Let’s Talk Video Production Budgets

The almighty dollar

For some reason, a lot of video production companies and creative agencies don’t like talking about budgets until late in the game. That’s not how we work. In fact, one of our very first questions we ask clients is “what’s your budget for this project?”.

There’s two very good reasons why we are upfront about money when speaking with a prospective client:

  • Budget drives scope. If a client comes to us and says “I have $XXX to spend”, we can set expectations immediately, and come up with creative directions that make the most of what they have. It’s like buying a house- how weird would it be if a buyer came to an architect and said “I want a house!” and the architect had no direction from the buyer on their overall budget? When you’re buying a house, your budget helps determine how big the house is, where it’s built, and how nice the finishings are. An architect wouldn’t randomly create blueprints for you without having an idea of the parameters in which he must work. Nor will we.
  • It weeds out tire-kickers. If you can’t even say approximately what your budget is for a project, it’s not a real project, yet. If someone wants to get a rough feel for how working with us would be in the future, great. We’ll talk to you for 5 minutes on the phone, we’ll even give you some sample budget ranges, maybe. But we will not make up proposals for clients whose projects do not yet exist.

Our overall philosophy about “the money talk” is this: our time is our most valuable asset. We don’t want you to waste our time, and we don’t want to waste yours. So, being honest and upfront about budgets from our very first contact is a very important thing.

Interestingly, most sophisticated clients embrace our approach, and that has made us a very in-demand agency in both New York and Los Angeles.

Camera News: The RED Dragon Breathes Fire @ PatrickOrtman, Inc.

 

Red-Epic

 

I (Patrick) was an early adopter with RED. I bought my first RED camera in 2007- one of the first RED ONE cameras available, and of course RED’s groundbreaking cameras went on to film ‘The Social Network’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’,  ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, ‘The Hobbit’, and so forth. I loved giving my clients the high-end services we could with RED. And I loved shooting our award-winning film ‘Unlaced’ with it.

Then, we had  period of time where it didn’t make sense for us to own an in-house RED. We rented them, though, for clients who wanted the ultra-high-res imagery. I missed RED’s technology on the jobs where the clients chose other camera systems, sometimes- the RED’s ability to shoot Raw, 4K film-style video is something that really helps on a lot of jobs. Even so, it wasn’t the best choice for every job, and it was VERY expensive, so we invested in other camera systems.

Now, RED’s come out with DRAGON, their latest-generation sensor. This thing is amazing! It’s light-years ahead of our old RED MX camera. It gave me one of those ‘oh, my!’ moments, when you realize that the technology in your hot little hands can create images that you’d only dreamed of until then.

And our business has grown, to where we’re working with more of the higher-end advertising agencies and clients on a regular basis. You know, the kinds of clients who want ‘the best’. Disclaimer: the RED Dragon’s not ‘the best’ for every job. But it’s ‘the best’ for a lot of them, if you have the budget in your project to support it.

So, I decided to get one for ourselves, as our in-house high-end cinema camera system. This way, we get the advantage of having it all the time, which lets my team master it (like we did with the R1) in ways you just cannot if you rent. And, we can now offer this level of imagery to clients who otherwise couldn’t afford it. We’ll still do a lot of jobs on our other, more affordable camera systems. But this lets us compete even more strongly with the ‘big guys’.

I’m really excited!

 

Latest Corporate Video Production Reel (Again, mainly Los Angeles and New York City stuff)


And of course, for all our corporate video production fans, here’s our latest corporate video production company reel. This includes client projects from Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Toledo, Atlanta, Dallas, and I think San Francisco.

TV Commercials- Yup, Award-Winning Ones Made by Us In Los Angeles and New York

Here’s a collection of bits of TV commercials we’ve created for clients. Mainly, we created these in Los Angeles, California and New York, NY.

Long-Form Video Series Production

Most of what we’ve done so far at PatrickOrtman, Inc. has been short-form video production. You know, TV commercials, web commercials, PSAs, and corporate videos. So this summer, when we were given the opportunity to produce a long-form video series, I jumped at the opportunity to do something new. It is good to stretch.

