Your company has wisely decided that it needs videos for websites, social media, and email campaigns and you’ve been tasked with finding the right video production company. Don’t stress! We will tell you everything you need to know to get started.
1. Google it and watch
Begin with Google. Search for video production in your city and check out the portfolios of different companies’ work. Which companies have films that make an emotional connection with you. If their films don’t resonant with you, it’s doubtful their videos will engage your audiences. Do you like the concept? Was the story line compelling? Do you like the way it looks? Is there an intriguing variety of shots that keep your attention? The goal of any corporate film is to convey information concisely and creatively and at the same time increase your trust level in the organization? The bottom line is this: the best video production companies know how to keep you engaged and wanting more.
2. Look for variety
Make sure all the videos in the portfolio don’t look the same. You company is unique and has its own culture and approach. You want a production company that has the creativity to design a video that reflects who you are and how you are unique. Stay away from production houses that use a cookie cutter approach. Talented film makers will uniquely tailor the film approach to your company’s culture, mission, services and products. This variety should be reflected in production company’s portfolio.
3. Value companies that ask lots of questions
In order to create a film that can accomplish your goals, it’s crucial for a production company to understand three things well: Your company, your audience, and story concept that will connect the two. This will require several meetings between your key leadership and their creatives. A top video production company will take the time to understand your company’s goals and problems, what you do, how you do it, and even why you do it. In addition to learning about your goals and problems, they will inquire into the audience you intend to reach. Only by knowing both can they can develop a video concept that will engage emotions, provide information, change perception, and drive action for your brand.
4. Determine the type video do you need
A skilled producer or director will guide you as to the type of video that will accomplish your goals. Brand videos are built upon scripts. Testimonials feature your employees or customer talking on camera about your company. Some films are a combination of both. Scripted videos deliver information creatively and concisely. Testimonials are more personal and authentic. Scripted videos may be driven by on-camera talent or voice-over talent while non-scripted videos feature your own people using their own words. All videos need the stunning visuals of b-roll to show what is being discussed. Talking heads without any b-roll can be risky. You need to ensure your audience will remain engaged the entire film. Skilled video production houses will help you determine the right video option to accomplish your goals.
5. Check for strong storytelling skills
Relaying information through video is certainly important. But production houses that can tell a great story about how one person’s life was transformed by a product or process will build empathy and create trust for your company. Though not every video is based upon the classic story arch, the best film-makers will have some transformative and inspiring stories in their portfolio.
6. Seek repeat work and good recommendations
Some creatives produce brilliant products but their people skills are less than desirable. Make sure that the video production company that you choose has at least a few regular clients. Check out their reviews on Google and ask for a few references. Seek out a team that will make a good long-term partner and has good customer service.
7. Understand the Video Processes and Pricing
There are five stages of film production: Discovery, Pre-production, Production, and Post-Production. The graphic below will give you a quick overview of the four stages of video production.
Understanding these processes is crucial to understanding pricing. Depending upon the scope of your video, the cost variance in each stage can be dramatic. Let me give you a few quick examples. Suppose your video requires a crew consisting of producer, director, assistant director, cinematographer, assistant camera op, gaffer, 3 grips, art director, audio tech, and script supervisor. Additionally, the project will require 10 days to film and a considerable amount of equipment (grip, lighting, track and dolly, and a large jib). Compare this to a project where the crew only needs a producer/director, cinematographer, gaffer, grip and audio and only 2 days of filming? The investment for the former film will be significant while the later will be much more attainable. In summary, pricing in video production is based upon time, crew, and equipment.
8. Final words
Be cautious of companies that give you a quick video price without a discovery process. Package prices are inexpensive for a reason. They are designed to produce one-size-fits-all videos quickly with minimal effort. A video that has been creatively, strategically designed and cinematically produced has the ability to connect your company to your audience and significantly increase your bottom line.
Want to learn more about video production? Need some new ideas for your video campaign? Give Barking Squirrel Media a call at (513) 342-8090, ext. 1. We would love to hear about your challenges and opportunities.
by Dr. David K. Bray
President, Barking Squirrel Media