January 15, 2020
We’ve debated for awhile as to whether a blog should be part of the 1Vision framework. Although it’s more to take on, we believe the juice is worth the squeeze. It’s a brand new year, brand new decade, let’s take an opportunity to better communicate with our clients, and be honest. I can assure you, we will not sugar coat anything.
Our first post is going to address not only what we’re currently working on, as every post will touch on this throughout the year, but is also going to answer some of the most common questions we get from clients, “How long will this project take to complete?” And/or, “Why is it taking so long?” or better yet, “Why is it so expensive?”
There are so many misconceptions about the way our industry/processes work, so let’s attempt to speak plainly and paint with a broad brush. Let’s first address the question of project timelines:
Let’s assume you come to 1Vision needing a four to five minute promotional piece. Perfect. You want to include five to six testimonial interviews, subject b-roll, your logo, etc. A very common request.
And then it drops, “How long will it take to get it done?”
That question is incredibly difficult to answer for many reasons, and it’s usually answered with a question(s.) Here’s our short list:
“What’s your timeline?” That question almost always makes us cringe because the client answer is usually “yesterday.” And there’s nothing wrong with this, truly. Most of the time, clients need it right away. We live in a “now” society, and we’re happy and experienced enough to accommodate.
That being said, we can now answer the following question too, “Why is it so expensive?” Well, you likely need it “now.”
When a new project comes through our front door and needs immediate attention, it always requires us to “bump” the current eight to ten projects we’re servicing which unfortunately leads us into the inquiry of our last most commonly asked question, “Why is it taking so long?” In short, because someone else is willing to pay more to have it now.
Obviously this is a very simplistic, although relevant explanation. Ultimately, there are many other factors in play. The primary factor we would like everyone to understand and appreciate is our commitment to giving you our VERY BEST, regardless of where your project might be in the que.
I never anticipated this type of issue over the course of our growth, but it does exist and can be very challenging to manage. You never want to say “no” to the work, especially in a market as difficult as central Nebraska. Our young professional staff depends on it. And in turn, that’s why it can be managed successfully.
We have a great young professional staff, and great young professionals are not “cheap.” Saying no to something with an immediate need is flat out detrimental and really irresponsible on my part, as it’s my job to take care of those who are taking care of this company.
I don’t want to leave an impression that one project somehow carries more inherent value than another, that’s not at all the case. Maybe the best way to explain this; imagine a room full of ovens, all different brands, all boiling water at varying degrees of volume, temperature and efficiencies. We are simply adjusting which pots sit where so they can all reach a boil in a relatively timely and efficient manner, even if that means having to wait a little longer in some cases while others reach the boil quicker….
The other thing to consider, we have no idea from one week to the next what will come through our door. It’s not fast food, you can’t see the “rush” coming, nor do you have any idea what they will “order.”
Also, everything we do outside of basic service offerings is highly subjective in nature. We have to go through many client revisions. On average, we send over six to eight different, what we call “structure cuts” before receiving approval to begin the finish work. That process can easily add four weeks to any timeline depending on if these revisions need to be approved by a board or committee.
And let’s be honest, rarely do we run into a board or committee that is agreeable on everything. So the process of finding the middle ground is also time consuming. It takes constant communication, and in most cases, we have to take the initiative to explain the reasons behind why we did what we did with this or that. I say this at least once a week, “the creative process is messy…” The truth is, it’s always been this way.
What we’ve found over the last ten years in operation is that there is no perfect system. But the system that works best is the one of constant communication, updates and estimated timelines for everyone as the project(s) continue to progress.
So all that being said, yes, it’s very difficult to say exactly when a project will be completed, but be assured that you will never be left wondering how it’s progressing. Over the span of 24 years, we’ve never missed a deadline.
Sure, there are a handful of projects over that time that certainly deserved more than they received, we’re not perfect on that front. Where this has occurred, I have personally seen to it having been corrected and resolved. The best we can do is make it right when perhaps it went wrong. We’ve never been above owning that and will always make it right with the client should this occur.
