frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to make a professionally-produced video?

The costs of video production can vary widely depending on a number of factors. It’s kind of like asking how much it costs to buy a house. For a home, location, size, condition, amenities, quality of the builder, and a host of other factors can play into the final cost. Likewise, a video project, TV commercial or television production can range widely depending on what is involved in making it. Before we can determine the price and give you an accurate bid on a project, we need to know things like the anticipated length, delivery format, locations, travel requirements, need for talent, lighting, special equipment needs (jib, dolly, teleprompter, etc.), aerial footage, graphics, 3D animation, visual effects, and more. We usually meet with clients beforehand to answer all these questions so we can prepare an accurate bid.

How long does it take?

Production times for each project can vary according to the needs of the project. For example, a simple 30-second TV ad may only take one day to shoot and another day or two to edit to have ready for broadcast. A 50-hour training course for on-line viewing may take several months to produce. During initial meetings with a client, we’ll find out specific details about the project so we can prepare a bid and provide an estimated time of completion for the project.

What is the video production process?

The video production process is divided into three main parts: pre-production, production and post-production. Pre-production is where all the planning takes place. This includes initial discussions with a client to determine what message they are trying to deliver, who their audience is, and what they want the end result to be. With budget considerations and other limitations in mind, the next step is to develop a script to make this happen. Once the script is written and approved, we begin making preparations to audition and hire talent, secure shooting locations, arrange for special equipment, making travel arrangements, determining the crew, getting props, and doing anything else that needs to be done before we actually begin shooting. The Production phase is the actual videotaping or filming of the project. On production days, our team of professionals will go to work. Depending on the production, a crew may consist of the producer, director, camera operator, audio engineer, lighting technician, make-up artist, grip, gaffer, production assistant and more. The crew may use any combination of various camera equipment, microphones, lighting, monitors, dolly track, jibs, teleprompters, and more, to get the right shots. Production days are often long and grueling, but necessary to get the most work done in a day to improve efficiency for the client. After the shooting is done, the next phase is Post-Production. This is where everything comes together. The post-production step includes all the logging of the source footage, digitizing or transferring into our editing systems, editing, recording narration, creating graphics, color correction, visual effects, selecting music and sound effects, and assembling it all according to the script. Once the final edited program is complete, we will prepare it for output or delivery according to the client needs.

Who will write the script?

Either Avalanche Studios, the client, or an outside writer. Having a good script is critical to the success of any video project. I can’t emphasize this enough. At Avalanche Studios, we prefer to write the scripts for most projects since this is what we have been trained to do and understand how the script impacts the entire production process. Many clients feel that since they are experts in their business, that they should write the script. Sure, we may not know anything about how to properly deal with sulfuric acid at an oil refinery, but we can learn. In this case, we like to work together with the client to develop the script using their information, materials, manuals and other sources. Under the direction of the client, we can then organize the material into a logical order and present it in the most effective and understandable manner. We pride ourselves in taking complex ideas and information and making them easy to understand for the average viewer. If a client insists on writing a script or hiring an outside writer, we like to reserve the right to review it and adjust it as needed to fit our video production requirements. Either way, the main point is to make sure the client ends up with the very best script possible which will result in the most effective video production.

Does Avalanche Studios Shoot in a studio or on location?

Avalanche Studios has an insert stage for shooting interviews, products shots, green screen, and other small productions. Depending on the needs of the project, we can shoot in our studio, on location, or wherever the project requires.

Should we use professional actors?

Many scenes can be shot using your company’s employees, friends, neighbors, or others recruited off the street who may work for free. However, if your project requires anyone to speak, or do extensive acting, I would highly recommend using professional talent. Of course, this excludes testimonials, where it is often best to use real people, rather than paid talent. Otherwise, for on-camera spokespeople, or for just about anyone with a major speaking role, you will save a lot of time, hassle and money by using a pro.

Can Avalanche Studios make a video in Spanish or other languages?

Si, Hablamos espanol! Well, we don’t actually speak Spanish that well, but we know just enough to function. Some recent Spanish projects we have done include a series of television ads for a furniture store, training videos for an oil refinery, and public relations videos for a natural gas pipeline company. We have even produced projects in Japanese, French, German, and Chinese.

Can I sit-in during the edit session?

Sure. All clients are welcome to come to our studio and sit-in with our editors during the post-production phase. We try to make each edit bay as comfortable as possible for our clients with a cushy sofa, cold beverages, snacks, lunch, and computer access. But some clients can’t stand sitting there all day watching the sometimes tedious task of editing and would rather just check in once a while, review the progress, give us direction or changes, then take off. Whatever your style is, you are always welcome to hang out with us while we make your video.

I have a camcorder and some editing software - why should I hire Avalanche?

Because we are so cool and handsome. Actually, a lot of people have camcorders and editing software, but that doesn’t make them film producers. I have a toolbox in my garage but I would never try to fix the fuel injection system on my car. There are some things you need to leave to the pros. At Avalanche Studios, we have a staff of experienced, talented, and really, really cool producers and editors who do this stuff day in and day out. Plus we have the high-end video cameras, editing bays, and production facilities to get the job done right. When making something as important to your company as a marketing video, product demonstration or television ad that will be seen by the masses, you need to put your absolute best foot forward.

What experience does Avalanche Studios have?

The producers at Avalanche Studios have been around since 1992. We have produced literally hundreds, if not thousands, of various projects for our clients. Our crews have shot all over the state of Utah, the intermountain west, the United States, Europe and more. The bottom line is that we’ve been around the block a few times and should be prepared to handle just about any project or shooting situation

Is Avalanche Studios licensed and insured?

Avalanche Studios is fully licensed in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and is registered with the Utah Division of Commerce. Avalanche also carries full business liability insurance and appropriate Worker’s Compensation Insurance. Should your project require it, we can provide the necessary certificates demonstrating full proof of insurance.