Top 12 subreddits for filmmakers

Even as a corporate video production company, we’re still learning, always learning, so sometimes — in pursuit of the latest industry trends and creative inspiration — we find ourselves on Reddit. At first glance this self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet’ can seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to eat the whole thing in one go. For our convenience and yours, it’s divided into smaller communities called subreddits. These are a great resource once you get to know them. We’ve put together our Top 12 Subreddits for Filmmakers to help you get started.


The filmmakers subreddit is a real hodgepodge of useful resources and interesting news from the filmmaking world. It’s especially useful for beginners. For more specific or specialised subreddits, try some of the others on this list.


The screenwriting subreddit offers advice and tips for scriptwriters. The real value is that you can feedback from other writers. Don’t be shy, take part in ‘Logline Monday’, ‘Beginner Questions Tuesday’, or the ‘Weekend Script Swap’. Word to the wise: there are over a million members and some misinformed writers will provide peculiar feedback based on corny 90’s screenwriting manuals and the gurus who still teach from them. Look out instead for posts by verified professional screenwriters, such as WGA members, who dispense better advice and tackle misinformation.


Whether you’re into 2D, 3D, stop motion, or cel animation, this is the subreddit for you. It’s s a great source of inspiration and occasionally you’ll even find tips on how you can improve your corporate animation work.


This is a club house for camera nerds. There’s a huge amount of technical information and many discussions about cameras, lighting, and lenses. We’re not going to lie, cinematography is an extremely technical part of the filmmaking process. But there’s no need to panic. This subreddit is a handy demystifying resource.


If you have a smartphone, you have a movie studio in your pocket. Fact. Which is great news for anyone loathe to spend thousands of pounds on camera gear. While the previous subreddit often discusses high-end camera paraphernalia, this subreddit is a place to chat about making movies using your smartphone. Lots of professional filmmakers have used iPhones on major productions. We even have a blog about it.


There are people who say the magic happens in post-production. You’ll find those people here. By and large, members of this subreddit are professional editors sharing tips and news for all things post-production. Members work on every type of project that requires editing, from feature films to commercials, corporate films, and shorts.


This subreddit is a life-saver for anyone flummoxed by colour grading jargon. We all know that colour grading has a huge impact on tone and emotion. Thing is, it’s daham difficult to get creative until you understand the tool. This sub includes tons of incredibly helpful links.


It’s (very) helpful to have a place to share and critique work, particularly if you’re working independently. Often a fresh pair of eyes will spot the obvious – and save you time, money and (if you’re lucky) provide that little missing piece that’ll take your vfx work from good to great. This is where you’ll find constructive criticism and inspiration.


Because we love movies! Here’s a subreddit that focuses on feature film analysis and news. This is important for us because lots of trends in Hollywood make their way into commercials and marketing videos, especially in terms of colour grading – expect everything to look like The Fabelmans  in the coming year!


Listen, sound quality can make or break your video. Recording high quality sound during a shoot is critical as many things are difficult or near impossible to fix in postproduction. This subreddit is dedicated to the on-set sound department.


So, you did the best you could with on-set sound, and yet . . . This subreddit is exclusively focused on audio post-production. It’s where you’ll get the inside track on how to level-up your mixing and sound design skills or (sigh) salvage what you can. Your post-production know-how can have a massive impact on the finished film. Just saying.


When you need to dress an existing location or create an entirely new set, this subreddit is a great place to ask questions about materials, design, and on set etiquette. No, it’s not just for noobs.  Still learning, always learning, remember?


When you’ve found inspiration on Reddit for a brand video or explainer for your company,  we can help make it a reality. Contact us to find out how, when and why your good ideas can appear on screen. Go on, you know you want to.

Or keep reading: Top subreddits for small businesses

Our 29 best cyber security videos

We asked our team of video production experts to sit down with our team of technology PR pros and curate this list of the best cyber security videos. Here’s what they came up with.

Secure Freeze by Cisco

They said: Cisco have really upped the game here. A beautifully shot and seriously stylish film with high production value, which keeps your attention right to the end. 

Don’t be a Billy by Stay Safe Online

They said: This old-time video doesn’t promote a cyber security product, but rather uses old-time looking footage to teach a few basics of personal cyber security.

Internet Privacy Prank by Buzzfeed

They said: The Buzzfeed team got together to prank some unsuspecting people on the street and show them just how easy (and somewhat frightening) it can be to find out just about anything about just about anyone online; remember to check your privacy settings, folks!

Breaches Stop Here by CrowdStrike

They said: Bold, gamified visuals with a retro feel keep you hooked on this short video from CrowdStrike. In an ever-transforming cyber security space, they offer the first cloud-native platform to keep your data safe.

Cyber Security Summit by Kapersky

They said: The cool, Tron-like visuals make this compelling animated cyber security short really stand out in a crowded space.

