7 Questions to ask when looking for a video production company

The smart phone has made it easier than ever to take pictures and shoot video. The convenience and accessibility of today’s technology is incredible but with video growing at such rapid speeds and accelerating its presence on the Internet how will you differentiate yourself? How will you not look cheap? The key is to choose a video production company that has not only maintained a presence with the advancement of technology but works well to capture the essence of what clients and organizations are trying to illustrate.

In today’s shared economy it’s become more and more evident that people are carving out niches. It is vital when shooting video to represent the presence and perception your organization wants. It’s not as simple as turning on a camera and simply hitting the record button. It’s vital you work with someone who has the experience and the “eye” to encapsulate what you’re looking for and the presentation you are seeking to deliver

We have compiled a list of questions you should ask a video production company to ensure your organization is represented to the level you are seeking.

7 Questions to ask when looking for a video production company:

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1. Can they meet your deadline?

Deadlines are crucial. Having had 2 bosses with TV news experience, I’ve heard more than once, “the 10 o’clock news goes on at 10 o’clock, not 10:01!” Whether you have a short deadline or a due date far off in the future, planning accordingly is crucial. Ask your production company if they can meet your deadline and to tell you about some other deadlines they’ve had to meet.

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2.  How long have they been in the industry?

There is no right or wrong answer but the information will help you establish an understanding of the company, their experience and competence. The longer they have worked in the industry, the more experience they will have and the more clients they would have had the opportunity to work with. It’s safe to say, production companies with a long history have produced content that gets results. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be around anymore.

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3. What type of videos do they produce?

Some Video Production Companies specialize in producing certain types of videos like explainer videos – TV commercials – live events or long training videos. Some specialize in certain sectors – education, manufacturing or medical – have you seen their samples? Have you seen a video they’ve produced that is similar to what you’re looking for? It’s crucial to look at sample videos on their website or their YouTube or Vimeo page. This give you a better idea of their capabilities – the quality of their work and a starting point when you meet to discuss project parameters and budget.

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4. How creative are their ideas?

Experience and expertise makes all the difference in your production. Can they come up with a creative way to tell your story – to tie your message or brand into the video. If many of their videos look and sound similar, that could be a red flag.

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5. Do they travel?

It’s not always necessary that they travel for their clients – not all clients have multiple locations or a need to travel far to reach their customers. However, good production companies often have bigger clients and they often have the need to travel for producing videos. Does that client value the relationship enough that they want “their” production company to come with them? Is that production company a trusted partner? There are production companies all over the world. But if a company values and trusts their production company enough that it’s worth traveling with them, it says a lot for the production company.

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6. What is the quality of their productions?

There are many different production company’s out there and many levels of quality. This feet’s back to looking at samples, or asking the company to provide a sample of a low budget and high budget production. I think it’s safe to say a low budget production would also constitute a lower quality production and a higher budget results in higher quality. (This is mostly true, but I can already think of exceptions to this statement. But that’s for another blog) A low budget production might have been created with a small one or two person crew, they might use more simple lighting techniques and there may be minimal graphics or less complex editing and compositing. But the low budget should still have characteristics similar to that of their high budget. The video image should still look just as good and the overall message should be easily conveyed.

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7. What about cost?

There are many different levels of quality and, of course, varying levels of cost associated with them. I often tell clients to look at creating their video like building a house. You can build a 4 bedroom home for $150,000 or $1,500,000… the difference is what you put into it. That $150,000 might be a bit rough and not have the same level of details as the $1,500,000 home, but it might get the job done just the same. Some companies focus on high end videos – some companies focus on low end videos and some can do it all. Look at the videos for the number of shots they use, are they lit nicely? Do they use a professional narrator? Are the graphics simple or complex? There are many aspects that go into creating a video and just like building a home, the more you want and the higher the quality, the more it’s going to cost. Your production company should very easily help you determine the level of quality you’re looking for and from there, can estimate your projects cost.