Appendix 1: Some resources
There are now a large number of video producers active in most major population centres of the UK. Video trade directories Kays Directory, Kemps, The Knowledge may be available through good local libraries as well as online.
Search engines www.google.co.uk www.altavista.com www.bing.com are all highly rated by some you may need to add a place name to your search term !
Yellow Pages will list local producers under Video Services or TV, Film and Video production, or multimedia production. Many of these will be wedding video makers. Yellow Pages is online at www.yell.co.uk/home.html. Yell charges for a position near the top of its listings.
The author of this guide, Grapevine Communications, is also an active corporate video producer
Low-budget / independent sector / art film producers:
The annual British Film Institute Yearbook includes a valuable listing and brief description of workshops. These are spread all over the UK, are generally subsidised or non-profit-making, and vary in their activities; many of them can offer some kind of video production service, or at the least contacts in the local art-film sector.
The Yearbook also lists a selection of Production Companies: this listing is largely a selection of companies involved in producing cinema films and programmes for television; some of these also offer a production service.
The BFI Yearbook is available through many bookshops and libraries, or direct from the BFI.
British Film Institute: 0207 255 1444
Some universities and art schools have staff and equipment and offer a production service; this trend may grow as education funding continues to tighten. They may also have students on video production courses who are looking for subjects or projects for their video course work. Of course their agenda or objectives may not match those of your organisation.
PR, training, staff communications, corporate producers:
The IVCA (International Visual Communications Association) is a trade association with membership covering freelance producers, production companies, facilities (companies which supply specialised services to producers and production companies), distributors, training companies, in-house production units, and clients - organisations which regularly commission or use video. The IVCA has also from time to time offered contact lists of individual producers and member companies, and lists of companies entering for or winning annual IVCA awards.
IVCA production membership is open, and is accordingly much more diverse than PACT's (below), affecting issues of technical, editorial and production management standards. IVCA membership is not to be taken as a badge of quality. Many IVCA producers (as well as many non-IVCA members) produce high-quality work for realistic budgets.
IVCA: 0207 580 0962
The PACT Directory, offered by the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television, is a listing of their membership; this includes most production companies active in broadcast television and film production, and some PACT companies also offer a video production service.
There is an advertising section in the Directory where member companies pay for a one-page advertisement describing their activities and areas of special interest.
PACT members of course vary, though there are restrictions on membership; as a generalisation, PACT members are likely to be reputable, professionally managed, and to produce to high technical and editorial standards.
Most are interested more in broadcast than in commissioned programmes; they are likely to have a sure touch with a broad audience, though may be less experienced with more tightly-defined target groups.
Production costs are not likely to be cheap; broadcast documentary production costs average around £170,000 per hour, and broadcast serial drama averages approaching half a million pounds per hour. Ten minutes of video for a minimum £20,000 could be anticipated, though again some PACT producers may offer a cheaper deal, or use of a cheaper (say video-diaries style) production approach.
PACT: 0207 331 6000
Advertising & Animation
The AFVPA (Advertising Film and Videotape Producers' Association) is a trade association for TV commercials producers. Most TV advertising is likely to be commissioned via an advertising agency.
The AFVPA has a number of member companies specialising in animation, both traditional and computer-assisted. The AFVPA also provides an administrative service for the Guild of British Animation.
AFVPA / GBA: 0207 434 2651
Sony UK have been offering a free publication, The Complete Guide to Electronic Presentations. This is a useful overview of many of the practical aspects of staging a presentation, covering everything from Overhead Projector transparencies to LCD projectors and video walls, and from how to gain impact from appropriate visual aids through to avoiding making presentations just after the lunch-time shift or on Friday afternoons. Of course Sony's commercial interest is not invisible.
Also included is a list of regional Sony equipment hire centres, and an assessment of different video tape formats, though this is a rapidly-changing field.
Sony Broadcast and Professional: 01932 816000