AT&T Threat Manager

They said: Whether it’s the cinematic sound design or crisp, high-tech aesthetic, the experts at AT&T give you a sense that they really know what they’re doing.

Our security is in the Network by Cisco

They said: Cyber security can be complicated, and no one knows that better than Cisco. In this short advert they quickly convey their expertise in the topic.

Kapersky Internet Securit

They said: Sometimes the simplest approach is the most effective. This bright and cartoonish video from Kapersky delivers a clear message, without the use of voiceover.

Security by Facebook

They said: Don’t be fooled by the simple animation style, this Facebook short delivers solid messaging though a selection of handy tips.


Arrow Security

They said: The team at Arrow Security make use of mixed live and comic-style animation to get their message across, reminding us to be vigilant. It’s short, cool and creepy!

Cyber Security 360 By JTI

They said: Smart graphics in this intriguing piece from JTI are given a very contemporary spin through the smart use of 360 technology.


Home Security System by Arlo Smart

They said: Promoting a smart home security product can be tricky in a saturated market. This fun little explainer stands out with its cute characters and clean graphics.

Internet Security by Norton

They said: Who doesn’t love a celebrity cameo? Combine that with a magical unicorn and you’ve got yourself a commercial that people will pay attention to. This ad from Norton makes use of metaphor to remind you to secure your online assets.


National CyberSecurity Awareness Month by The Obama White House

They said: Not a corporate video, but as this smooth talker walks through some basic cybersecurity information you’ll feel yourself lulled into a sense of… security.

Network Threat Prevention by Bitdefender

They said: Bitdefender’s witty scene is a winner. It’s a short and simple premise that keeps things light in an often complex and dark cybersecurity field.

The Cyber Kill Chain by Panda Security

They said: Cool 3D graphics and a smart music choice power this slick Panda Security explainer animation, delivering a complex message in a straightforward way.


Norton Customer Stories by Norton

They said: A customer testimonial can be a seriously powerful business tool. In this Norton film, Bruce gives us a relatable run-down of how Norton has transformed his online security habits. 

Without the Best Cyber Security, Bad things happen (Art thief edition) by Check Point Software

They said: Check Point Software Technologies created a series of short (30 second) videos that show what happens when you don’t have adequate cyber security.

Wherever work happens, cyber threats are watching by Palo Alto Networks

Ominous music and muted colour grading? Tick. Gillian Anderson? Tick. A powerful (and slightly funny) film that reminds us how constant cyber security threats are in our everyday lives.

Cyber security by La Trobe

They said: A very effective use of music and brooding visuals make this dramatic La Trobe film stand out from the crowd.

Donning the Digital Mask: Anonymous by Chris Finn

They said: Rather than focusing on what you can do to prevent cyberattacks, this film shines a light on the group of pranksters/hackers/activists known as Anonymous.

Cyber Security Game trailer by BeOne

They said: A cheeky, very dramatic trailer for a cyber security educational VR game for employees from BeOne. A smart product promoted in a cool manner!


How Russia Hacked America by the Atlantic

They said: Seemingly an update to the now outdated whiteboard animation, this complex infographic-style animation from The Atlantic breaks down how Russia hacked the 2016 American election, and why it matters.


Cyber Security by HP

They said: HP had a few impressive stats to share back in 2014, and this short ad has some great visuals to underline those points.


Smarter Planet Smarter Cyber Security by IBM

They said: The shortest video on the list, the colourful visuals work really well in landing the message that IBM are spotting thousands of threats every day.


See Kevin Hack Live by Kevin Mitnick

They said: Few methods are more effective than a live demonstration. While this video is very long, we suggest skipping to the 3 minute mark to see how easy it is to hack into a remote computer.


Cyber Security 1 by LSTCNVRSTN

They said: I would say that it’s rare for videos of any kind (particularly animation) to remain relevant and visually appealing even a couple of years after publication. This video is an exception to the rule.


Cybersecurity Explainer by Connect

They said: A stylishly animated short from Connect, this classy explainer delivers a clear and crisp message in under its 90 second run time.


Protection test by Kapersky Lab

They said: Slick, creepy and effective: this protection test from Kapersky Lab is hard to look away from!


Looking to create your own corporate video? Contact our team of experts to discuss your brief.

Or find out more about our history as B2B PR agency.

Can the iPhone be used as a professional camera?

When Steve Jobs launched the original iPhone in 2007, he pitched it as three revolutionary products in one: a mobile phone, a music player and internet browser. What’s wild, looking back, is that he didn’t even mention the camera.

But constant competition between smartphones means a budding Spielberg or Scorsese can now fit a film studio in their pocket. The arms race in the palm of your hand means clients often ask us if it’s worth using fancy professional gear at all.

