Your company image is important, and when you need video to promote your company, your product, or your big announcement, you'll need to make a decision on who to partner with. This probably isn't a service you shop for every day, and you may not be familiar with the technology, the creativitity, and the interaction that is needed. There are of course many ways to look at your decision-making process, and we'll soon be publishing a whitepaper that will offer a more indepth look.
But for now, let's focus on four key elements you should consider:
- Experience of the Production Company: Does the production company have experienced staff, years in business, an extensive portfolio, and examples of recent work in your area of business? Are they a "real" company offering all the benefits of working with a full staff? Remember, it's very easy for almost anyone to purchase an HD camera and editing software for their computer - and produce a website. Beware of the Lone Wolf who promises the world.
- Large Agency or Boutique? : You'll certainly find a wide variety here. Some large Agencies would love to create your video - but will they offer personal customer service? An agency may have much larger accounts to deal with on any given day - will your project be pushed aside if a bigger client's needs arise? Will you be a name or a job number? A Boutique, on the other hand, may consider you a much more important client - offering you a dedicated Producer and Writer, ability to reach out with questions at any time, and they may offer you a more direct experience in crafting your message. The first step in learning about your organization and the goals for your video are incredibly important.
- Artistry: This one is simple - it's all about vision. Honestly it's pretty simple for most videographers to set up a camera on a tripod, set up a light, and press the little red record button. But that leads us down the path to a hum-drum video. Look for Producers and Videographers who approach a filming session as an artistic opportunity. If you're considering graphics or animation, ask to see the artist's work (and be sure it's the artist who will be working on your project!) The use of newer DSLR and film-style cameras will give your video depth and rich color. Movement is important also. Does the company offer glidecams or steadycams, "Jib" arms, dollys, or other smooth-motion tools? Look for a company that treats their work as their craft.
- Budget: Yup, we left the best for last. You probably have an idea of your budget goal or range for your project. Share that info in your RFP, don't be shy. For any given project, you can probably find a company that will offer you complete production services for $500 to $1000. You can also hire a company that will propose a $100,000 price tag for the same project. How can there possibly be such a range out there? Well, the answer can be complicated. But in short, the same consumer rules apply here as if you were buying a toaster or choosing a restaurant - you get what you pay for! If you're considering entrusting your company image to the cheaper guy you found on the listing website, ask yourself this - WHY is he cheaper? There is good value for your investment out there. If your video is important, be prepared to invest - but look around for the best value for that investment.
There's obviously more to the process, but this should offer you a great start in your search. There are variables and key points in every project that determine who will be your best choice. Take your time - look around a bit - and do your homework, and you'll find a partner in production who looks out for your best interest and produces an engaging, on-point video for your organization.
Questions? I'm here - firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you.