Google “video production companies” and you’ll be bombarded by a huge list of possibilities. With all the options out there, how do you find a highly-rated and capable company that is the right fit for your production needs? Is bigger better? How do you compare costs? What is the most important element in your final decision? Here are a few guidelines to get your started in your search:
#1: Look beyond the hype
A video production company may claim to be “award-winning” or named as a “top 10 production company” but what exactly does that mean? Recently, I stumbled upon a marketing outfit that is actually selling the “Top 10 Best” video production company “distinction” at a cost of $500 per month! And all awards are not created equally. Believe me, we get flyers daily about this, that or the other “awards program” for video production companies. It’s great if a company has won multiple Emmy or Telly awards but look beyond that claim to get to the meat of the matter — the way they do business. Look at their body of work, their client list, their team bios, the client testimonials. Ultimately, you are looking for experienced video professionals who can guide you to the very best result based on your production parameters – not just a company who invests the most in internet marketing.
#2: Apples to apples
What kind of video do you need and what style of video production will serve it best? There are production companies that excel with large, commercial video productions with big budgets and others that have perfected the documentary style of video production. There are companies who specialize in animated explainer videos and those that do corporate trade show videos or live events.
Look at several video companies work portfolios. Once you’ve narrowed your search, ask for samples of the type of production approach the producers would suggest for your project. It’s easy to get “wowed” by big client names and fancy video production techniques but if, in the end, it’s not what you need (or can afford), you’ll be headed down the wrong video production highway. Ask for an initial phone consultation and provide as much information as you can about your video project. An experienced producer will ask questions that will help them understand your needs and with that information in hand, provide a customized quote for your project. Cookie-cutter pricing is usually a red flag and, most often, won’t represent your company with the quality it deserves. A handcrafted approach with an experienced production vendor doesn’t have to cost a fortune, especially in the hands of a team of experts with decades of experience. The result will be a successful video marketing tool that was designed just for you.
#3: Ask for Referrals and References
As a starting point, check in with friends or colleagues if they’ve had a successful experience with a video production company. Ask them about the process, the timeline, the budgets, the creative services, etc. Were there any hiccups during the production process? Was their video project delivered on time and on budget? If there were overages in the budget, were they approved in writing, in advance? Sometimes in the desire to land the client, a video production company may low ball the budget and over promise what can be accomplished for that price. This will only lead to the inevitable under delivery. You want a realistic idea of the needs in terms of timing and cost and be wary of a production company who is willing to significantly undercut the time realistically needed for pre-production, production and post. You also want to know who will be producing your project. Will it be passed off to a junior staffer or overseen by a company principal? Sometimes the executive producer or creative director you fall in love with during the sales process will not be your hands on contact during the actual project.
With so many great video production companies, it can be difficult to know which one is the best fit for your needs. Hopefully, these tips can be a good launching point as you begin your vetting process.
Bayside Entertainment is a Seattle area video production company which combines their storytelling savvy with technical expertise to create video which authentically reflects your brand and connects with your audience. Over the last 20 years, they’ve created content for major brands (Sony, Lucasfilm, EA), startups (Wonder Workshop, Fingerprint Play) and non-profits (Boy Scouts of America, Aids Lifecycle) For a free, customized quote, click here.