After all, as phones get ever more affordable, even big name directors have started shooting films on their dog and bone. To give just one example, Steven Soderbergh filmed High Flying Bird for Netflix back in 2019.

Here at TopLine Film, we obviously have an opinion on this, but we thought we’d go with one of the golden rules of film making: show, don’t tell. (Ok, there might be bit of tell afterwards.)

Spot the difference?

Sunny Cambridge gave us the perfect opportunity to do a cheeky head-to-head. We interviewed our very own Jamie using both an (older) iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the Sony FX9, which is quickly establishing itself as a popular choice for professionals. With our operator handling both at the same time, we’re now able to make a direct comparison.

Have a gander here:

You probably picked up on a few differences, but here’s our comprehensive breakdown:

  • Skin tones and colour rendition: we think the Sony does skin more subtly, with more natural complexions and details, while the iPhone skews towards red and purple. Likewise, the Sony does a better job with small areas of contrast, like the dark t-shirt or Jamie’s hair.
  • Dynamic range: the iPhone doesn’t handle the details in the lightest and darkest areas as well as the Sony. It looks compressed, while the Sony’s wider variety gives a more balanced – even calmer – image.
  • Motion: speaking of calm, we think the iPhone video looks choppier and tenser. The Sony, on the other hand, is much smoother when it comes to anything moving. (And smoothness is a real hot potato at the moment – as Tom Cruise explains.)
  • Depth of field: the Sony has a shallower depth of field (which means the background is blurry.) That isn’t always better – but in this case, it helps to isolate Jamie from the background and stops the people behind him from being a distraction.
  • Sharpness: both images are sharp and in focus. But again, we think the Sony pips it in this department, with a sharpness that doesn’t sacrifice the subtle boundaries between tones.
  • Compression of space: the Sony comes with changeable lens – the longer lens we used here compresses the space, making for a more pleasing composition.

The grand finale

Across the board, we think the Sony gives a more cinematic picture than the iPhone. So is that it – case closed? Not quite.

Cinematic doesn’t automatically mean better. Here at TopLine, we don’t have time for tech snobs. We use the best tool for the job at hand. So yes, if you’re putting together say a commercial, or a documentary, or a corporate brand video, the Sony is the way to go.

But for something more casual, or immediate, or even, dare we say it, authentic? If you’re filming user-generated content (or something that’s supposed to feel like user-generated content) then the iPhone’s the better shout.

Of course, the technology you have isn’t even half of the equation. It’s whoever’s using it that really determines how successful your story will be. The storyboarders, directors, animators, editors – they’re the real stars of the show.

So if you need help with a project, we have the right equipment and the right people to bring it to life.

And in the meantime, much as we love the Sony…we won’t be giving up our iPhones any time soon.

Our 15 best event videos

Event video production is a curious beast: your event video needs to have a clear cinematic perspective and it needs to have a high production value, despite the inconvenient intrusions of real life. Because event videos, more than regular corporate videos, are shaped and defined by how people behave. Your ‘raw materials’ depend entirely on what happens on a specific day and date, and what people say: you don’t get any do-overs or second chances.

So, they’re particularly hard to get right and that’s why, when they’re good, event videos tend to be really good. Here are fifteen of the best event videos.

The World Economic Forum

What an emotional rollercoaster. This video uses some shocking images of current events with extraordinary sound design. The finished product is fantastic and makes really good use of visual storytelling.

Coachella Thank You

A music festival is many things to many people: an opportunity to see artists new and old; a chance to partake in guilt-free indulgences; a way for stressed-out finance workers, self-taught yoga instructors, and rich teens to cut loose and go feral for a few days.

Coachella’s 2016 Thank You Video is an example of one of the best event videos because it captures this unique, multi-dimensional appeal. It highlights the fun and revelry of attending the festival, seeing the acts, and the communal bond that only those who spend three nights a year getting trashed in a field can enjoy. There are also some fabulous drone shots, and most importantly, the video highlights the best of the festival as a way to attract visitors to attend in future. As we get older, watching this video seems way better than actually going.

IATA and Emirates Airlines Hackathon


There are a bunch of hackathons, and a bunch of hackathon videos, and this is the best one we’ve seen: it merges high production values with cinematic flair.

Now, we think hackathons are cool – they’re breeding grounds for innovation – but this is a bigger achievement than you might think. For all intents and purposes, it’s the kind of event that can look like a bunch of nerds in a room. With beautiful b-roll, slow motion, drone footage, and well-chosen interview footage (at one point, the interviewee is only seen in an extreme wide shot), the producers bring out the excitement and the invention of the event.

The choices made during production add to the high quality of the video – the lenses are beautiful – but it’s just as defined by the choices made in post-production: the soundtrack is fun, epic, and the film is edited to match its beat. This video is about much more than an event – it uses the event to promote Emirates’ core messages of supporting innovation, the customer and Dubai.

