People often ask us why a commercial video production company would want to make films for private families. The truth is that we started by making films for families and because of our interests in storytelling and marketing, soon found ourselves making films for brands. We’re a production company that is first and foremost interested in telling authentic stories in witty ways that forge an emotional connection with viewers.
In 2012, when we started creating Day-in-the-life Films for families in Los Angeles and New York, parents kept asking us if we could include their own footage. After looking at our clients’ footage, we realized that most families have an abundance of incredibly powerful video content of their own that could be edited into a new kind of film – the modern day version of the family photo album — the Family Montage Film.
What is a Family Montage Film?
We have two types: the regular Family Montage Film, which is essentially a slideshow of photos and videos set to beautiful music, and a Premium Family Montage Film, which is a collage of your videos/pictures embedded into beautifully animated scenes, like old film projectors or picture frames hanging from trees in a natural setting. You can view an example of a Premium Montage Film below.
Family Montage Films or Premium Family Montage Films?
Clients usually chose to upgrade to Premium because it costs only $10 more per photo/video, and the resulting film is much more unique and emotionally compelling. Also, a Premium Family Montage Film is a lot more fun to share with family and friends!
Here is an example of a Premium Family Montage Film we created for Million Dollar Listing’s James Harris and his family:
How much do Family Montage Films cost?
Family Montage Films start out at $250 each, which includes up to 25 photos/videos and licensed music. Each additional 25 photos cost $100.
Premium Family Montage Films also start at $250, which includes 10 photos/videos and licensed music. Each additional 10 photos cost $100.
Music costs $30 to $100 (to cover the cost of licensing).
We also offer voiceover (either your voice or a voiceover artist’s voice) and graphics for $100 and up.
Some families prefer for us to look through all of their media and find the best parts to form a film because they don’t have time to sift through and find their favorites. We charge $50/hour for this service.
How many videos/pictures do families usually provide?
Families either know exactly which photos and videos they want us to use (the less expensive option), or they give us a ton of media and tell us to find the best ones, which is less of a burden on the family.
Families that know which photos and videos they want to use usually provide between 25 and 100 photos/videos, although many tell us to use our judgment because videos with more than 40 pieces of media can get a bit long.
Families that give us all of their media (hundreds or even thousands of photos/videos) will end up with multiple Family Montage Films of approximately 15 minutes or longer.
Will you use every video clip and photo we give you? How do you decide which ones to use?
We can either use all of them or we can cut down the footage to a certain length based on the length of the accompanying song or any other range of factors. Aside from asking clients which clips are the most important, we try and put ourselves in our clients’ shoes when editing out footage. We ask ourselves questions like, what will this parent want to see 20 years from now? What clips accurately portray the people in the video? What will the children want to see 20 years from now?
How do you choose the music in the film? Can we request songs to be used in the film?
We love getting requests from families for specific songs or genres because that gives us a reference point. But we base our music selection on the tone of the footage as it starts to come together into a film, as well as the family’s budget. Some films are more energetic than others, other films are more emotional and heartfelt, so we choose a song that is going to work well with the mood or the theme of the film. Some don’t mind spending $100 on a song, while others would rather limit it to $30.
We charge for music not only because it takes a long time to find the perfect song and line up all of the cuts of the video to the song, but also because we are legally required to license all our music. Licensing fees compensate the musicians who create our beautiful songs. We really like to support independent musicians by licensing their music, but we do have access to some popular songs.
What sort of things do you go through with clients during the consultation session?
We talk about the client’s goals for the video, how they’re going to use it, who will be viewing it, how long they’d like it to be, by when they need it, their music preferences, and whether or not there are any special written messages to include in the film. We also talk them through uploading photos and videos onto our website should they have any issues.
How long does it usually take to go through the entire process?
It typically takes two weeks to create a Family Montage Film. We strive to accommodate rush orders for no additional charge.
Are clients able to see the video before it is finished?
Yes. Once it’s time to choose music for the film, we send the client a rough draft of the film and incorporate their feedback into the final film.
What uses could a Family Montage Film have?
Family Montage Films are little slices of life that you can send to family and friends all over the world. You can share them as family highlights on Facebook or give them as untraditional holiday cards to parents and grandparents. They also make great presents, considering their value as records of time. They are a heart-warming way to look back and add installments into your digital family archive.
How well does Ezra Productions get to know the families it works with?
We get to know families pretty well over the years because we see their family growing up. We learn from a family’s feedback what they find dear about the people around them. We consider this to be the greatest perk of working at Ezra Productions.