About Solar Media: Solar Media specializes in Music video production, filming live music events, Vidcasts, the creation and management of websites and other on-‐line platforms (YouTube channels for music artists, social networks etc). We can help artists promote their work across all media, music is no longer only in the hands of major record labels, today amazing music can be made by anyone but artists need great promotion and promotional materials to stand out in this crowded market – you need to get noticed and make some noise! Solar Media was established in 2000 by Lucas Warren, we have made over 500 music videos, filmed and created hundreds of live performances, vidcasts, websites and YouTube channels including. The Funding: We work with all types of artists and companies across the industry – unsigned musicians, indie artists and artists signed to major record labels. Our funding to make a music video and digital extensions can come from the record company, an artist’s manager, indie label, grants or the artist themselves, we tend to be funded around £20k from usually from larger music labels or managers. However there are many other methods of acquiring funding, e.g. Share holders, Stakeholders, investment holders, bank enquiries etc. We can deliver videos/materials for a wide range of budgets from £2500-‐ £20,000, you don’t need to have a big budget to make a hit video, our team of innovative creative can help make a big impact with even the smallest budgets!
How we work: We work very closely with our clients, we supervise and manage the entire production process, ensuring that we deliver high quality films on time and within budget. We aim to deliver stylish, punchy videos that strike the perfect balance between engaging your audience and successfully communicating your message. We can deliver anything from simple green screen, VFX, performance, animation, concept to live performance videos. Solar provide a complete video production service including: • Devising concepts • Storyboards and artwork • Scripting and writing content • Production management • Project management • Cameras, lighting and sound equipment • All crew • Editing • Animation and motion graphics • Graphic design • Time lapse photography • Photography • Models, actors, dancers and voiceover artists • Stylists and hair & make-‐up • Web site design, build and SEO Our company structure:
Solar has 12 full time employees, and teams up with freelance staff once in production. The television and music industry has a large freelance community that move from project to project on short term contracts, this allows companies like Solar to get the best production talent in the market when we need it. Our core staff includes: MANAGING DIRECTOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER IN HOUSE PRODUCER IN HOUSE DIRECTOR PRODUCTION MANAGER VIDEO/ANIMATION/POST PRODUCTION PRODUCER MOTION GRAPHICS AND ANIMATOR WEB DESIGNER WEB DEVELOPER AND SEO OFFICE MANAGER OFFICE RUNNER ACCOUNTANT - We also hire an accountant (Janice Riches) from Kingston Smith to help manage our finance. Our offices are based in Soho, on D’Arblay Street W1. In the heart of the London’s media industry surrounded by post-‐production facilities and new media companies.
Examples of typical productions: Concept Music Video – Budget £18,000 Pitch Meet client, hear the music track, review previous promotional work, understand their requirements in terms of tone and image required (if known) for the video – establish budget available. Solar’s in-‐house Director creates (with help from the team) and presents a number of possible ideas for a video to the client. Solar’s Head of Production would have also created a rough budget to establish if the ideas being discussed by the Director could be delivered for the money (i.e. Locations/sets etc) Pre-‐production: If the client approves the idea Solar goes into early stages of pre-‐production. A deposit of 30% will be required from the client and a likely delivery date for the completed video agreed. Production management and the creative team will work together to create a detailed budget – storyboards and scripting will allow the producer to work out what will be needed in the shoot and the post production of the video. Most videos of this scale will require one or two days filming either on location or in a studio, in addition there will be a period of post-‐production when the footage is cut together, animation and VFX effects added and audio mixed if necessary. The Head of Production and the Producer will create a detailed budget and a production schedule, this will show the time allocated to pre-‐production, shooting, editing and the date of delivery (see the sample budget attached) Pre-‐production can be divided into a number of areas:
Creative vision/planning and Production management: The Production manager will need to co-‐ordinate all elements of the shoot, book studios/locations/contributors/crew/facilities and ensure the clearances are obtained, health and safety assessments, a schedule created and costs monitored. Key elements for a music video that will need to be chosen and booked are: 1. Studio/Location 2. Art department materials/crew 3. Wardrobe/Make-‐up materials/crew 4. Contributors (Dancers etc) casting 5. Camera, lighting and sound (personnel and equipment) 6. Contributors (dancers/actors) 7. Post production (facilities, animation, editing equipment and personnel)
