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Need stastical information and advise from University production departments

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David Andrews
Need stastical information and advise from University production departments
on Mar 19, 2009 at 1:49:26 pm

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this but here it is. I work for a University. I have worked here in the Video Services department for 21 years. We produce Broadcast video for the Public Relation department. We produce an incredable variety of projects which include commercials, admssions videos, coverage of a Division one sports, and Year in Reviews for the President and other projects that work with the foundation. We both do all areas of production from script to distribution all in house. We now have 2 fulltime staff and students production assistants to help. In the last year we have shot all of our footage in HD. As far as I can tell this is the only video production facility in house dedicated solely for Public Relations that I know of in the country at a University . The truth is I think it is the perfect place for a Video Production house especially today. I would love to consult other Universities so they too could make this work. We really save the University a great deal of money being able to produce our own hi quality programs. If anyone has an recomdations on how to go about this I could use some advise here.

My other question is regarding one of the hardest parts of my job. I bet most of you have the same problem and yet I never see anyone bring this up. The hardest part of the job is explaining to upper management with no video background what is we do here,in some ways it has become even more difficult as trying to seperate our quality from the UTube mentality even though we provide a very high end look. . Years ago there was statistical information that was quite helpful like it took so many hours to produce a 5 minute video, an estimated cost for a finished minute was $1500, the average time to edit 5 minutes was this, how much the basic operations should be for a video facility to function. When working with administrators and in departments We are outside the University system, It is extremely difficult to explain the uniqueness of the job requirements over an office environment. These basic statistics can go a long way especially at a University. Is there a place to get the latest info regarding these type of statistics so I can use them to communicate to people who really need to understand.


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Richard Herd
Re: Need stastical information and advise from University production departments
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:07:20 pm

Let me preface: My wife teaches at University of Reno, Nevada (where they have a similar program--as do almost all Universities, especially Div 1). Last summer she taught a distance learning class where the on-campus a/v department video'd her class and streamed it to a campus in Las Vegas. Later, she presented a paper on her experiences with distance learning, to the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. Much of the paper dealt with the technology and how limiting it is, for a teacher. I can imagine the horror having these same people on a budget committee.

My thinking is you need to avoid technology discussions altogether, because, from a certain point of view, video is a black box of magic that doesn't produce the promised results. Heck, my wife--love her a lot--and her colleagues can't even see the difference between SD and HD. The technology argument is a moot argument. That is, you won't convince them.

How will you convince them? In my opinion, you need to rely on the artistic side. Think "film school" and "film studies" applied to the University's PR.

More importantly: Is there anyway for you to find out how many enrollment videos you sent out last year and to correlate that to student enrollment? From there, you can count costs and measure enrollment (ie tuition/fees).

In my opinion, you also should be very careful with counting costs because at $1500/minute, for a 10 minute video is $15,000, which if you compare to the yearly salary plus employment burden ain't such a bad deal--especially when Universities are cutting key services to students, like the math lab, the writing center, library services.

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