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9 Tips for Hiring a Video Production Company

Before hiring a video production company for your next project, read our 9 tips from a professional videographer on what to look for in a company. You might read about something that saves your project!

#1: Production Quote

video production companyMake sure that the video production company gives you a complete proposal identifying what they will do. Our proposals contain the following:

Scope of the Project – a broad overview/understanding of what we will do.

Services – contains a detailed outline of what will be done.

Depending on the complexity of the project, we may break this section into three areas:

– Pre-production – scripting, organizing talent, scout survey, etc.

– Production – how big the crew will be, how many cameras, how many days, etc.

– Post Production – focuses on editing. How many hours, still and motion graphics, photos, etc.

Deliverables – explains exactly what you’ll be receiving at the end. This can include video files (MP4, etc.), DVDs, footage on a hard drive, etc.

If it’s a more involved project, we include a timeline identifying what will be done and when it will be completed:

Video Samples – links to examples of related productions we have done.

Rights to the Video – This section states that you own the rights to the video and can receive all of the original footage, graphics, output files, etc., on a hard drive that can be bought from us or supplied by you.

Budget – a complete breakdown of costs and what we’ll do.

About Our Company – talks about our history, clients, approach, etc.

About Our Staff – provides a short synopsis of our most important asset – our people.

These are only cursory descriptions of what’s in our proposal, but it should give you an idea of what to look for in a production quote when seeking bids for your project.

#2. Timeline and Agreement

Find out how long it will take to complete your video in advance of signing any contracts. The letter of agreement should contain a timeline that spells out the beginning and end of the video production process. This is especially true if it’s a more detailed project such as a promotional video.

If it’s an event video, an extensive timeline isn’t necessary. All you need in terms of a timeline is the assurance that the videographers will be at a particular place at a certain time, stay for a designated length of time, etc.

Make sure the videographers plan to get there early, with plenty of time to set up, no matter what type of production it is.

Is the letter of agreement easy to understand?

Or would it take a Philadelphia lawyer to understand all of the clauses and conditions? An agreement should simply restate the proposal and at the end, spell out what you will get, what you will pay and how payments will be made. Both parties sign it and then the fun begins.

#3: Video Rights

Make sure that the video production company is willing to give you all of the materials and rights to the video that they produce for you.

Some companies give you the finished product with restrictions about how you can use the video. This is nonsense. You paid for this and are entitled to everything, including the right to use it any way you want. Make sure the video company gives you the following:

– Raw footage files

– Graphics

– Project file

– The final output file(s)

Plus, the right to make any subsequent changes as you desire – with whomever you desire. Obtaining the video rights is something you should not compromise on and a professional company would not ask you to.

#4: Insurance

Chances are that nothing bad will happen. But on the rare occurrence that someone trips over a cable or some other mishap occurs, you want to make sure that the video production company will be able to handle the claim if it’s their fault.

All cables should be taped down and no one should trip over anything. But accidents can happen. Also, the fact that the company has insurance in the first place shows that they are a responsible and prepared company. Having insurance says a lot about their character among other things.

#5: Reputation and Referencesvideo production company

Check out the video production company on the Better Business Bureau website. Are they a member in good standing? Any complaints? How long have they been a member for? As long as you’re on the site, check out their profile on the BBB.

See if there are any reviews on Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. Make sure they’re overwhelmingly good reviews!

Google them. See what comes up. They should have many citations in the search engines. Make sure that they’re all good. If there is something negative, make sure that the video production company has at least responded to the complainant and has offered a good explanation of events.

References are important too!

You may want to go the extra mile by asking for and contacting references for other companies they did work for. Ask if they were easy to work with, started and finished on time, did a great job, went beyond the call of duty if warranted, had up to date equipment, knew what they were doing, and other factors that affected your video production.

#6: Past Clients

Check to see if their website contains testimonials. The fact that a company is willing to put themselves on the line by allowing us to feature them on our testimonials page is an indication that they not only like our work, but have faith in our character, judgment and other attributes.

Who is providing these testimonials? If you’re looking to have a business video produced, the testimonials should be from a variety of size businesses. This shows that the video company is flexible and knows how to work with a variety of corporate cultures.

#7: Work Samples

When the video production company you’re seeking submits their proposal, they should include video samples. After looking them over, make sure the quality of the samples matches your expectations and the style is similar to what you’re looking for.

It’s important to make sure the samples line up with what you need. For instance, if you need an event video, the company should be able to send you samples of events they have recorded. Same thing goes for an interview video, convention shoot, etc.

However if you’re a manufacturer who needs a promotional video about the nuts and bolts you sell, don’t expect the company to have a promotional nuts and bolts video to show you. But they should have one or more manufacturing video samples to show you. So the more specialized your industry, don’t expect the exact same video sample. But samples show the quality of work that you can expect.

#8: Preparation

After you’ve had your initial conversation and they send you a proposal, is it obvious that they have or haven’t done their research about your company? This is another ‘tell’ about them. You need them to care about your final product as much as you do and not just go through the motions just to make a sale.

