Developing Stories

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Below are some of the questions I get asked. If you have other questions, please give me a call on 202-744-4829 or send an email:


What is multimedia?

Multimedia refers to the use of video, audio, and images (photos or graphics)—as opposed to text-only or traditional printed forms—as content types.

Strategically, use of multimedia can be closely aligned with a social media strategy because they play well together. But they should not be confused. The term social media refers to the use of blogs and social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. that people today use to share, create, and exchange user-generated content.

Typical multimedia products include videos, infographics, data visualizations, slideshows–content that combines video, audio, and photos or graphic elements.


What is social media?

Social media refers to the use of blogs and social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. that people use to share, create, exchange user-generated content, and create community. New social sharing tools, apps, and social networking platforms are emerging all the time.


Technology has advanced so much today, why hire a professional?

As the cost of professional-standard cameras and other equipment goes down, what distinguishes a professional product and enhances your brand is less about the choice of technology than production.

In theory, there may be no reason why an intelligent person cannot master the medium, but in practice, experience counts. Documentary storytelling involves researching and understanding the facts and the wider story, and knowing how to intelligently and intentionally construct a narrative.

At Developing Stories we believe the difference between amateur video and professional video online today is good production. Visual storytelling is a craft that involves understanding the audio and visual elements of a story, as well as the aesthetics of narrative. We pride ourselves on the quality of our product, and our skill in the craft of visual storytelling.

If you’re looking to market your own business online, you can do that in a variety of ways—all the way from using Skype or a built-in camera on your PC to hiring a professional camera crew. But if you’re looking to tell a story about the work you do by creating a series of narratives in video, that requires some expertise, and you will benefit from consulting a professional to help think through a multimedia strategy and to create professional video stories.


What are the steps involved to make a good video?

Documentary shorts—videos from 2 to 30 minutes—involve a number of key steps. Each step may vary in terms of its complexity and maturity, but none of the steps should be skipped.

Our short guide shows the steps involved in making a video. Essentially, these are divided into preparation (defining the assignment, research, set up), filming, editing, and post-production. Communications and marketing are critical, and should be built in throughout the project, not just tacked on at the end, but many of the communications activities will happen once there’s a final product or set of products to work with.


What does it cost?

It’s difficult to speak in generalizations about the cost of “a video”, since the work involved varies so widely. It’s much easier to give an estimate for a specific assignment, or talk through an idea. So I’m always happy to discuss costs around specific projects. 

The work involved in making a video depends on the steps, and the time involved in each step. Video can be made from existing library footage, generated using animation and graphics, and a ton of digital tools. But if you want to capture footage in the field you’ll need to get a camera on the ground. You will pay for each day of filming, editing, and post-production. Research and set-up are critical, and travel costs will also figure into a final cost.

Post-production is the final step. Color correction and sound mixing will be done by your editor. If you are hiring a composer for music, or buying a license to use music that will be an additional cost.

One thing I like to do with clients is have a bigger sense of a project and where it fits, and to reduce costs by combining filming for two or three commissions into one trip, for example, since travel is often a large part of the costs. If you have a sense of the big picture it’s easy to be clear about where you can realistically cut costs, and where cutting costs really would affect the quality of the end product.

Give me a call on 202-744-4829 or send an email:


How long does it take?

You’ll see from the previous answers that this depends entirely on the project. It’s possible to turn around a video within a few hours if the footage is in hand, or if the assignment is nearby. But if it involves travel, and setting up interviews the project may depend on other people’s availability. That said, once filming is complete the turn-around can be quite fast, from a matter of hours to days, depending on your needs.

Contact us to talk through a project you have in mind:


What services does Developing Stories offer?

We create video and multimedia packages that help you fulfill your strategic goals. The services we provide include:

–       Strategic consultation

–       Story development: research and script development

–       Filming and editing, post-production

–       Outreach and engagement