Finding the right video production company for your project can be a slightly daunting prospect.
But by following this simple step-by-step guide, you can be sure that you find the best video production company for your project, irrespective of your budget.
Getting started – search out a few local production companies.
If you’ve not had a referral or recommendation from a colleague or client, you’re probably going to embark on a search via a search engine to locate a few local corporate video companies that could meet your requirements.
Once you conduct your search, perhaps under common terms such as ‘video production company’, ‘corporate video’ or ‘business video’, you’ll probably want to look at a few video production websites to check that their brand matches what you are looking for.
Things to look for on their website might include:
- Does the company have a good breadth of videos within their portfolio?
- Are the videos recent in date or shot a long time ago?
- Is the tone right?
- Does the majority of content and tone of voice seem to reflect your brand and ultimately what you’re looking to achieve with your new film?
- Does the video production company have specific industry experience of producing corporate videos for a company similar to yours?
- Does the video company have accreditations or are they members of any professional bodies?
- What calibre of clients have the production company worked with? Are they similar to your business?
Your next step once you’ve shortlisted perhaps two or three preferred video production companies is to make that enquiry. One good way of finding a proactive company is to submit an online enquiry and see how efficiently those companies come back to you. If you have to wait more than 24-36 hours for a response, this is perhaps not a good indicator of a company that will be quick to respond during your project.
At this point the video company will either email you or give you a call to find out more about your project. If you have provided a telephone number, a proactive production company will always call to speak to you rather than simply emailing you.
Challenge the video company
Next, you’ll need to delve a little deeper into what your chosen company is able to provide. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the questions you’ll need to ask on your call:
Is it you I’m dealing with?
- Will the member of staff you speak to when explaining your requirements be the person responsible for managing your project throughout, or at least have significant involvement? This means your project is managed consistently rather than outsourced to other staff or freelancers who may not be up to speed with your brand and ideas.What’s your rate?
What is the basic day rate?
- This should be answered on the basis of breaking down a day or half day rate with a pre-defined number of crew. This gives you an idea of a potential total project cost. Some companies will work out a package rate that includes all you need, but the company will need to know your full requirements before offering this. If a company is cagey here, just walk away.
Editing. How much?
- How much is standard video editing and is this charged on a day rate or a project basis? The cost may differ depending on the complexity of the editing and therefore the seniority of the staff member to complete, but you should get some idea here of costs on a day or hourly basis.
How many rounds are we going?
- How many rounds of amends will you get and what platform do you feedback comments on (for example Frame.io, YouTube or Vimeo)?
Meet my deadline!
- Can the company meet your deadline for delivery of the video?
Keep it brief
- Does the video production company offer you a creative brief document? This document may ask you to let them know your audience, target decision makers, your key message – and why it should be believed, as well as drilling down to deadlines and resources. Be wary if you are not asked questions such as these or asked to complete a form of brief.
Storyboard / video treatment
- Will the video company plan out your film in a storyboard or video treatment so you can visualise how it will look and potentially sell it into management for sign-off? For very small projects this is not always possible, but certainly on most budgets it should be.
- Can you meet to run through your requirements? Be very wary if the video production company says they cannot meet you at your offices to discuss your requirements. They will ideally need to meet you face to face to understand the way you work, your company ethos and to find out more about your brand before committing to any filming.
Quote me happy
- Are quotations free? Any good video production company will offer you a tailored, free quotation with no obligation to proceed. Does it include travel?
- Do quotations include extras such as storage and secure back-up of your files? What is the charge for music?
- Can you have your raw files after the project is delivered if you want to switch video companies or edit the footage in-house for further films?
Even more extras!
- Does the video company supply extra services such as scripting or voice overs? Does it provide actors or models and locations for you?
- Ask if you can have access to, or are able to keep, your raw files after the project is done. This makes it far easier if you part company or if you need to make small edits in-house.
- Ask to be put in touch with a past client to learn about their experiences. This should be fairly easy and will give you peace of mind if you’re still apprehensive Meet face to face.
- If you are happy with what you’ve heard and feel a face to face meeting would help, it would be worth setting up a meeting for the project to discuss what you’re looking for in more detail and to allow the video company to finalise their quote and look at filming locations (if at your premises, for example).
- Whilst this may not be feasible if the video company is based a long way away and your project is very low value, they should certainly be able to hold a conference call to discuss your requirements in full and address each and every of your points.
Does the video company understand and interpret your full requirements?
- Do they understand your challenges?A good video company will be able to fairly easily understand what you’re looking to achieve (perhaps with the help of a creative brief) and can now move on to getting some meat on the bone in terms of what your film will look like. This meeting might be worth having with the top two or three video companies, before using your judgement to filter this down to one.
Quote me happy…
- Look at the video quotes when they’re sent over, review their proposals against your initial brief – do they look like they’ve captured your single minded message? Will your audience buy into their solution?
Compare the quotes like for like to see what you’ll get via each corporate video business.
- Is the base price low with a raft of extras or unknowns? Or does it all look good?
Just like when you get two builders in for a quote, one of them may be more expensive, but the same builder may remove their shoes and show more consideration for your house and be on time and not late. In similar terms, one production company may come in at a higher rate, but they may prove through their expertise, experience on similar projects, or simply their friendly and professional personalities, that they are the better bet.
Be sure to check the companies’ terms and conditions before deciding on your chosen provider.
All good to go.
Right, you’ve agreed costs, a storyboard/video treatment and you’ve finalised personnel – whether staff or actors – and locations and agreed timings for filming and delivery of the final files.
With these steps followed, you’ve given yourself a great chance of producing stunning video content for your business.
Best of luck with your video production!