If you are looking to enter the world of audio and video production, there are several things you need to consider before getting started. Understanding the needs of your clients and choosing the right equipment to produce high-quality audio and video content can be challenging if you’re new to this area of business, so it’s helpful to have an overview of all that AV production entails from start to finish. Here’s what you need to know about starting an audio and video production company.
Choosing a Company Name
One of your most important decisions is choosing a company name. It doesn’t have to be perfect on day one, but it does need to suit your business needs. AV Productions is a good example of Audio & Video Production. Before settling on a name, you should brainstorm and make notes of all terms related to your business. This includes service names that relate directly to products or services you plan to offer, as well as any competitors in your space (be they other companies or unincorporated services). Incorporate these terms into potential names for your own company so that you can later differentiate yourself from the competition if necessary in promotional materials.
Finding Your Niche
Before you go about starting your own AV production company, ask yourself if you have a niche market in mind. If so, what is it? Are there current producers that are not adequately meeting that niche’s needs? If so, you may be on to something. However, if your business idea is much more general—Audio and video production for all uses—you will likely need a broad range of different skill sets to succeed.
Defining Your Goals
Starting your audio or video production company is no easy task, especially if you’re just starting. To make sure you set yourself up for success, we recommend setting goals. What are you hoping to achieve in 3 years? In 5 years? What do you want your new AV production company to look like? Get these things down on paper (or a digital equivalent) so that you have something concrete when it comes time to take action.
Getting Started With AV Equipment
Start small by focusing on a single piece of equipment. For example, if you want to do audio recording, start with an audio interface. You can find solid options for around $100 or so, which will include everything you need to plug your microphones into your computer. If you're looking for video production equipment, consider starting with an inexpensive camcorder. This is a great way to get familiar with cameras as well as learn about editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere—both of which are used extensively in professional studios. Just be sure not to invest too much money in video equipment right out of the gate; only buy what you can afford.
When it comes to audio and video production, having a basic knowledge of shooting styles is important. You don’t have to be a TV director or movie producer, but you do need to understand where people are standing, what they’re wearing, and how that might affect your shot. When you’re in control of directing things (i.e., you’re not being paid by someone else), you can improvise shots—but there’s still a bit of artistry involved. For example, there are numerous ways to do an interview; some common styles include Split Screen: A split screenshot includes two separate clips playing at once on one side (or sometimes both) of the screen.
Developing Audio & Video Scripts - Before you can start shooting, you need a story. This doesn't mean that you need a screenplay—it just means that you should take some time to think about how your story will be told, who it's meant for, and how best to tell it. In audio and video production, scripting is essential because nothing is worse than reading off of paper while recording or having no clue what camera angle you should use as people are watching your show.
To help lay out these basics so that they're easy to follow, let's run through what we want our finished product (the finished product being an audio or video presentation) to be able to do. First and foremost, it needs to tell a compelling story. Why are you making audio or video? Is there something that you want viewers/listeners to learn? Now break down those important concepts into bite-sized pieces. For example: How many episodes should there be? What overall message do you want viewers/listeners to leave with? How often would you like them getting new episodes? Will each episode have its unique lesson (such as introducing one concept per episode), or will each episode build on top of what was said in previous episodes?
Final Output for Distribution
As you plan, it’s important to keep in mind that content for online video is often posted online and is available to be consumed anywhere, anytime—the moment it goes live. But as you have probably experienced yourself, not all content is equally compelling or appealing. This can be because of several factors including product quality. And because there are so many options for getting your content on various devices, viewers have come to expect polished-looking media when watching TV, listening through headphones, or sitting in a theatre environment.
So part of planning should focus on your target audience: What do they watch? Where do they consume entertainment? Are they willing (and able) to consume video from their smartphone while walking down Main Street? These are questions worth asking before you invest time, energy, and money into producing any type of professional-looking footage. Consider also timing: When will it be viewed? At what point in your video should information about promotions or other aspects of your company appear? These answers vary depending on what sort of product or service you’re selling—it could range from mere seconds after beginning an advertisement to more than five minutes into an educational course about woodworking. Once you know how long people spend viewing specific types of content, you can figure out how much time per segment will leave them wanting more but prevent them from feeling overloaded.
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