Aside from immediate timelines, here’s some additional insight to the overall expense, or investment of a project. Let’s keep it simple stupid, this is an incredibly expensive industry. Without referencing an exact dollar amount of all I have invested over the years, let’s just call it this…one hell of a nice six bedroom home, truck, and bass boat.
Our industry technology changes so rapidly anymore, it’s almost impossible to afford in it’s roll-out and equally maddening to keep up with…but here’s what we’ve done as a company to stay current and fiscally responsible, at least when it comes to this market and region.
#1. Schedule –
Ultimately I’ve found that if you moderately re-invest about every six to seven years, you’ll be well covered to manage and sustain where things are trending, era to era. i.e. 1080p – 4K (65K -75K every seven years on average.)
#2. Prioritize –
Rarely will equipment out-perform real professionals. It’s always better to invest, year after year, in great people. Especially those who have proven their worth. I’d rather pay one sub-contractor who does an incredible job all they are worth, and then some…..QUALITY FIRST. I’ll take one ‘GREAT’ over four ‘OK’S’ every single day.
#3. Execute –
I am the last one to be paid, always. Rarely do I take a paycheck out of this business. We service our debt, our sub-contractors, and pay our bills. It’s the difference in keeping the doors open and the lights on….which is why I work a full-time job on top of running this business.
So in considering the information above, understand that expense is about covering the cost of operations, basically, staying in business while continuing to afford to be relevant and still offering our clients the best possible product and people available to execute their vision. I never said it was sexy, only the truth. When you love what you do, you’re willing to do whatever it takes, and we do.
Currently in Production:
In offering some operational insight, let’s take a brief look at what we’re currently working on; many great projects that have us unbelievably busy, and excited.
“PVI & The Community of Fairbury”
1Vision has been in production with this promo piece for over a year now. To paraphrase, we’re telling the story of Prairie View Industries, one of the biggest employers of the Fairbury community, which is a very impressive operation, both visually, and along with its true family atmosphere. This is a unique piece as it will center around the Fairbury quality of life and how Prairie View Industries supports those employees who not only love where they work, but love where they live.
Another project that has been in pre-production for over a year, and one of the first series 1Vision has had an opportunity to produce comes from Grand Island native Michael Rivera. When we were first approached about this idea, it took us awhile to really understand the overall objective. In working with Mike, we began to see his vision…and it’s brilliant. We love shining a spotlight on our hometown, not to mention the midwest. Many more of these segments to come…
“ A new series yet to be named….”
We are VERY EARLY in the pre-production stages with this massive undertaking. Suffice it to say, this has been a topic of conversation between 1Vision and this particular client for many years.
As it is so often the case, timing is everything. Well, it would appear that the time is finally right. We will continue to touch on this new series as we progress forward, but we will tell you now that it’s offering is going to spread far and wide across many states geared toward avid outdoorsman and outdoor families.
Absolutely. These full-length feature documentaries are so near and dear to us, mostly because it’s a concept we’ve been working really hard to develop over the last several years. And we also know what it means to these athletes….we go through hundreds of hours of video, over a year’s worth of shooting, thirty plus hours of radio broadcasts per sport, plus an average of eight to twelve hours worth of interviews, and the list goes on and on….so, why do we do it? Because we CAN.
This year we get to once again tell the story of the Grand Island Central Catholic Volleyball Team and their incredible run to capture the state tournament title; having to avenge multiple losses to a single team and find a way to beat them for the first time with it all on the line at the end of the season, what a tremendous storyline!
And of course, where it all started for us, the tradition rich program of Islander Football. Fresh off its own state championship run in 2018, we’re back with the Islanders again coming into a season where the challenges were massive, but never big enough to define what it means to be an Islander. This program always finds a way to make a run, and this season was no different.
One of the great traditions that comes along with “The Season” films is where we are privileged to present these, the historic Grand Theatre, downtown Grand Island.
We never have enough opportunity to thank the men and women who make this possible for us, so we would like publicly thank the Grand Foundation Board of Directors for their gracious and on-going commitment to this tradition. It can never be understated what it means to these teams, these parents, these coaches, and all those who support them.
“The Season” is truly special because of you…from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Please continue to support this amazing theatre!