It’s been a great experience, so far. It’s different than commercial production, in that you have to move more quickly, and your unit needs to be very agile. The approach demands different tools, too- instead of RED cameras, we chose Canon C-series cameras. And instead of heavy tungsten or HMIs, we’re using a variety of high-powered LED systems. These LEDs are impressing us, by the way. We’ve had Litepanels and Kino Celebs for a while now, but the new high-powered, hard, shapable LEDs we’re using in places we’d normally place, say, a 1K, are just lovely- very little heat, so tear downs are fast, and the quality of the light is really, really good.

With the schedule we’ve had, and the number of locations and scenes we’ve needed to get each day, this has truly been vital.

Our healthcare client loves what they’ve seen so far, and we’re about halfway done with the project. Fingers crossed, but it feels like we’ve really hit our stride with these long-form projects, and that’s an important addition to our skills and experience.

Two More Telly Wins for PatrickOrtman, Inc.

telly

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve won yet another two Telly awards for our video production work. These two are for our 2013 project for MPAC in Los Angeles called “American Muslims, America’s Leaders”, which celebrated MPAC’s 25 year anniversary.

The project was written and directed by Patrick Ortman, and MPAC’s executive producer was Hasnain Syed. Special thanks to Jessica Rothert, and the MPAC staff and volunteers.

The concept behind the video was to imagine how American Muslims would be seen, 25 years from now. We imagined a world where American Muslims are an even more vibrant part of our country’s political, artistic, and corporate landscape.

“I did some thinking about my own heritage- especially the Irish part of me” says writer-director Patrick Ortman “and I realized that when the Irish came over to America, it took some time for them to really become known as a strong part of our country. It’s the same for any group. And America’s this amazing place, because we’re the melting-pot. We all have strengths and points of view that can make us stronger, that make our country better. I wanted to show this process in the American Muslim community, which is a community a lot of us don’t know much about, and one filled with stereotypes.”

Patrick teamed up with Oscar-winning special effects makeup house B2 Productions in Hollywood to help realize his vision. “Those guys, wow- it was fantastic watching them take our 20-something MPAC interns and turn them into middle-aged people. I’m glad we reached out to them, and I’m grateful they took the time to do the job right. Of course, I spent some time wandering around their shop and taking in the amazing body of work they’ve done. You have to, right? I mean, they did Mr. Spock’s ears!”

MPAC’s Hasnain Syed adds “Going into this project, we wanted to make a bold statement on our vision of the future and a manifestation of America’s diversity as it’s core strength. To achieve this, both the message and visuals had to be impactful and visionary, without leaning on recycled ideas.

We had to turn to Patrick as our partner in bringing this vision into fruition. From the start, he told us to throw technical & budgetary limitations out the window and just think big. A great partner is one who keeps his eye on the project’s overall vision and emotional impact, without letting details detract from the end goal.

In Patrick, we have someone to imagine with, not someone who just executes or takes directions. If there’s a better way, or a different approach, he’ll say it.

MPAC works to make American Muslims a positive, integral and contributing member in America’s fabric. The video is a reflection of our work and it’s fruits in the future.”

These Telly awards come on the heels of Patrick’s Telly and ADDY-winning TV commercial “Meet Biff” for the Paffrath Organization

Both winning videos are also online at http://patrickortman.com

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New Web Promo Commercial- iPhone App What’s Free

I directed this one in Texas, and it was HOT out.

What’s Free is a killer iPhone app- it knows where you are, and it finds cool free stuff you and your friends will love! This is our promo created for What’s Free, learn more about the app at getwhatsfree.com

Content © What’s Free

A New Telly Award for “Meet Biff”

Photo by SoulPhoto (http://soul-photo.com)

Photo by SoulPhoto

Guess what? We won another award for our TV commercial “Meet Biff”, for Realtor Kevin Paffrath! It’s awesome having to make yet more space in the old trophy case for yet another metallic award for our video-making prowess. Yay us! We’re soooo brilliant. And modest, of course.