VivaTech Teaser

In preparation for their 2021 event, VivaTech made this lovely video ad which we think is quite original. Rather than just throwing together a montage of old event footage, they’ve created a little story using stock footage and motion graphics. OK there’s still some montage in there, but who doesn’t love a montage?

League of Legends


In less than a decade, gaming has transformed from a niche interest into a bonafide global phenomenon. Nothing captures this better than the success of multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) such as DOTA and League of Legends – where not only do thousands of players log on and do battle against each other online, but thousands more watch them do it.

The experience of watching someone else play a game might not sound like it makes for one of the best event videos – but this League of Legends video captures what makes it so interesting for so many. Shot with the aim of capturing the experience and perspective of an e-sports fan, it uses slo-mo to create a distinct mood, frequently cuts to team and fan reactions, and uses a skilfully deployed ‘Orange is the New Black’-style match cut of people’s faces.

Google Conference Producer

You gotta hand it to Google: the company has a distinctive brand style – from its multicoloured logo to its funky offices to its famous ‘Doodles’ – and it’s one that it never compromises.

In the abstract, enigmatic, music-driven animated opener to its Horizon conference, Google effectively sets the tone for the event: creating a sense of anticipation and mystery befitting one of the most well-known, yet unknowable, companies in the world.

Tough Mudder

A different entry from the others, but no less potent, Tough Mudder captures the grit, determination, toughness, and, well, mud, required to participate in this event. It’s a frantic, pacey video that captures the highs, lows, challenges, and rewards of slogging through the course. It feels, on some level, like a very well-built personal trainer yelling at you in a vaguely motivational way, and that is plainly the tone the producers were going for.

The interview style used gives the impression that footage is being digitally ‘fed’ directly from the event, and snappy, on-beat editing contributes to an impactful, adrenaline-boosting effect. Tough Mudder’s unique vibe is well-represented within shareable, bite-sized, social-media-friendly content. If you’re the sort of person who would sign up to this kind of event, in other words, this video would probably convince you to do so.

And then, after a minute and a half of tough, muddy intensity, it rounds off with an encouraging, beautifully narrated, almost-poetic call to action (CTA). It’s an example of event video production at its best.


As we all know, Apple is all about a slick brand image and this is echoed in their September Event Video released in 2018. We love the way it starts off as a first-person point of view shot walking through the Apple HQ towards the Steve Jobs Theatre. What an engaging way to open a video and make your audience feel like they’re part of the event. The best bit for us, however, is yet to come… a Hollywood-style short film set in the Apple HQ is then played on the main stage to the Mission Impossible soundtrack. We love how this introductory video is used to introduce the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, onto the stage and think this is an innovative way of making event videos more fun and exciting!


Another animated event video that made it to our top 15 is the Toyota Concept-I video that opened the CES 2017 event in Las Vegas! We love how they have managed to capture the driving experience in a very minimal way, using very basic geometric shapes. It’s an animation entirely about driving yet not showing a single visual of a car, instead, communicating it all through the motion.

Bits & Pretzels

The Bits and Pretzels 2017 event video is another video you look at and think wow – that’s somewhere we’d like to be! Everything about this video just works, the pace is spot on, the music is epic, the shots are dynamic and the general production value is very high. We especially love how the video starts off slowly and escalates as time goes on.


This animated event video is just so engaging from the start, we can see why Unilever chose to open their event with it in 2013. We love the way the narrative draws you in, how the sound effects bring the animation to life and the seamless swirling transitions between scenes. The whole theme is very epic and futuristic!

Semi Permanent 

Speaking of themes, in 2018 the Semi-Permanent event in Sydney had a theme of creative tension. The opening titles to the event were designed as a representation of what they described as “the story of microorganisms from birth to death”. We love the vibrant colour palette, the swirling transitions, and intricate detail of the animation created by eleven people from different disciplines around the world. Just beautiful!

MWC Barcelona 2022

This event video does more than just promote, it provides useful information about the event logistics. Using motion graphics and voice over, the audience are guided through visitor information, much like an explainer video.

Money 20/20

We love this video. The soundtrack is so suspenseful, with the audience being teased about the upcoming event space. Some clever use of graphic mock ups works well to build excitement.


Most music festival videos are great, it’s not hard to capture weird and wonderful footage (everywhere you point the camera), but we think this one is quite special. It’s been edited with a lot of thought and some lovely touches likes black and white photography, hero shots and vintage filter effects. It’s also nice to see some behind the scenes of the bands. We’ve got our tickets for next year!

Hosting an event and want to turn it into future opportunities for your business? Get in touch with our MD to discuss your brief.

Eyeballs don’t come cheap: how to spot high production values

It looks like you’re paying for a video, but you’re not.

You’re actually paying for something people will watch.

