Creative Director, Viva Media Inc

An Open Letter from Matthew Watts

Why hello there! Allow me to introduce myself.

A pleasure to e-meet you! I’m Matthew Watts, the Creative Director here at Viva Media.

I wanted to write this letter with the sole purpose of you being able to get to know me better – how I run things and what you can look forward to when you work with our Toronto production team.

The best way to get a hold of me is through email at I’m routinely behind a camera, thinking of a concept, or zoned into editing, so email is the best way to get a hold of me. Sometimes its tough for us to call back right away just because its quiet on set when cameras are rolling. If you need a response right away, cc and he’ll poke me. In your email, tell us what you’re working on and your big idea. No need for a lot of detail — just a rough intro, and when you might be free for a chat!

Next, we’ll find out more about each other over a coffee at our office or your office.

We’re a company of millennials, and we specialize in digital media. It’s what we’re good at, because we’re always online, and most of us don’t even have cable. For better or worse, we want to know why you want to create your content, why you want people to see it, and why you think people would be excited about it. We’ll set aside some time to talk and we’ll get a sense of what how to best execute on your idea.

Hopefully, our date goes well! Post meeting, we’ll likely both had an amazing time and you like our enthusiasm/direction. We’ll then spend some time developing and writing up what’s called a treatment. This usually is a one-pager, where we describe to you a few ideas after thinking obsessively over it for a day or two. We’ll describe what your video would look like and the resources we need. You pick your favorite. We sometimes charge some money for this part, which is called the “creative engagement” and means we’re not writing on spec, or “for free”. When we move forward to the project phase, that money gets absorbed into the rest of the cost.

To give you a good sense of time, the average video of 1-2 minutes takes us approximately 4 weeks to make, starting from the date of the shoot, up to the finished version with all your changes, and the logos and music thrown in. Of course, this timeline can vary, and if you’re in a super rush and your product is cool and you have a budget we can work within, let’s talk! However, it’s always better to spend more time in post-production than it is to rush a shoot and realize we’re 5% short of a good idea.

Speaking of money, how much does video production cost? As a good starting baseline, expect the average project to fall between $3,000 – $20,000.

That’s as best we can give without knowing details about your project. The price of a video depends on a few things, like the nature of the creative concept, the number of talent or locations, whether you need a script, the length of the final video, and the resources available to you. Sometimes we’ve got ways to make budgets work, and sometimes we have to be realistic.

We like to get things done efficiently, with the least amount of waiting-around and lost time as possible. We’re not flaky film school kids, so we live for schedules and planned shotlists. We have two rules on our productions; everyone says “Please and Thanks” to each other, and everyone can work with the right execution.



Our clients fall into three categories:

Non-profits and startups: We’re idealistic by nature, and if you’re doing something amazing that helps make the world a better place, we’ll pull a few favours, but you’ll still have to cover the cost of production and basic wages for our team.

Small local business: You’re in good company and form the bulk of our clients. You’re growing and getting ambitious, starting to have bigger ideas and growing your fan base. You have a small marketing budget for an experimental video, to launch your new website, Instagram or Youtube Channel, showcase a product or show off a property! Watch us stretch it.

Big corporations: We’re doing more and more of these lately, and from what we’ve experienced, it’s the large firms that are sometimes the most agile. It’s awesome to have the resources to do things correctly—to make things look amazing, to try new approaches, create buzz with teasers and to be your social media department’s cheerleading team. #squadgoals

Whichever client you are, we can approach it from start to finish, and be part of the process from as much or as little as you need. Or, if you just need some technical camera geeks to help make an idea happen fast, we’re happy to jump on board.



When we quote you an amount of money for the work, that amount is all-inclusive. That means from start to finish, we’ve got you covered. If there are unexpected expenses, we’ll let you know well before hand so you have time to digest and evaluate. Also, we’ll typically ask for a 50% deposit prior to the date of the shoot – Why? This is so we can book any required studio dates, pay the deposits and call in our crew.

When we make videos or photos for you, they belong to you, always. However, you must let us know in advance if your media is going to be broadcast on TV or printed on a large billboard. This is because the shooting crew and talent who appear on TV commercials work for different rates vs digital use only, and we have to make sure your creative and acting talent is on board.

It takes a great deal of caring, man hours and skill to do what we do. Regardless of your budget, we will stay up at night clicking away, and always strive for high production value. We believe everyone gets better at everything all the time, so don’t be alarmed if we ‘re a little more detail-oriented than you expect. We’ve been at this a while 🙂

Making video and photos so that other people can see and enjoy them is one of the coolest things you could do. Expect a visually stunning end product, but most importantly to have fun while working with us.

Talk to you soon,
Matthew Watts

Creative Director,