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Just some general questions out of pure curiosity

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Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Nov 22, 2007 at 3:53:45 pm

I was browsing the Creative Cow forums when I stumbled upon to this corporate video one and I'd just like to get a quick overview out of pure interest of this industry:

1) What exactly is corporate video? Do commercials fall under this category or are corporate videos longer promotional clips or just something to show the employees for whatever reason?

2) In-house corporate video- seeing from these forums, it seems that not all corporate video is outsourced to video production firms but rather is done in house. How big are these in-house units (as in the number of people) and do only really big internationally recognizable companies have these or smaller ones as well?

3) What are the budgets like in corporate video? Of course this can be wall to wall but what about the higher end stuff? Obviously nothing Hollywood style but what is the general ballpark?

Thank you for your answers, I hope they shine a little light on this world for me.

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Bob O'Hearn
Re: Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Nov 22, 2007 at 4:50:16 pm

Hi, I too just found this forum and was excited to see some attention paid to something I have been doing for the last five years single handedly in a large pharmaceutical company. I was a sales rep for 13 years when I got interested in digital video and started incorporating DV as a sales tool for my customers by creating product specific patient education videos. I was soon creating web sites for the same reason. Pretty soon my services were being sought by other reps across the country and word soon spread to the higher-ups. I am now director of multimedia marketing (although I have no one reporting to me). My responsibilities include creating content for Digital Signage across our site, all communications going to sales reps, manufacturing, international groups and customers using streaming video or dvd.I have a studio where the majority of what I do is chroma key and insert interactive backgrounds and powerpoint presentations. I sit in on all the sales and marketing strategy sessions as well as executive committee meetings. One of the stranger things about my position is that I usually end reporting to people that have no clue about what I do or how I do it. They think its magic so I leave it at that. I will be retiring soon and can't wait to create my own stand alone business using my sales and marketing experience and love of multimedia. As far as budget goes, I have state of the art equipment and have access to all the education I can squeeze in to my hectic schedule.

Sorry about all the wind but I live in a state of perpetual excitement having a great job and witnessing the leaps in technology that makes the world smaller and the opportunities larger.

Good Luck


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Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Nov 23, 2007 at 10:15:42 am


Yes, "corporate video" typically includes things like training films, marketing videos, trade show videos, and the like. It does not typically include broadcast commercials.

Again, yes, some corporate video is done in house. You will find companies that outsource everything... and some that do everything in house... and some that tackle smaller things in house but outsource the more ambitious stuff that they can't handle internally. Typically an "in house" production department is only going to be a small handful of people at best (sometimes just one guy), because most corporations don't have production needs that warrant a bigger department than that. Not always though... in the past here in our city one big Fortune 100 company that is headquartered here had a production department that probably employed 25 people... and probably had a $20 million dollar facility. Then a few years ago the company decided it was a huge unnecessary expense and shut the thing down, firing everyone and selling off the equipment for pennies on the dollar. What was their very nice soundstage is now the biggest nicest silently-climate-controlled soundproof floor-isolated warehouse you ever saw. They now outsource everything (and are one of our clients).

As for budgets, the sky can be the limit. Typically budgets probably range from a few thousand bucks on to way up from that. I think the biggest budget we ever had on a single corporate project (a marketing DVD, actually for the company I already mentioned) was around $60,000. I would imagine that the bulk of corporate work is smaller projects that are much less than that.... but I bet some people here have worked on much much bigger corporate project than that as well.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Re: Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Nov 26, 2007 at 7:53:18 pm

Great response Todd. Our corporate video projects range from $1500 to $200,000 so it's kind of hard to nail down exactly what corporate video budgets are or should be.

I guess my simple definition of corporate video would be any video produced for the purpose of helping a business communicate. (Marketing, Sales, Training, Recruiting, Investor Relations, Public Relations, etc. etc.) The size of their budgets depends on how much they want to spend for this service more than how big their company actually is. I've had Fortune 100 companies not want to spend more than $5,000 for a video and small businesses be okay with spending $40,000. It's crazy!

I have found though that businesses that produce videos on a regular basis either already have an in-house video department or will probably move that direction eventually.

I've had about 10 clients in the past 7 years that started out paying us a lot of money to produce their videos. Then, I guess the bean counters got involved because they now all have some form of internal production capabilities. We still get scraps every now and then but nothing near as profitable as the early days.

Kristopher G. Simmons

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Mark Suszko
Re: Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Dec 3, 2007 at 4:43:20 am

There is a wonderful book you must go buy at Amazon right now, it's out of print but still available there.

John Morley:

"Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos: Imaginative Approaches to Delivering Factual Information"

ISBN-10: 053415066

If you could distill an entire graduate course in how to make good corporate videos into a few pages, this would be the textbook. Morley is to Corporate scriptwriting what Syd Field is to Hollywood movie scriptwriting. But the book is more than writing the script, it covers every step before and after. Buy this and read it and follow it and you will be years and dollars ahead of the rest of us that learned these things "on the street" in the "school of hard knocks".

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Philip Howells
Re: Just some general questions out of pure curiosity
on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:23:48 pm

I spent a lifetime in corporate and agree that it's been a good life. I started making multimedia AVs in house 35 years ago, then took early retirement, started my own company aged 35 and moved into video.

Budgets have fallen over the years as the cost of equipment has fallen. Digital image quality and the HDV mean that there's no no reason why a corporate programme shouldn't look as good as a broadcast TV programme.

NLE has also changed the whole cost of corporates- we used to pay (£1000) $2000 an hour for online editing!

In my opinion the constant problem area is still the script. Too many corporate producers don't pay enough attention or money to getting a good script and there are far too many programmes packed with purple prose - either because the producer knows no better or the client demanded it and the producer hadn't the bottle or experience to tell him it was wrong.

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