The Good, the bad and the Ugly. Working with Video Production Companies
Finding the perfect Video Production partner is like finding a great pair of shoes. Bare with me because the analogy gets deep. I’m not talking about the pair of gym shoes you buy to walk around in - your everyday sneakers. I’m talking about the pair of shoes you wear with your favorite dress or your favorite suit. The shoes you put on when you are looking to make a statement. At the end of the day, isn’t that what are all looking to do with our video assets? Like shoes, there are many different types of video production companies. Corporate video production companies, unscripted video production companies, branded content production companies, digital production companies. . .
At the end of the day, what you really need is something specific. Your video campaign needs to address a target audience, so to find the perfect match, you have a do a little research.
No two directors are alike, no two producers are alike. Their knowledge, their vision and their database will shape each video asset differently - from both a visual and a story perspective. If your video asset deals with sports, you do not want to hire a production company that specializes in corporate videos. Make sense?
PRODUCTION COMPANIES - THE GOOD
Video Production is an Art
Every reputable production company will have professional equipment. They will use professional video cameras, professional audio recording equipment, professional video lenses and professional post production equipment. These things alone will add up to a minimum of $7,500 in production value and can go well above $100,000. With these professional tools of the trade, it is pretty hard to shoot a bad video. Not to say that it will never happen. If the Director of Photography is not filming in RAW and over exposes the footage by 5 stops, the video is toast.
Nine times out of ten, professional production companies won’t do this. Once is all it takes for any professional to know to film in RAW, or expose each shot correctly in their format of choice. Established production companies have been through the fire once or twice and learned hard lessons early on in their careers so by hiring a seasoned team, you are not only buying their skill, you are buying their experience.
Production Company Reels and examples of previous Videos Produced
Every professional and established production company has a reel. It’s our pair of shiny shoes. It says everything about us without us having to speak a word. It shows our work and provides insight as to who we are as a company and what we can offer you. Consider this your opportunity to take a serious look at a company and see if we are a fit for you. Whatever it is you are looking for, you know what it should look like, you know what it should feel like and sound like. Ask yourself the question.
Does this production company do the kind of work I am looking for?
If the answer is yes, great, give them a call and dig deeper into what they know about your industry and their thoughts around delivering what you need.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES - THE BAD
There are a few things to be aware of when selecting the right production company for you.
What do you specialize in?
We touched on this a bit in the previous section. If own a technology start up company, you don’t want to hire a production company that specializes in live broadcast productions. Some production companies are not honest with the fact that they focus on other segments of the industry and may not be able to produce the result you are in need of. Whatever your needs. Make sure to vet each potential production partner.
What is your ideal turn around time?
The post production process can be a long and sometimes tedious process for both the production company and the client they are producing the video asset for. Edits and re-edits can be brutal Most Production companies want you to be happy and they gladly offer opportunities for re-edits. Nailing it on the first try happens, but not always. Before you sign an agreement with any production company, make sure your contract has a clause which states how many re-edits you are allowed, if any at all. Some companies do not offer re-edits and depending on the budget, that may or may not be normal. If you are new to hiring production companies, this is a clause you will need to think about before officially choosing a production partner, otherwise, you may just over shoot your budget. . .which is BAD.
What is the level of production value you are looking for?
Just like there are different levels of shoes, all production companies deliver different levels of production value. Again, using the analogy of shoes, some are light, some are heavy. Some are leather, some are pleather. There is nothing wrong with either. They all just offer different things. They make different statements about who you are and what you stand for. If all you can afford is pleather, there is nothing wrong with that, but there are production companies that offer pleather for the cost of leather. Do your research, make a couple phone calls, and who knows, you may just strike a conversation with a producer and they offer you leather at a pleather cost.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES - THE UGLY
In truth, there is no ugly part to video production companies.
As long as you do your research and hire a production company who has the ability to produce the type of work you are looking for, you are in the clear. We all want to produce video assets the we, as well as our clients are proud of. Do your research, watch prospective production partner’s video reels or video assets, give them a call, and you will be well on your way to selecting an awesome production partner.