Thanks again to the cast and our lovely crew. Love ya’ll. Mean it!

 

National Video Agency PatrickOrtman, Inc. Wins Los Angeles ADDY Award for Real Estate TV Commercial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Video Agency PatrickOrtman, Inc. Wins Los Angeles ADDY Award for Real Estate TV Commercial

 

Los Angeles- March 11, 2014– National boutique video agency PatrickOrtman, Inc. has won an ADDY award of merit trophy for its TV commercial “Meet Biff” directed and produced for California real estate company The Paffrath Organization.

“Kevin (Paffrath) has a vision for his company’s marketing that is unique, and wanted to create a commercial that really turned heads”, says agency founder and TV spot director Patrick Ortman. “When we were awarded this TV commercial project, our mandate was to create a spot that looked like a national TV commercial, but at a much lower budget. It was an experiment- can we compete with the work of bigger agencies, with fewer resources, and come out on top? We did, and we’re very proud of the results. This ADDY award, knowing we were up against far-better funded projects, is a nice validation of that success, and of our partnership with Kevin’s organization. Los Angeles is a highly competitive place- we feel honored.”

“Take the leap of faith; do what no one else is doing. Go all in” agrees Paffrath CEO Kevin Paffrath. “Patrick did a phenomenal job. Patrick has my business for life!”

About The Paffrath Organization
With the trademarked “No-Pressure Agents” slogan, their goal is becoming their  clients’ Realtor for life. It’s not just about one transaction; it’s about helping clients grow their aspirations while making educated investment decisions to build long-term wealth. Visit their website at http://www.meetkevin.com.

About PatrickOrtman, Inc.
PatrickOrtman, Inc. is a leading boutique national video production agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Austin. The company has worked with 9 Fortune 500 companies, and is known for creating national-quality work for clients across a variety of industries. Learn more at http://patrickortman.com.

Contact:

Crystal Cartwright
http://patrickortman.com
(818) 505-1988

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Purpose and Values: 2014 Edition (Part Two)

The power of purpose

And now, after a couple months’ worth of crazy work deadlines and 18-hour days, here is our Part Two. Finally! I can’t complain, we love doing what we do, and the realities are that sometimes clients have immutable deadlines. It’s been a nice week so far, enjoying a bit of downtime at SXSW while we spin up for new projects.

Our Purpose and Values:

Our corporate side of things exists to do great work for good clients that fulfills and exceeds their expectations and baselines, while making a fair profit.

Great Work
We’re not interested in doing crappy work. We get calls all the time from clients who want us to cut corners. We will not. Everything we do reflects upon us, and short-term gain for putting out garbage work never ends up well (for the client, or for us). What we love is making films that tell stories which educate, entertain, and inspire your audience to action. Every project we do has to be done well.

Good Clients
We choose our clients carefully, as the kind of work we do tends to reflect upon us. We don’t need to always agree with everything our clients say, but we certainly will not work with a client who comes across as ‘evil’. What this means is, we will do work for clients who may not be perfectly aligned with our values, but who believe in what they do, and want to make this world a better place. We’ve worked with clients from a multitude of religious, political, and social differences. But if all a company is about is greed, or screwing people over as part of their business plan, or hurting others, then no thank you.

Fulfilling and Exceeding Expectations
Not every project we do has to win an ADDY. But everything we do needs to meet our clients’ needs and beyond. We exist to wow our clients and to give them the tools to help them further their causes.

A Fair Profit
We charge a fair price. We don’t gouge our clients, but we demand and deserve a profit from every project we do that isn’t pro-bono. Our prices are quite a good value compared to other video agencies of similar stature, but we don’t respond well to potential clients who try to lowball us or compare apples to oranges: we are a world-class video agency, not a couple of kids with DSLRs right out of film school. We take on projects that help our clients grow their businesses in a major way. That requires mutual respect, and part of that is charging a fair price for the work.

 

 

 

 

About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.