Video is a no-brainer in any marketing strategy. But, with 86% of marketing pros wielding it as a tool in their campaigns, the market is getting saturated. Thick and fast.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – don’t shoot the messenger – but this puts you between the devil and the deep blue sea. Basically, you’re doomed if you do, you’re doomed if you don’t.


Unless your videos are better than their videos. BAM!

Quality video sees the best ROI. Fact.

Yes, we all know you can make a video on a shoestring. In fact, you can do it for nothing – just point your iPhone at your subject and hit record. But if you’re on the market for a corporate video production company, you probably want a little more. But maybe you can’t quite articulate what “more” means.

Sometimes when you watch a corporate video you are so drawn in that you can’t think of anything else. Other times it’s just a bit meh….As a layperson you might not be able to pinpoint why Video A is so much better than Video B, but trust us…anyone in the industry will immediately be able to. So when two video production companies quote for your corporate video, and the quotes are wildly apart, that’s usually not because the more expensive one is ripping you off – it’s because they are offering you higher production value – which often means better value.

So here’s a challenge – when you watch a video, look out for these indicators of production value:

  1. Visuals: Pixel-perfect, high-definition visuals across all screens and media platforms: is it too much to ask? Blurry, grainy or shaky footage is a dead giveaway.
  2. Sound: Crystal clear audio suggests high production value. Distortion – voices that are unrecognisable in a sea of loud noise – not so much.
  3. Transitions: A quality video flows seamlessly from shot to shot and scene to scene. If you can feel the transitions, you’re hurting when you shouldn’t be.
  4. Continuity: That moment when you wonder what the hell you missed. When everything isn’t what it was a second ago. Doesn’t happen.
  5. Colour correction & grading: Just like your corporate branding, a quality video looks consistent throughout.

So this is where the more expensive video production company is putting in the extra hours:

  • Understanding the brand identity, creative vision, and project goals.
  • Planning that keeps the project on time, on script and on budget.
  • A whole production team that stays up to date on the newest film-making techniques.
  • Making informed decisions on casting, scouting locations, wardrobe.
  • Investment in the proper equipment to get the job done.
  • The know-how to get the best out of the equipment. Like camera techniques and the use of gimbals, sliders, dollys, jibs, steadicams, drones.
  • Management of nervous interviewees and other non-actors to create authentic scenes, rapport and emotional connection.
  • Legal compliance. This includes image rights and union regulations.

Quality is a strategic decision

High-quality video drives more visitors to your website, leads to higher search rankings, and converts more customers.

But as it happens, we don’t just make videos.

We’re in the trust-building, awareness-spreading, opportunity-creating business. Which we do by creating quality made-to-measure videos.

You might also like:

Video production costs explained


When it comes to video production costs, we feel confident in saying that confusion abounds. We get video production and animation enquiries from companies with £1,000 to spend and companies with budgets exceeding £100,000. And while we will always turn away the £1,000 leads, the fact is, a video can be made on an iPhone for free, or a motion picture production studio could make it for millions.  So when someone asks us about video production costs, there really isn’t a single, definitive answer.

That said, if you know how you want your video to look (remember, we have research that shows that the quality of your video reflects on your brand) and you know how long it should be, we can guide you as to the overall video production costs.

Factors that influence video production costs

Two factors have a bearing on video production costs: resource and process.

The sheer physical resource required to bring a project to fruition – hours in pre-production, number of people working on the project, quality of any equipment used – will significantly influence the cost. A 4K shoot might use a Sony FX9 or a Canon C500; a budget shoot might use a DSLR camera designed primarily to capture still images. The difference between five days of editing and half a day of editing can be the difference between something sleek, professional, and well-paced and something that looks cobbled together from stock footage in Windows Movie Maker. For animation, a higher budget means better graphics and more detail.

The second factor is the process. It’s less tangible, but it’s just as important. A significantly cheaper video might be visually indistinguishable from a more costly one: it might use the same grade of camera or the same animation style, and it might have the same sound quality. However, corners will inevitably be cut in pre-production, production, and post-production. A skeleton crew (and no, not the fun Pirates of the Caribbean kind!) will be used instead of a full five-person team, and most likely populated with newbies and graduates instead of veterans. Mistakes and delays will happen, and whatever you think you’re saving in raw cost, you’ll pay for in sheer hassle.

What the ideal video budget should cover

With the right video production budget, you’ll get a complete, experienced crew: a producer, director, camera operator, assistant, sound recordist and editor. In other words, a well-qualified, well-oiled filming machine.

The crew will do a comprehensive location recce to figure out where to shoot and how, before the day of filming arrives they’ll:

  • try every angle
  • figure out the best lighting
  • check every room and corridor for the best possible locations.

For a case study video, a production team will interview several times as many people as they need to – figuring out who’s charismatic enough to sell the message and who should never under any circumstances appear on film!

