Frequently Asked Questions
My organization would like to commission a documentary, but we can't afford to pay for all of it - what are my options?
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO?
In the simplest of terms: I tell stories through film - all kinds too. Short documentaries, brand films, feature documentaries, and even how-to videos.
I'm a millennial - I grew up with the Internet, with Youtube, with Facebook - and I'm savvy with trends in how people (especially Millennials) consume video content online.
This, combined with a lifelong love of movies and stories, has brought me here: wherein I produce documentaries and brand films that align with an organization's marketing goals and culture.
WHO DO YOU WORK WITH?
Anyone who wants to fuel their business or engage audiences with film.
I've collaborated on films with the U.S. Department of State, non-profits, attorneys, small and mid-size companies, photographers, musicians, portrait artists, researchers - and one time - a candy maker.
DO YOU DO WEDDINGS?
WHAT IS A BRAND FILM? WHAT'S INVOLVED WITH CREATING ONE?
A brand film is a short video that aligns the value of your product or service with the hopes, fears, and dreams of your target audience. It's a story-driven marketing tool that resonates with your ideal customer. There's no corporate speak, and it's not salesy. At their best, they make your brand approachable and relatable, and your product or service down-right irresistible.
The first step in creating a brand film for your business or organization is to identify a call to action - what do we want people to do after they finish watching? How do we want them to feel towards your product, service, and/or brand?
From there, you and I draft a script - it includes scene descriptions, voiceover text, or maybe ideal soundbites that we want from a recorded interview. Using the script as a guide, I develop a shot list (this tells me, director of photography, exactly what shots I need to tell the story). Based on the scope of the visuals, I develop a shooting schedule - which varies greatly in length depending on the project.
My producer, or myself, will work with location managers, actors, property owners, and anyone else to make sure we acquire permission to film in our previously determined locations. We take care of everything on the day of shooting.
Using the script as a guide once again, we edit the film. A finished draft can take 4-6 weeks to complete. Depending on the season, it could take 2 weeks. We always strive to deliver the best possible finished product - therefore if you want the most accurate turnaround time, just contact me and ask.
DOES MY ORGANIZATION NEED A BRAND FILM OR DOCUMENTARY?
It all depends on your organization's objectives.
If you're a small to mid-size business you might consider a brand film that highlights your key value proposition or awesome company culture. If you're a non-profit, a documentary series highlighting the populations you serve may be a better fit.
DO YOU TRAVEL AND DOES IT COST EXTRA?
Bud Simpson and Co. is based out of Atlanta, GA - but we're an internationally operating production company.
- Projects with cumulative 3 hrs. of travel time = no extra charge for travel.
- Projects within driving distance, and between 3 - 10 hrs. of cumulative travel time = gas money, and accommodations if we require it.
- Anything more = let's chat.
WHO OWNS COPYRIGHT OF THE FILM?
For brand films, the copyright would go to you - the client.
For documentaries, the copyright would still go to you - the client - but we require a distribution contract with 20-40% share of any profit made from distribution.
WHO OWNS THE RAW FOOTAGE? HOW WILL IT BE USED?
Bud Simpson and Co. retains ownership of all footage used to create the final film.
We reserve the right to use RAW footage in any way we see fit, including - but not limited to - promotional materials, repurposing for other non-related projects, and selling select clips as stock footage. We will not use RAW footage in offensive, defamatory, or pornographic content.
DO YOU OFFER A MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE ON YOUR FILMS?
No, I do not offer a money-back guarantee on my work. Producing a film takes considerable resources and man hours to make, therefore offering a money-back guarantee is a liability for me and my team.
We strive to over-deliver for you and make a final product that you're excited to use.
DO YOU REQUIRE A DEPOSIT?
Yes, I require a 25% deposit to begin work on your brand film or documentary.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
It depends on the scope of the project.
The typical budget for producing a brand film is between $3,000 - $6,000.
For documentaries, the budget varies. We produced AVOICE4PEACE for roughly $60,000 - which is considered a micro-budget for feature documentaries.
For the most accurate quote, please contact me directly at info (at) budsimpson.com
DO YOU OFFER FINANCING OPTIONS FOR BRAND FILMS?
After we receive the 25% deposit, we offer several financing options:
- Full payment upon final draft completion
- Pay-as-you-go (invoices weekly or biweekly)
MY ORGANIZATION WOULD LIKE TO COMMISSION A DOCUMENTARY, BUT WE CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY FOR ALL OF IT - WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
That's completely normal! Which is why you see multiple producer credits in most films.
There are several options for funding documentaries. The two most common funding sources are:
- Grants, check out the International Documentary Association's list of grants to see which grants your film may qualify for. I've received every filmmaking grant that I've applied for, and can assist in writing the application.
- Crowdfunding, sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Every crowdfunding campaign I've started has been successfully funded. The benefit of crowdfunding is that it builds a community around your film, which will be helpful during distribution.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU FINISH A DOCUMENTARY?
After we finish a documentary, we enter our distribution phase; this means it's time to get the film in front of an audience. A distribution plan is drafted before we even begin filming.
Typically, this process begins with submitting the film to film festivals. If the film is well-received, it will receive awards, and may even be offered a contract by content distribution and video-on-demand companies. The film will tour the festival circuit for about a year, afterwards we'd release the film on a video-on-demand platform like Vimeo.