Most business professionals know that they need to make the move into online video to stay competitive and on their prospects radar. But how do you choose a video production company that can handle the job, do it well, and produce a quality video? In this episode of HDPros.net, Cinematographer Jim Ross gives some of the more important aspects you should consider when choosing the right company to create a video for you.
Hi, I’m Jim Ross with Hdpros.net. You know, more and more the Internet is becoming video driven. So chances are you are looking to add video to your web presence and marketing. With today’s inexpensive consumer cameras, just about anyone can claim to be in the video business. Which is why there is now such a glut of bad video out there. So before you waste your money poorly choosing who to film your video, here’s some unbiased advice on how to choose the right video production company.
Choosing a video production company is an important decision. You should do your homework. A quality video is a big investment, whether you are spending $5,000 or $50,000. So here are some of the things you should be looking for when choosing a video company to do your project.
#1-Watch examples of their work. This sounds like a no-brainer but I am always surprised that people don’t check out the quality of work a company has done before hiring them! Watching examples of a company’s work is the best way to see, quite frankly, if they have any talent. You’ll be surprised at what is being put together out there. Ask yourself “Would this be a good representation of my company?” This will also show if they can film what you do. If your business will take a specific talent such as filming action, or aerial work, then choose someone with work that reflects that skill set.
#2-Beware of Demo Reels. Never-ever base your decision on the “demo reel” alone. A demo reel is basically a highlight video of a company’s work. It is snippets of projects put together that is supposed to a “demonstration” of their work. I have one. The problem with demo reels is that they can be just a hodgepodge of great shots that were never actual video projects. They are just cool shots they have collected. The images might not even be their work! Often times that is exactly the case.
If their demo reel has gotten you interested? Great! But be sure to ask to see many of the projects in their entirety that compiled the reel. If you get excuses, or you don’t even see the other works on their website? You know to go somewhere else.
#3-Check References. Another no-brainer, but people just don’t do it. You should call a video productions company’s clients and say “Hi, I am thinking of having a video created and I was wondering what your experience was like working with XYZ Video? Would you do it all over again? Did they deliver what they promised?” Questions like that. You’d be surprised at the answers. This is also a great way to make sure that the work they claim is theirs is actually their work! Checking references is so important to me that I include a page of client contact numbers with every proposal I send out because I want prospects to call my clients. The companies you are looking at should feel the same way. If not? Look elsewhere!
#4-Make sure the company has insurance and ask them to prove it. If the video guy you hire doesn’t have General Liability insurance and his assistant whacks your secretary on the head with a camera crane – guess who pays for her ambulance ride and her hospital stay? You do. Don’t waste your time planning, meeting to discuss the project, and getting a quote just to find out the day of the shoot they have no insurance, because most freelancers do not. Ask in the beginning.
#5-Meet the video professional. You are going to be working with this person on the project. If you’ve called references you already know this person is a professional. But personalities matter. Meet and make sure it is someone that you feel comfortable working with, and that you feel has the experience and yes, the professionalism and maturity to get you the results you are looking for.
#6-Get a written proposal. A big complaint is that a project cost much more than was quoted. While projects do sometimes grow beyond what was originally planned, this should me a mutual decision and never be a “surprise” to you. So get a written proposal that spells out what you want and what the video production company will do to produce what you want and how much it will cost.
Do you get a second bid? I am often asked that question. While I always invite prospects to get a second bid, I also warn that that they are rarely going to be comparing apples to apples. When comparing other bids make sure the companies you get bids from are doing comparative quality of work. You get what you pay for in this business. The fellow with a Canon Rebel and a tripod will certainly bid less than a larger company with state of the art equipment and talented crew. But the work will not compare!
While this is not an exhaustive list, these points will definitely steer you toward a reputable video production company.
Cinematographer & HD Pro