But beyond that, the right video production budget gives you a deeper, more consultative relationship. With twenty hours of producer time, you’ll have many more options when it comes to crafting the video you want. If you’ve changed your requirements during the storyboarding process, the producer and designer will work together to meet your evolving preferences. Scripting services will typically be included via freelancers or in-house writers – bringing your message to life with intelligence and verve. If something goes wrong on the day, there will be contingency plans in place to accommodate it. In other words, you get what you pay for.

Different video production cost levels

We get it – if you’re researching video production costs, you want numbers. So we have broken down the different cost levels for a corporate video of around 30-60 seconds in length. It’s designed to give you a ballpark idea as to what your video production might cost.

Do it yourself (almost free)

The cheapest option is to use your smartphone or a DSLR camera. As a rule, if it has decent audio, then it’ll do the job. But because it won’t have the production value, this type of video needs quality content to carry it. Just remember not to be too ambitious if you haven’t got the resources to pull it off. And maybe take an online course in video production to make sure you avoid some of the obvious mistakes.

Our tips:

  • Get audio done right – buy a lapel mic from amazon to make sure the audio is good enough.
  • Try to use natural light and have the scene well lit.
  • Use a tripod.
  • Film at the highest resolution and quality possible.
  • Make a feature of the fact that you’re filming it yourself – user-generated content can be compelling if you commit to the style.

We should add here that even if you can borrow all the equipment and don’t have to spend a cent, this approach isn’t really free, because your time is valuable!

Video creation platforms (£50-£300)

We have come across quite a few video creation platforms. is one example. While we don’t use these much ourselves, they can be great for social content, particularly when you need a lot of this. There is still an art to getting it right, and you’ll have to educate yourself on messaging, image selection and the entire process.

Freelancers (approximately £1,000 – £5,000)

Freelancers can normally do the job for less than a production company. Ideally, you want someone who can do everything – an all-rounder who can produce and edit and help with concept creation and shooting. You can expect the equipment they use to be modest but still professional.

The downside to this is that an all-rounder won’t be good at everything. You’ll also be completely at the mercy of that person – if they have one style, you’ll have to go with that, and if they go on holiday or have other clients, they might take ages to make changes. Many freelancers don’t take much of a strategic approach either.

To find a good freelancer you can look on directory websites like and Production Base, but we find just asking around is the best way. Most people know someone who works in video production. Also, look on Vimeo for showreels and try contacting the publisher yourself.

Production company (approximately £5,000 – £50,000)

If you work with a reputable corporate video production company, you can guarantee that you’ll have a team of people working on your video. That means you’ll get specialists in each discipline (editing, camera work, and scriptwriting) that will elevate the whole product. If you have lots of creatives bringing their brains to your video, you’ll also get their collective experience of working with thousands of clients.

A production company should also take all the management off your hands – the whole process should be a lot more strategic and methodical, with an emphasis on results. They’ll likely have experience and a legacy in creating result-driven videos, and they will be able to advise on your video distribution strategy (and create your video with this strategy in mind), making them that much more reliable and effective. Plus, they should have access to better equipment, meaning they can scale up to handle larger projects and or multiple projects at once.

Most production companies don’t charge usage fees for anything they create, but it may be required for actors, talent, and voiceover. When these are needed, they should negotiate on your behalf. Again, your video company should discuss this with you right at the beginning of the project.

A £5k budget video can still look very good even if simple for filmed content. However, animation at the same price point can be a bit sketchy. The starting point for animation is around £7k for quality, but from this level, film vs animation is priced similarly, with the following starting points:

  • Filmed case study £5,000
  • Filmed corporate video £7,500
  • Brand film / promo + socials £12,000
  • 90 sec 2D animation £7,000
  • 90 sec 2.5D animation £8,500
  • 90 sec 3D animation £10,000
  • 60 second motion graphics / typography £6,000

So, that’s the short answer to “how much does a video cost?”. But other common questions or queries we get about the price of videos include:

What about that cheap video production company?

We found a company who can do it for really cheap and price is the most important thing to us. Do you think the video will still be OK to use?

The answer here is that ultimately, you get what you pay for. You won’t get something that is high-quality and credible for cheap. If you can’t afford to use a quality agency, then we suggest finding a good freelancer. You’ll be removing the margins, but you’ll have to manage them, which requires more investment of your time and brings more risk – especially if you have no experience managing video projects.

Delivering ROI

To get a video made, we need to provide a clear return on investment (ROI). How can we do that?

ROI comes from the video strategy, which any good corporate video production company will help you build. If your video must deliver leads, for example, then that needs to be built into the strategy right from the beginning. If your video production company doesn’t think the video will deliver the ROI you’re after, they should say so as they won’t meet the brief.

It’s important to clarify that your video doesn’t have to break the bank: if it won’t be made appreciably better by 4K or a crane shot – as fun as crane shots are – then there’s no point in paying for it. Your priorities should determine  your video production budget.

