Commissioning Guidelines

A few items to bear in mind as you think about commissioning a film.

Who is your target audience?

Who are the people you want to speak to? How old are they? Are they predominantly one sex or a balance?  Are they a sophisticated audience or do you need to keep the message simple? Would they appreciate humour or not?  For example, although your film may be about young people, your target audience may be commissioners or funders, which will require a different tone.

Really, who is your target audience?

Sorry to labour a point, but it understanding your audience makes a real difference to the film we develop.

Where do you want to reach your target audience?

What media do your target audience like to watch, TV, cinema, web, smart phones, social media? Therefore how do you want to reach them?

What do you want to say to this audience?

What are the key messages or information you want tell this audience? Keep it simple - video is very good at broad brushstrokes and imparting a feeling, but is not good for communicating a lot of hard information or data. Keep it visual - talking heads can become dull very quickly, a picture can speak a thousand words.

How long do you want the film to be?

Really that long! Shorter is better. How long do you think you could stay watching your video? Have you ever stopped watching or skipped a video on Youtube, for example, because it is too long? As a rough guide, video for the web needs to be short and snappy, and even DVD's need to be to the point or they won't get watched.

What is your budget?

Very broadly you get what you pay for. We endeavour to be creative and give you the maximum production value for your money, however, there is a limit to what you can get for a certain budget level. If you have £300 and have ideas for £6,000 film then something has to give. Is your budget sufficient to realise your idea in its current form?

Who will you need to make this film happen?

Are there any people or events you need to feature, and are there any restraints on their time or availability?

When do you want the film finished by?

A more complicated film will take more time to develop shoot and edit. Even simple films can take time to get right. Is there time contingency in your schedule? Is there sufficient time to realise your project and reach hit your finishing deadline? Are there any events or access issues that may delay the production?