Creating a video for your business might seem quite a complex task, especially if you haven’t had much experience with video production before. Certainly it involves ability to combine many different or even sophisticated aspects about which an average person might not know but hey! What are Video Production Companies for?
Regardless of how advanced your knowledge about video production is, a specialized crew should be able to help you even if you do not really have a ready idea for your film. There are only a few main things that you should always be ready to answer:
– What is your video for?
– Who should it reach?
– Where is it going to be published?
The rest can be set during further works and should be a “no obstacle” to a video production team.
So… once the decision about the need to hire a professional crew is made, probably another question arises:
“How should I know which video production company will help me best? There are hundreds of production teams in San Francisco Bay area, so how not to waste time and be sure who to choose?” This is a good point, however there are a few ways to be able to determine your answer quite efficiently. Do not hesitate to try them on us, too! 🙂
Looking for a contact
First of all, to find contacts to Video Production company there are a few ways which are probably well known to you, but we’d like to list them here briefly:
Surely the most popular way, which gives a few ideas of who to contact. Remember that the reason why one company is listed as first on the first page of Google does not have to mean they are the best and will certainly answer your needs. Surely they have great search engine optimization 🙂 which is a result of an advanced understanding of internet marketing, so give them a try but remember not to stop on their contact page only.
Who does not make use of contacts that are recommended by friends, co-workers or family? Usually this is the most welcomed and objective source of information which gives the strongest motivation to contact particular company. A great advantage, which is hard to find anywhere else, is that apart from general information about a company you can get some comments and hints concerning the experiences with working with them. So, try to ask friends if they could recommend anyone and if not, then you can look for testimonials on the internet. Also, it is a good sign if you come across a company that has VIDEO testimonials on their website or YouTube channel. A video should give you much better impression than an anonymous quote on the company’s website so this is a good start to take a closer look to their services. Also, probably you may kind of expect a video production company to have a VIDEO testimonial on their page instead of text quotes 😉
Sometimes it is a good practice to keep links to cool professional videos that you came across on the internet. Usually they contain information about who produced them and later you have a ready contact to a crew that is likely to do something close to your style and expectations! Don’t worry if the company’s address is not in your town or city. Usually video production crews are open and used to traveling and often many things can be set via the Internet or on the phone. If that particular company seems to fulfil your needs and you trust their skills – it’s better and often less costly to go for them than to risk working with someone else because they are in your neighborhood.
What should I know and expect?
Ok. Let’s assume that finally you have a few contacts to different video production companies. Now you have to make a decision which of them choose to maximise chances that they will deliver a product you will be happy with or even proud of? There are a few questions you should try to answer while talking to potential production crew.
1. How long is their experience?
This is a simple and basic question that is good to ask at the beginning. A concrete, decisive answer is what you should hear. Do not take answers like “We’ve been doing it for ages” seriously as this does not sound very credible. Some companies may say that they are very new to video production which may suggest that they will be quite cheap which may help or hurt your project and your company image – you should be careful.
2. What kind of films and videos do they mostly do?
Against all a common sense, in many cases different types or themes of videos do not necessary involve different skills or experiences in creating high quality productions. There are certain tricks and techniques to produce great videos such as the ability to create proper lightning, to frame nice shots, to know how to work with actors, to be able to use the newest technology. Of course there is a difference in producing a video from an event vs. a concert or creating a detailed instructional video of how to use a nebulizer. But usually not the type of the video matters that much as the script(!). The script is what allows video companies to asses detailed costs and complexity of the production. It is good if the potential company has produced videos which match the type you are looking for but if they don’t, then try to look for the similar themes or simply pay attention to how they deliver their messages. If you like the style and overall outcome of their work then chances are high they will do great job for you as well.
3. How do I like their portfolio?
A portfolio is often the most important clue in choosing the video production company. A good and rich portfolio is hard evidence that a company has a lot of experience and gives a sense of the quality and style of their work. Quite often not everything can be published on the company’s website though because of the property rights but usually at least some samples of their work should be available for public. Also, it is good to remember to ask a potential company for more examples of the works that could match desired effect.
4. Do they offer more than just camera operation and editing?
As it was mentioned, you don’t have to have a ready final idea for your video. A production crew should also be able to advise you on what can be done to reach your goal. Usually at the beginning these are rather general ideas as getting more into detail involves work and time, however it is important to get the feeling if the company is willing to think creatively. You can always ask the crew about their previous samples and if they used their own ideas in creating them. If they took creative part in many of the videos in their portfolio then it is highly probable that they will be willing to creatively engage in your project as well.
5. Are they responsive and good with communication?
Working with video production crew usually involves a lot of contact and consultations. Before the project starts they will need a lot of information from you. Also during the production you will be in touch rather regularly. Later on you will want to know how close it is to the final effect and maybe you will want them to do one or two final corrections. It is crucial that they respond to you quickly and efficiently and inform you about the progress of your project. Video production is custom, this is not something ready made that you can buy. So, a constant contact will be necessary and you will not want to be frustrated because of lack of response or irritated because of the style of communication you don’t like. It’s good to pay attention to that right from the beginning.
6. How prepared are they for the first meeting?
Do they already know something about you or your company? Did they appear on time and remember your previous arrangements or the information you already shared? In the future you will want to feel confident that they keep deadlines, remember about your previous agreements and feel treated as a valuable client.
7. What is their general price range for your type of project?
Usually it is hard to determine a concrete price for a video at the very beginning. At this stage you will most likely be given a price range for producing the kind of video you need. If you quote a few companies and receive a few widely different numbers, you may ask each of them for the reasons why they gave you these prices. Try not to judge from the very beginning. A very low price may mean that the vendor did not really understand your quote and omitted some crucial aspects. A very high price may mean that the company calculated much more advanced production than you actually need. Good and clear communication is a must from the very beginning.
A good hint: If you like the portfolio and communication style of one company but the price they gave is too high for your budget – make sure you have similar final output in mind and if so, try to tell them what prices you were thinking of. Maybe by optimizing some costs they can get closer to your budget expectations and in the end everyone will be happy.
So, when you are looking for a video production crew it is good to remember the list above. It will help when first contacting potential video production companies and you will have a very good idea of which company will be the best fit for your project.
In the next post we will list step by step some good things to think about and consider before contacting video production crew.