But quality videos don’t compromise on the things that matter: whether they’re tangible things like equipment or intangible things like experience and process. It doesn’t matter how low the price point; it always costs you more to buy something shoddy in the end.

Good work isn’t cheap – and cheap work isn’t good. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

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Our guide to internal video production

Your corporate video is usually aimed at potential customers, which means its primary purpose is typically to capture the viewer’s attention and hold it for as long as it takes to deliver the message.

But internal videos are different. Your audience already knows you, they are usually happy to hear from you and they need a lot less convincing to watch to the end. So thankfully that means you don’t need to worry too much about content, message delivery, scripting, visual impact or memorability in an internal video.


We’re joking of course (we know – we are hilarious). Because your internal audience matters just as much as your external ones. While you might have slightly more leeway on some aspects of script writing for internal videos, you really do still need to apply the principles of marketing when speaking to this audience.

We spoke to our friends at internal communications agency, Words & Pictures and they told us that internal can mean many things, so the first step in producing an internal video is to understand:

  • who it’s for (all employees; finance team; EMEA stakeholders)
  • how they are going to consume it (online; corporate away day)
  • how much they know about the subject already

Internal comms videos are often discussing change – the videos need to promote that change and encourage the audience to feel a certain way about it. That means the brief is important. You need to establish the overall goals:

  • What do you want viewers to DO after watching your videos? It’s really important to have a handle on the call to action.
  • What should they KNOW? Is there a policy change that you want them to really understand?
  • And how would you like them to FEEL after watching? Should they feel more engaged or connected to your company? Empowered? Inspired?

Internal videos can be longer than external ones where you are competing with unlimited noise. Your internal audience is already somewhat invested and the topic is likely to impact them directly. That said, it’s best to keep it short – the rules of online video still apply – your internal audience is still being bombarded by a lot of noise, and you don’t want them to stop watching because they get bored.

And when it comes to tone of voice, you can be a lot less formal and corporate when speaking to your employees and other internal stakeholders. In fact, it’s encouraged!

Location, location, location – how to choose where to film your company video

It’s day one of your corporate video shoot. The CEO knows her lines. The crew has tried and tested all their equipment. The caterers have fresh croissants and coffee. Everyone is ready to roll. Except no one can find the location. One camera assistant gets lucky and stumbles upon it, only to discover there are no plug-points and it’s full of old office furniture. Phone calls are made, fingers are pointed, time passes and the light changes. The entire production schedule loses a day and you spend the night combing budgets to cover the overtime.

Choosing where to film your video is as important as writing the script. Neither is easy and honestly, both are better left to the experts. While the executive boardroom may look good to the naked eye, its fluorescent strip-lighting overhead, or its proximity to the construction site over the road, make it an immediate no-no for the camera.

At TopLine Film, our very experienced corporate video production team has navigated some tricky shoots and follows one very important rule: wherever possible, recce the location beforehand. It’s not always doable and can ruffle some feathers, especially if the chosen location is the CEO’s office, but it does pay-off in the long-run, saving our clients from dull-looking videos that may not present them in the best light, literally.

If you’re looking to make a company video that sticks to the schedule and budget, delivers on the brief, and doesn’t cause unnecessary stress, consider where to film it carefully. We’ve put some handy pointers together to help you.

Seeing the light

It’s your company video which means shooting it at your offices is the preferred location. However, bear in mind that most offices, even the über trendy ones, suffer from the sin of fluorescent lighting and cheap energy saving bulbs. The light they cast may look white but it’s actually tinged with green or pink – which the camera can pick up. Crews can spend hours fighting with light rather than controlling it, especially in offices where one switch controls a whole floor. When choosing where to film, opt for a space in which the light is dimmable and isolated. Faces that look bilious or sunburnt can be fixed to some degree in the edit, but avoid adding that to the post-production and choose a location with the right light from the start.

Climbing the walls

If you want to drive your production agency dilly, give them a room with four white walls to shoot in. Plain white walls are, quite simply, plain. And reminiscent of a lunatic asylum which we doubt is the look you’re going for. Unless your CEO looks like Halle Berry, a boring backdrop will lose audience interest and there is not much a camera or edit crew can do to liven it up. Our video team has seen this mistake time and time again, and has spent precious minutes running around trying to find an office plant to artfully throw in shot. If you’re not sure where to film, choose a couple of rooms that are aesthetically appealing and let the crew in to check them out beforehand and make the final call. Ultimately you want to create a video that holds your audience’s attention for its full duration so don’t let the décor let you down.

Go big or go home

Bigger rooms are better. Unless they are filled with big, heavy, expensive, shiny, immovable boardroom tables. Production crews work faster when they have space to play with angles and lighting, and space to store all their gear with them.

