Because video media is an essential mode of communication and learning for our University, we have invested in building an internal video production capability that has limited capacity to undertake high-value projects. This policy establishes guidelines for:
(1) submitting video production project requests
(2) assessing the value of a potential project
(3) determining the appropriate production resources to allocate
For high-profile projects that require specialized equipment, tight timelines, and/or larger production teams, University Communications outsources video production. The Media Production Center (MPC), as our internal resource for video production, receives numerous requests for video projects that typically involve recording of events, performances or presentations, development of instructional/training modules, and production of promotional videos. The MPC team has the capability of producing a limited number of small, professional-quality projects, in addition to guiding staff (instructional/training) and student (educational/social) production projects.
Video media is everywhere in our lives, and that experience and exposure tends to foster an expectation of professional video quality that is often not complemented by knowledgeable understanding of the true costs of achieving professional standards. One minute of high-quality video may require many person-hours of pre-production planning; location scouting; technical testing; production design; production recording set-up with sound, lighting, and cameras; editing and revision; graphics; voice-over recording; sound and music editing; and final rendering for distribution.
Our policy will be to concentrate most of the MPC’s professional resources to video projects that have very high promotional value to the University. Other projects with merit but less demonstrable value to the University will be produced by teams of staff and students using “prosumer”-grade equipment and lower-cost production techniques. Simply put, video project ideas will be triaged relative to their perceived value and their expected production cost; and, video production resourcing will be scaled as appropriate to maintain a minimum standard of quality.
Video project ideas should be well-thought-out: they should have obvious high value to the University, they should be planned well in advance of the actual event, and they should have a realistic appreciation of the production costs required to achieve acceptable quality. While the objective of this policy is not to preclude the submission of project ideas, submitters should be prepared to justify the value of their project and to accept that not all projects will satisfy the quality/cost/value threshold we must maintain.
1) Clients submit their project proposals using our online intake form.
2) A representative from the Media Production Center (MPC) will contact the submitter to review the project concept.
3) MPC will categorize the project (scale and techniques) and prepare an estimate of likely production costs (personnel, time, equipment, etc.) as would be suitable for the intended product.
4) MPC will triage the expected project concept relative to:
its expected value and the anticipated/required production timeline (urgency; time-sensitivity, fixed calendar event); and
the anticipated opportunity cost of taking on this project (i.e., tradeoffs in resourcing other projects).
5) MPC will reply to the project requestor with a written notification of their evaluation and recommended action, which may be:
a) Project Declined (the project cannot be resourced as conceived);
b) Project Concept Viable with Modification (the project idea must be revised to align production scale and approach with perceived value); c) Project Approved (project concept will be slated for production on a specific timeline using a pre-defined approach, crew, and equipment kit).
6) The MPC team will work with project requestors to revise projects concepts toward an acceptable production plan (agreed to by the requestor and the MPC team).
7) If a project requestor is not satisfied with the determination or approach recommended by the MPC team, the requestor may escalate an appeal to an ad hoc review board comprised of representatives designated by the Provost.