 
in advance to ensure no surprises on the day of the video shoot. Read more about our location filming service here.

GUIDE 12

Guide No. TWELVE

Lights, camera - 
rather slow action
Lights, camera- 
rather slow action
It takes up to an hour to move a video crew from one location 
to another, even within the same building. Time is needed to 
dismantle, shift, set up and relight at the new location. 
You want your crew to spend more time filming and less time 
travelling, so more footage will be available at the editing 
stage. 

It’s important that locations are prepared for filming. 
Either you or the production company will need to liaise 
with the manager or owner of each location, so that they 
are clean, tidy and safe, that all the processes are working, 
staff or cast are appropriately dressed, and there are no 
distractions like a scheduled fire drill.

It takes up to an hour to move a video crew from one 
location to another, even within the same building. 
Time is needed to dismantle, shift, set up and relight 
at the new location. You want your crew to spend more 
time filming and less time travelling, so more footage 
will be available at the editing stage. 

It’s important that locations are prepared for filming. 
Either you or the production company will need to liaise 
with the manager or owner of each location, so that they 
are clean, tidy and safe, that all the processes are 
working, staff or cast are appropriately dressed, and 
there are no distractions like a scheduled fire drill.

12

Our Animation
Services

Computer animation is now used extensively in corporate video, often to show something which it is not possible to capture with the video camera. Animation can show:

avatar

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OUR ANIMATED VIDEOS

– the inner workings of a machine or process
– physical events which are invisible, such as microwaves, germs or particles
– a building which has yet to be built
– a product which has yet to be made
something which is too small, too distant or too dangerous to film

An animated logo can make your corporate image stand out and add to the production value of your video. Animation can also bring refreshing variety to the production, enhancing the viewing experience. Read more about our animation production service here.

14

Guide No.
FOURTEEN

The Sound

GUIDE 14

Guide No.
FOURTEEN

Voiceovers 
Voiceover narration can be done on location by the presenter. 
More often it is recorded by a professional voiceover artist 
in a recording studio. It is a good idea to record the 
voiceover only when the script is finally approved, to save 
the cost of re-recording. 

It is also a good idea to think carefully about the voice you 
choose. Is it compatible with the message and audience you are 
trying to reach? Dragonfly Productions now have a section of 
their website dedicated to helping cleints choose voiceover 
artists for their project.

Commissioning Guide 13
Commissioning Guide 7
Voiceovers 
Voice
overs
Voiceover narration can be done on location by the presenter. 
More often it is recorded by a professional voiceover artist 
in a recording studio. It is a good idea to record the voiceover 
only when the script is finally approved, to save the cost of 
re-recording. 

It is also a good idea to think carefully about the voice you 
choose. Is it compatible with the message and audience you are 
trying to reach? Dragonfly Productions now have a section of 
their website dedicated to helping cleints choose voiceover 
artists for their project.

GUIDE 15

Guide No. FIFTEEN

Existing images
and footage 
Existing images
and footage
Any existing still image, video or film footage will be 
someone’s intellectual property. In some situations, a 
particular production company may have been chosen because 
their own in-house library of footage is precisely what you 
need. Some producers offer their stock footage at a very 
low cost. 

For example, Dragonfly Productions has an extensive library 
of classic London footage. What about your own footage? Who 
owns the licence? The answer lies in the contract that was 
signed with the original producer. You may find that your 
company is only “licensed” to use the video and not the raw 
footage, even though you provided the facilities and paid 
for a production which would not have been made otherwise.
15
16

Guide No.
SIXTEEN

A Final Note

CHARITY GUIDE 16

Guide No.
SIXTEEN

The rough and 
final cut
The rough and
final cut
It is best and most efficient to observe and edit periodically 
during the production process. The producer should run through 
a couple of rough cuts from the placing together of the raw 
footage to the final polished video. At the rough cut viewing 
you can suggest amendments, though again if all has gone to plan, 
none of these amends will be significant. When viewing it should 
be remembered that the video may not be the same thing that was on 
the original script. 

Often the initial plan changes because what worked well on paper 
does not work well on film. If there are difficulties these can 
usually be put right as long as there is good dialogue and co-operation 
between you and your producer. Never feel as though the edit is 
finalised and it is too late to mention your doubts. It is never 
too late to mention concerns you have. Once you have agreed any 
changes, a final cut will take place, incorporating your suggestions. 
The final cut leaves you with the finished film. You should expect to 
pay extra if you ask for changes after this, unless the producer has 
made an error. Read more about our post production services here.
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