Easy access

If your company is on the 22nd floor of a central London skyscraper, security and parking issues can cause irritating delays. Whatever the size or location, always clear the production crew with security beforehand, be there to meet the crew and show them where to go, and provide them with all-day parking permits as close to the chosen shoot location as possible. We’ve experienced lengthy back entrance security sign in processes for our gear and crew that were completely unexpected and unplanned for – should this be protocol, inform the crew so that they can arrive even earlier and no time is wasted.

Drop a pin

Whether in the city, out in the country, or somewhere in between, your production crew needs to know where to go. Use Google Maps Drop Pins to share your location. Nothing wastes more time than getting lost.

Noise levels

Don’t just look at where to film. Listen too. The perfect location is immediately undone by uncontrollable noise levels. We’ve often arrived on set only for our sensitive audio equipment to be drowned out by construction either next door or in the building. Air conditioning can be a problem too, causing lots of background noise that is impossible to separate in post-production. Also, it’s worth remembering that air conditioning is like office lighting; often controlled by one switch per floor.

Mirror mirror on the wall

Too many windows or well buffed surfaces can cause numerous hassles for crew, often reflecting them into shot during filming. A good crew will check this in their recce and come to shoot with the right equipment called ‘flags’ to block the reflections.

Come rain or come shine

The weather can cause havoc whether shooting indoors or out. A sunny day is great – until a cloud passes over and changes the exposure. This makes continuity a challenge, especially if the video is being edited. Time of day is a factor too as the location’s natural light will be impacted by the direction in which it faces: a 5pm shoot when the sun is lower in the sky may result in unwanted lens flare or overexposure. By visiting the location before the shoot, and at the same proposed shoot time, the production crew can assess any issues and plan accordingly.

Going the distance

How far away is the location? Remember that the crew needs time to set up before the shoot, and time after the shoot to wrap up. If the location is too far from base and it’s a two-day shoot (or longer), then overnight accommodation will have to be budgeted for in the production costs.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you make the best company video possible, talk to Jamie, our managing director.

Our 22 best ecommerce videos

People who watch videos on ecommerce sites are almost twice as likely to buy. They’ll also trust your brand more, spend more time in your online store. But what makes for a good ecommerce video?

We got our team of video producers, animators, camera operators, editors and directors to trawl the web in search of the world’s best ecommerce videos. Here’s their selection of the top 20.

Magento – The Art of Commerce


They said: “Clean lines and fluid movement keep the animation cracking along.”


They said: “Great use of humour and not taking themselves too seriously, we’ve shared this video a few times.”

This is Webflow ecommerce


They said: “Soft, muted, and unusual -almost dreamy- animation style looks great and sells the message.”

Solo Stove

They said: “Including user generated content and review footage for this product was a great idea.”

eCommerce Revolution: Leveraging Social Media for Big Profits


They said: “Love the energy in this film – with the colours popping, and the cool track.”



They said: “This animation has a really unusual 50’s or 60’s ‘drawn’ style that works well in selling the product.”

Unilever Ecommerce


They said: “The bold colours and clean lines work well on this brand/ecommerce update animation.”

Bugaboo – Ecommerce Strategy & Platform


They said: “Super vibrant mix of colour, product cut-outs and pacey edit is eye catching.”

Die Post – Ecommerce


They said: “Love the home made/cardboard aesthetic of this promo.”

UFC e-commerce


They said: “Punchy well shots cinematic visuals make this short crackle.”

Blender Bottle


They said: “Very short, but it makes its point with beautifully shot imagery and unusual voice over.”

Dollar Shave Club


They said: “Cheeky, funny and well thought out, it proved to be a well-earned viral hit.”



They said: “Simple 2D animation that works well because it has excellent flow.”

ASOS – More reasons to move


They said: “Great typography and energy.”


They said: “Icons. Icons. Icons. This company knows who its audience is.”



They said: “The simple structure of this product video works so well. Identify what everyone has an issue with, and show how you have solved it. Easy.”

My cloud


They said: “Bright and breezy animation style really sells the product uses.”

eBay – It’s happening on eBay


They said: “Love the typography design in this with big bold colours and overall it has a really fun energy to it.”

Man Crates


They said: “So silly, but really enjoyable. The voice over choice really made this product video.”

Amazon – Alexa – Not everything makes the cut


They said: “More fun and games with Alexa, matching the hilarious tone of their 2018 Superbowl commercial with some more famous faces.”

Zalando – Dress for yourself, no one else



They said: “Trying to out-zany Amazon it seems. Love the energy and the clever cutting giving the illusion of instant costume changes.”

ASOS – My Style Is Never Done


They said: “Some lovely match cutting throughout this to keep the energy up and some animation in there too.”

Feeling inspired? Ready to get started on your video? Want to create a new addition to our best ecommerce videos list? We know just the video production company for you.