Task 1/2 What is involved in pre-production? Once the team has agreed the idea, the budget and schedule the team gets going and starts to set up the project. Solar’s in house Production manager, Producer and Director work together to set up the shoot. When we are busy we can employ more Production managers, Producers and Directors from the freelance market but having our in house team means they can work on multiple projects and keep the costs down for the client. Pre-‐production is all about organization and logistics, the production manager will begin by doing some of the following: 1. Studio: find studio options ie. Space that can accommodate the shoot requirements (size/look/space for dancers or props etc), Agreeing a price, if necessary sign an agreement the confirms the rental of the studio 2. Camera crew – book a 2 man camera crew, this can either be through a camera equipment company who have people on their books, or you can use a freelance cameraman who has a good CV of doing other music projects. The Producer/Production Manager will have the names and contact details for people in the industry who can recommend cameramen they have worked with – most people get work by word of mouth. Agree a daily rate, the numbers of hours they will have to work and confirm this in writing – this is like an agreement and if you cancel the shoot you still have to pay the cameraman. As this is a small shoot we will not need a lighting department and the camera team can light the set. 3. Camera, Lighting equipment, audio playback– once we have booked the cameraman we will talk to about what we think is needed in terms of shoot – so what it should look like and what equipment might be needed to create the look required. The team will create a kit list and go to a camera and/or lighting company and place an order for the rental of this kit, they will give a price and a confirmation email or order will be done to make sure it is all delivered to the studio on the right day.
4. Casting/Dancers – A casting person will be hired, they maybe freelance or come from an agency, they will work a day and find some dancers (by contacting places like Pineapple Studios or model agencies) who look the part and are available to appear in our video. Once they have been found they will be booked and a price agreed. 5. Make-‐Up/Wardrobe – the producer/production manager will find a freelance make-‐up artist (agency/word of mouth) and book them for a day to prepare and buy costumes and a day on the shoot itself. The Director and Producer will discuss the look with them and the artist – once agreed they will source the outfits and be given the amount of money in the budget – this is either a cash float or they will ask the production manager to book/buy things on heir behalf. 6. Set/Art Department – a set designer will be found (agency/word of mouth/previous experience) they will talk to the Director about the look of the project and spend a day prepping and buying materials to dress the studio set. 7. The production manager will start to create a call sheet, this will list all the information about the shoot that is needed, the times, location, the people attending, the equipment being delivered etc. As the above bits of the pre-‐production fall into place the call sheet is created – before the shoot itself this will go to everyone attending the shoot day. The Production Manager will have needed to confirm how everyone is getting to the studio and at what time they need to arrive – they might book taxis for the artist. 8. Post Production – the Producer/Director/Production Manager will book an editor for the offline (agency/word of mouth/previous experience), a price will be agreed and they will be confirmed in writing. An edit suite will also be booked at a post production facility for the 3 days offline and the on-‐ line/VFX (the facility will provide the on-‐line VFX editor), a price will be agree and confirmation will be given in writing – the facility will invoice Solar after the edit for the cost of this. 9. Rehearsal day: Some of the crew, the dancers, artist, the art department will go to the studio the day before the shoot to practice and set things up.
10. Shoot Day: Everyone hopefully turns up on time, the Director has worked out his shot list, he’s met with the artist lots of times to work out what to do, he’s discussed this with the crew/art department – so everyone is set to go and to can shoot as much as possible on the day! The production manager ensures that everyone on the shoot as signed a release form for their contribution. 11. Post Production: The shot material/drives are taken the edit where the offline editor spends a couple of days cutting together the sequences, once the Director is happy this goes into the on-‐line and is editing at high resolution, VFX are added here too and finally the audio track is laid on the final cut. 12. Delivery: We deliver the Video to our satisfied client! q