After your discussion with them, the video production company should do some research to discover who your company is. This will enable them to offer relevant suggestions about how to improve your video, make it more appealing to your audience, how to make it fit your brand, etc.

It’s not enough to know about the craft of producing video. It’s also important to match your company’s personality, needs and goals with the mechanics of production. This should not be a robotic exercise on the producer’s part; their suggestions about the script and the proposal should be a reflection of their research.

#9: Good Listener/ Communication

Is the producer you talked to more concerned about telling you about themselves or are they asking about your project? They should be asking you questions about aspects of your production that you may not have considered and otherwise helping you think things through. There’s plenty of time for them to put their best forward. But they should be listening to you first.Hello I Am A Good Listener Sympathy Empathy Understanding

What kinds of questions are they asking? Do they seem germane to your goals? If they’re asking you questions that help you clarify and focus, that’s a good sign.

Does what they say make sense? Are they willing or able to work within your budget? Do they offer you different scenarios to match your budget and expectations? They should.

Attitude is vital, as you need to have a positive experience with the company you’re going to work with because the process definitely influences the final results. I think the operative word is caring. If we notice something that should be addressed that you haven’t thought about, we mention it. Then you can act on it or not. But often a client isn’t aware of certain things because it’s not their field of expertise.

Speaking of suggestions, our philosophy is to make a suggestion to the client and if they say they want to do it another way, that’s the final word. Beware of the company that insists on doing things their way because it will only get worse from there.

 

If you need help with your next video production, editing or duplication, Video One Productions can help! Contact us at (773)252-3352 or at irwin@video1pro.com.

How to Hire a Video Editing Company in Chicago (Pt. 1)

Choosing the Perfect Video Editing Company

hiring a video editing company

Hiring a video editing company in Chicago is like hiring one anywhere, except that you have a huge number of choices in a large city. But whether you have many or few choices, your digital video editor needs to be chosen wisely.

The major criteria that people think about are asking for examples of the editors work and the price they will pay. However there are more criteria you should consider. Here are some things you may also want to throw into the mix:

Time

How quickly can this project be completed? Get a timeline from the editor to determine when the various stages of the edit will be completed.

Motion Graphics

Your edit may require motion graphics or some form of animation to make it ‘come alive’. Make sure that your editor can provide attractive ‘eye candy’ to attract the viewer, keep his or her attention and illustrate complex concepts. Our motion graphics page gives you an idea of what you should expect your editor to be able to do.

Environment

If you will be at the editing session, make sure that you’ll have a comfortable environment in which to edit. Is it private, relatively noise free, professional, etc.?

Speed of the Editor

Different from the deadline issue, it does no good if the editor promises you a low hourly rate if it takes him or her forever to do the edit. This is especially true if you’re going to attend the editing session. Aside from the edit going longer than anticipated and having the cost increase accordingly, consider your time, which is also valuable.

Price

If the price point is too low, it may mean that the editor is backed up with lots of projects or is discounting their services because they don’t have any work. There’s nothing wrong with them discounting their price, as it could be your lucky day to get a deal on a great editor. However, it could also be a possible red flag that there might be a problem with this person. Just be cautious if the price is too low.

Test and Verify

If you have the luxury of time, it might be a good idea to hire the editor for a small project and see how that goes before using them for a larger project.

…Come back next week for part II!

Is it Cheaper to Create My Own Video Production?

video production

Initially yes. But ultimately, probably not. I was reminded of that fact as we recently filmed a short video production for an optometrist’s website. It’s only a 14 second shot and there was some discussion among the owners of the business as to whether it would make sense to film the sequence with an iPhone.

They could have saved themselves the cost of us doing the production. However, the image quality, framing, depth of field, lighting, camera move and other elements wouldn’t have been as good as what we did with our experienced videographer and professional equipment. And as I’ve mentioned many times, people generalize from your video to your business. Good video means a good business and of course the opposite is true.

You have to think of the ROI and the impression you are giving to potential and existing customers. A well-crafted video shows that you give attention to detail and care about quality.

And don’t forget, every website needs a video! I can’t think of one industry or business where a short 30-90 second video wouldn’t be appropriate or a big plus to have on its website. Great for conversions, explaining your product or service, SEO and branding.

So if you would like to have your video production professionally produced, contact us at irwin@video1pro.com.

‘Hiring a Video Production Company’ Video Tip Series – Watch Now

If you’ve been following our tip series on ‘Hiring a Video Production Company’ on our blog, the new video tip series covering the same topic will help you better understand each tip. Irwin Myers, the President of the Chicago video production company, Video One Productions, explains in detail the types of things you should look for when choosing between video production companies to produce and/or edit your video.

The following is the first video of the video series that will be released once a week for the next 10 weeks. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated on tips.

Choosing a Video Production Company Tip #1: Experience & Reputation:

Download our free checklist guide, “Hiring a Professional Video Production Company: A Checklist”:

chicago video production - chicago video production company

This guide includes:

> Company Reputation

> Samples of Work

> Project Deadlines

> Communication with Video Production Crew

> And more!

Have questions about Chicago video production? Contact us, or reach out via social media: