When you type in “video production services” in an internet search, you might become overwhelmed pretty quickly. You know you need help with your corporate, or brand, or promotional video production, but where do you start?
Here are seven factors I’d recommend you should consider when hiring a corporate video production company.
1. How is the production quality?
Above all, your candidates should at least meet a certain standard for production value. If you’re new to the field, what does this mean? Here are some tips that will help you get the best video services:
- Compare the look/feel of the corporate videos in the company’s portfolio to what you’d see in TV/film. Does it look like a low-budget ad you’d see in late-night TV? Does it look like a statewide TV show? Does it look like something you’d see in the high-end cinema? What do you want your video to look like?
- Does the b-roll (an industry word for supporting video that is shown when someone is talking but you’re not seeing the person actually talking) match what they’re talking about? For example, if the person is talking about a forklift, are you seeing a forklift or are you seeing a shot of people in a conference room? More experience video producers and editors use the “say it, see it” rule, meaning that the video should match what the person is talking about.
- If there are interviews, does it sound like a professional recording, or does it sound like the microphone is 10 feet away from the person? Sometimes, an inexperienced videographer might use the mic mounted on a camera instead of getting the mic close to the interviewee’s mouth, which makes it sound similar to when someone is on speakerphone. You need professional video production, so hire the best.
- How is the lighting? Does the video content look overly dark or overly bright? Does the lighting look flattering when it falls on someone’s face?
2. Are they easy to work with?
Fit within your team is a very critical piece of the puzzle. Will the corporate video agency want to do things their way, or are they willing to bend to meet the project’s objectives?
There’s not a magic way to know how they’ll work with you, but try to look for clues in how they word things on their website. Do they come off as arrogant? Do they seem like people you put in front of the CEO without hesitation?
My guess if the best way to determine fit is by actually talking to the company over the phone or in person. The intangible “do they get it” test will go a long way.
3. What types of corporate video do they most often work on?
While many video production companies use similar tools, the types of videos can vary widely. For example, wedding videography, TV commercial production, and internal corporate video are very different styles, and just because someone is great at one of them, it doesn’t necessarily mean those skills transfer to another style.
Even though you might need some help defining your project, take a look at the company’s portfolio and social media channels. Do your project’s goals look similar to what you’re seeing? Or will this be too much of a stretch for them to take on? Remember, these are business people, and they might agree to take on anything, even if they’re inexperienced in that particular application.
4. Do They Have Experience?
Why use a video production company? They have experience. A company and team with no experience might not be of great help to you. More important than years in business, is accomplishments, clients served, and high-quality work.
Don’t be shy to ask questions and to look at samples of their previous work, as well as request testimonials from previous clients. An online portfolio is often available on websites as well, so you can see some of their experience and determine if the quality and style are to your standard. Style can range from the lighting and resolution to how engaging and professional the videos are.
5. What’s their average crew size?
While I’m a big believer that a crew size doesn’t necessarily translate to production value, as there can be a lot of waste, the answer to this question can help you learn more about how they work and what their pricing structure will be like.
If you’re working on a national TV ad, you’re probably going to run into a sizeable crew. If you’re working on a smaller corporate video, you might only need a crew of 2-3 people.
6. Can they help with your corporate video script?
While we at Gillespie Productions work more with a project guideline than a verbatim script, asking if they help with pre-production messaging is a very important question.
Some corporate video production companies’ business models are to receive overall creative direction from an agency and execute the visuals at a high level. In our case, our model is to help the end client flesh out the video flow, core messages, and logistics – and the move into the shoot and post-production.
If you’re expecting your video production vendor to assume this type of work and they’re not comfortable with it, you could be in for a long couple of weeks.
7. Do they have clients of a similar scale as your company?
The answer to this question may or may not matter, but it’s at least worth exploring. For example, if you work for a Fortune 500 company, a one-man-band production company that typically does local:30 ads might not be able to scale up. They might, but it’s more likely they’re not ready.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a small business, you might not be able to afford a company that typically serves the larger corporations but turn to the one that offers B2C or B2B video production for smaller businesses. In addition, asking them to scale down might create some creative tension if they’re used to very big productions.
8. What Is Their Production Process?
Understanding the entire process from start to finish is essential. Knowing their process will give you a clearer picture of the effort, resources, and time that the production team will dedicate to your video. Being aware of each step will also encourage more communication and create stronger video campaigns.
When inquiring about the step by step process, consider the following:
- How soon can the project start?
- What is the average timeline for a project like this?
- What kind of specialty services do you use?
- What are the editing process steps?
These are just a few questions to ask about the production process with their company.
9. How much do they cost?
As with just about everything in business, a lot of your answer is going to come down to the cost of a corporate video. You might be able to find what you need for a few thousand dollars. You might need something significantly more than that, depending on what your needs are.
Most companies structure their video production price list by the amount of time spent on a project. Typically, the cost is broken into day rates for the actual shoot and hourly rates for pre-production and post-production.
While the video production cost can create sticker shock for some, I’d argue that you need to consider the value of what you’re getting. Will a company overview video or branding video generate 100 more leads, which could lead to thousands or millions of dollars in business? If so, then a $10,000 video would give you a healthy return on investment. If you only need the video to sell 100 more oil changes this month, that kind of video wouldn’t really make sense.
There are a number of ways in which your video needs differ from another company, but hopefully, this list at least gives you a starting point for what to consider when hiring a corporate video production company, and now you know the answer to the question: How to find a videographer or a video production company.