What are explainer videos?
Explainer videos are short online videos used to explain your company’s product or service. They are marketing videos (usually under 2 minutes) used by brands, online companies and corporations to explain how a product or service works, with specific marketing purposes towards targeted audiences in a simple and entertaining manner.
What styles do you produce?
We don’t pin ourselves down to specific styles. The way your marketing video looks is more about what works for your brand and your target audience. Sometimes we employ a specific style and other times we come up with something bespoke or we blend various looks together. But if you’re looking for a list of styles we’ve covered: motion graphics, handcrafted paper cutouts, stop-motion, cartoons, live-action video editing with motion graphics and keyed backdrops, whiteboard animation, animated typography, 2D, 3D and tons more.
How far ahead do I need to book in the project?
Basically, as soon as possible. The more time for pre-production, the better. We’re usually booked a few months in advance but sometimes production slots become available, so if you have a rush job, it’s definitely still worth asking.
What dictates cost?
The biggest things we consider when quoting are the length of the video and the style. To get a quote, fill out our contact form and let us know what you need.
What needs to be done to get the ball rolling?
We email you a contract and an invoice. We require the contract to be signed and returned. The invoice, for 50% of the agreed fee will need to paid before the project is officially booked. The 50% payment also covers pre-production expenses such as purchasing a music track, hiring a voice-over talent and scripting. We will not start work on any part of the project until the down-payment is received in full.
Before we start pre-production, we will also send you a questionnaire to fill in and return. The answers in the questionnaire will provide us with enough information to create the draft script and begin to develop a style for the video.
How long does the process take?
Pre-production will often take as long as we have prior to the production slot. So if, for example, in January you book in a March production slot, we would use the lead up time to have the script written, select a style, hire a VO talent and have the narration recorded. Once production starts, it takes around 2 weeks to get a review copy online.
Do you provide videos in multiple languages?
Yes, but for the most part, you need to tell us ahead of production so that we can plan accordingly. When we quote, we generally quote for one language edit and then treat the other language versions as additional work.
Will I get the project files along with the video?
No. There’s a few reasons for this. Although I can see why people ask for them, it’s quite similar to having a meal in a restaurant and then asking the chef for the recipe so that you can make it at home and don’t have to come back again. It’d be terrible business for the restaurant. We’re of the same mind. Another reason is that we have had at least two clients who have tweaked the project files and sold on our work as their own. In fact, one individual set up a business by doing just that.
If we decide to cut content, will that discount the cost?
There’s a few ways that can go. If you book in a 2 minute video and then cut out a minute before we start production, it would alter the overall cost as we’d have cut the production work load in half and moved into the lower pricing bracket. However, we would still have worked on a 2 minute video in pre-production so that part would be charged for in full.
If we have already produced the video and it’s online for review and at that point we’re asked to cut a minute, it would not change the overall cost at all. The reason is that we would have already created a full 2 minute video regardless of cuts after the fact.
What formats do you provide the video in?
We usually provide a HD Quicktime (.MOV) file. You’ll generally find that this can be used on just about anything and uploaded anywhere. We also offer an MP4 as some clients need to play back the file on TVs via a USB port.
Can we meet up face to face?
No. Well, if you live in an area near one of the team, then possibly but otherwise this isn’t something we do. The reasons for this are as follows: We’ve worked for almost a decade without meetups and it saves a ton of time and allows us to keep our prices at an extremely competitive level. Another big reason is that we ask for all important information to be posted on a Basecamp project or sent via email for future reference (for more on this, see the next FAQ). The biggest reason though, is that we all work remotely. Some of us work in the UK, some in New York and Chicago, while others we employ are in places like Australia and various parts of continental Europe. So, for everyone on the project to meet up is a pretty big deal considering the size of an average explainer video project. It’s a much better option to arrange video chats where needed.
How will we communicate throughout the project?
We create a Basecamp project for each job so that everyone can see what’s happening, what needs to be done and what progress has been made. We prefer communication via email/Basecamp so that nothing gets lost in chats. When clients ask to communicate ideas and instructions via phone or Skype, what usually happens is that some of it will end up lost, forgotten or misunderstood. If information is posted on the Basecamp project, everyone can see and reference it later, in it’s entirety (instead of checking frantically recorded notes for important points). We’re definitely not against calls to initially say ‘hi’ and get to know each other but for other stuff, posting in text format is by far our preferred option.
How many revision sessions do I get?
Up to 3 revisions. In most cases, clients only require 1 to get it right but we offer up to 3 just in case. Revisions can consist of minor changes for the most part. In other words, you can have things changed such as colours, or adding an extra word or two to a text screen or maybe tweaking the timing. Revision sessions don’t cover a complete do-over or adding in additional/needless scenes. There’s plenty of time and opportunities for making sure that everything is in good order throughout the pre-production and production processes. To avoid anything important being missed out, you will need to tell us everything that we need to know before we begin work. This seems obvious but on more than one occasion, a client has said something along the lines of ‘now that you’ve finished everything, here’s some crucial important information that we held back‘. If extra work needs to be added to the project that wasn’t initially agreed to after the full edit is online for review, it will almost definitely bring with it additional fees.
What are the payment options?
We accept instant bank transfer or payment via PayPal. Payment details are provided on the invoice.
Is the down-payment refundable?
It depends on the timing of the request. If you were to pay a down-payment and then immediately cancel, there’s not going to be any issues with refunding the fee (not including refunding any handling fees such as PayPal fees). However, if pre-production has already begun or if we are so close to the booked timeslot that we wouldn’t have enough time to book another client into that production slot, we would not be able to refund the down-payment. It should be noted that we have never had any kind of dispute over down-payments in the ten years we have been in business.
Is there anything you won’t produce?
Lost Marble reserves the right to refuse certain requests for work. Refusals may be based on requests to produce content featuring nudity, racism, excessive violence, recreational drugs (including tobacco-based products) or offensive language.
What is time perception?
Time perception is a field of study within psychology, cognitive linguistics and neuroscience that refers to the subjective experience, or sense, of time, which is measured by someone’s own perception of the duration of the indefinite and unfolding of events.
What are black holes?
A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although the event horizon has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, no locally detectable features appear to be observed. In many ways a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Moreover, quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is on the order of billionths of a kelvin for black holes of stellar mass, making it essentially impossible to observe.