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How to Select The Best Video Production Company for Your Project

how to pick the best video production company for your project

OK, first off, I’m biased. I own a video production company.  I’d love to convince you to hire Digital Accomplice for your project. That said, I don’t like to waste time exploring projects that aren’t going to be a good fit, nor do you. Our business relies on positive outcomes, happy clients, referrals, repeat business.  Speeding up the vetting process is in both our interests.

As prospective clients evaluate a video production company, there’s a lot’s of considerations that may come into play. Part of the issue is that if a client hasn’t done many video projects they aren’t sure how to evaluate the vendors.  Wondering where to get started?

The more common and obvious vendor evaluation questions are:

  1. Have you show me a video you have produced like this before?
  2. How much would it cost for me to get one like that?

These are reasonable and fair places to start, but they frequently don’t give you the whole picture. I think you’d be better served by digging a bit deeper. Here’s a few other key considerations that I think are actually pretty important to consider as they will affect both process and outcomes.

What services will you need?: *Video production is classically divided into 3 phases: 1) Pre-production (planning, scripting, creative), 2) Production (shooting footage/creating assets) and 3) Post-production (editing, animation, revisions). You may need all or just some of these services. Making sure your partner can deliver with quality for which services you need is key.  Many production companies specialize on just one branch so ask.
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Approach & Process: *Ask what their approach is, you’ll get all kinds of answers for different companies. In some ways, the process is the same, but you’ll frequently get glimpses of what makes them different.
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Availability/Access/Speed: *Try and find out what their capability is. If they are pretty busy, your project may be concurrently produced. This may make a difference or it might not, depending on what needs doing. Find out what their expectations are during the project for any questions you have, last minute changes, etc. If you are in a hurry this obviously becomes key.
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Specialty: *Most video production companies tend to gravitate towards a core competency. It might be comedic, documentary, motion graphics, live production, sports, etc. By looking at their portfolio and your needs you can start to determine if a well round production partner makes more sense or if you need/want someone specialized in a style of production.  I find it frequently matters less than the client thinks, but it certainly can be very important.  If you are making a corporate video about a tech product video, it might not matter that they have made your specific widget videos before, but rather that they can communicate effectively in the tech product video space. If you need surfing video footage, you probably want someone used to shooting in water with waves.
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*Network: *Most video production companies keep a decent pool of freelance vendors in specialist roles. Because every project is different, you may need an illustrator for one project, a writer for the next and then a pet wrangler or prop artist for the next. (That’s what makes this so fun!) It’s worth asking about their network of freelancers as it pertains to your needs. *
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Added Value:  *Ask about what else they bring to the project besides video production. Are they going to help you promote the video after it’s done in social media, can they refer you to industry bloggers and journalists to boost exposure.  They may have resources or skills that add surprising value.
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Location: *In some cases, location may be a big factor, but maybe not. Being located in Silicon Valley gives us an advantage for tech companies here because we can swing by for meetings and shoots there require no travel. For projects that are graphics only, it might make just as much sense to hire someone you like in a different state or country.
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*Revisions: *What is their revisions policy, how will you be charged , if at all for revisions during the project. For most projects, 2 rounds of revisions seem standard that works, but we all know what happens when you get ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ so it’s good to know what that may cost in time and money. *
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Your company’s internal expectations: *Your project may have unwritten rules. Perhaps you need to impress execs or investors with who you are working with. If appearances matter, it may make sense to work with an expensive company that seems ‘big time’ or you may look better by saving some money while getting a good product.*

When you’re looking for the right video production company for your next project, start by looking at their portfolio, but don’t stop there. A quick call will likely help answer many of these other questions and hopefully even save you time and money.  I hope this gives you some insight on how you can prepare to use video for your company’s growth. If you want some more helpful perspective, check out our complimentary downloadable guide outlining 5 ways you can use video to help your organization grow, complete with case studies and examples!

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