5 TIPS BEFORE HIRING A VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANY

Frank Battiston |

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In today’s world, we all know adding video to your marketing strategy, no matter if it’s a product, a service, or even a piece of art, is pivotal for success. Still, many marketers and companies don’t know where to start when looking for a video professional that understands their brand’s needs. Therefore, no matter if this is your first time or the 10th time you make a video, here are some important steps to take in account when hiring a video professional:

1. Knowing the goal of the video you want to create

Understand the reason why you are making a video. Are you looking to promote your new product and its benefits? Or are you looking to explain to an audience how to use it step by step? Are you covering a specific event for others online to see the front line occurrence? Or are you doing a behind the scenes of what takes to make this event happen? The answer to these questions is ultimately what drives the content and style of your piece. Now, the great perk of involving a production team early on in the process, is that they have the experience of what works and doesn’t work for the purpose of your video.

2. Have a vision you can share, adapt, and execute

Another great perk of working with a video production team is they can guide you on how to make a piece that suits your budget, vision, and time constraints. Don’t be afraid to dream about your idea, but also be open to explore additional possibilities with that team of your choice. Remember, the same way you might me an expert creating murals, making new barware, or developing an app that aids people on how to choose healthy ingredients for their next meal, the team you choose is the same way. They are experts on how to communicate and portray properly your idea by creating a plan and executing it via images and sound. So don’t be afraid to present your dream idea and being open to adapt to make it work at its best.

Also, be realistic about your time frame and budget. You can’t make a Hollywood production in only a few hours unless you have millions of dollars at your disposal. Good video production is an equation that balances correctly the variables of time and money to achieve a specific level of complexity. With this I mean, if your idea is heavily involved, but you don’t have a big budget to spend, then you will need more time to allocate the right resources to make it happen. The same goes the other way around. If you have that same complex idea, but you don’t have a lot of time at your disposal, then you need a hefty budget that can allow the production team to solve problems in a short amount of time. Now, time and money can also become congruent because, if your idea is simple and requieres minimal intervention, but you spend unnecessary extra time making the process happen, then the more costly it becomes. Video production is all about planning, budgeting, and scheduling to allocate the right resources for your project. It is way beyond just shooting and editing. This is why the earlier you bring a video production team to your own process, the better the product will be in the end.

3. Be consistent with your idea and final goal

There is nothing less productive for a video production team and you as a creator than cbahnging your core idea during the execution phase of the video. Take time to visualize, understand the process, and plan accordingly before you send out the team to capture and edit your video. Not doing this will most likely cost you money, but also give you head aches when your team doesn’t garner the power you originally intended in your piece. Be consistent by supporting the plan that you set out to do from the beginning and don’t derail it. And if you feel the need to add or subtract from that initial plan, make sure you not only adapt your finances and schedule, but also be assertive that these changes will make your first vision better, not worse.

4. Hire the right video production team for the right reasons

Every video professional is different. Some will center more on story, others will center just on making a video look great, and there are the ones that will do both. Moreover, each production team has a different style of their own. Some only care about coverage and are less involved in the creative process of the piece, others are more cinematic and are very creative about how your content tells a story that engages with your audience. So don’t hire a team that understands and operates a cinematic language if what you need is to film yourself talking about what you think of your ex's friends. Unless of course you want to make it unconventional and out of the box. The same way, don’t hire a video/film school intern if what you are trying to achieve is a stylized video with 20 dancers jumping out of cars in the background while the camera pivots around the singer standing on top of a moving truck. Be specific, and hire the professional based on skill and style, not on the category of videos he or she has on the demo reel. If you see that a particular professional is great at comedic narratives, you can rest assured that he or she will do an excellent job in your comedic commercial or product video.

5. Be proactive and push your team to do their best

Yes, you are hiring video professionals to provide you with excellent service and a great product that you wouldn’t be able to do on your own. But don’t throw a rock at them as soon as their first shot doesn’t align with the visual in your mind. Talk to them. Work with them. Let your concerns and thoughts be clear and logical. Give directions that are actionable instead of remarks that trigger confusion. Directions that are actionable and helpful, even if you are not an expert, are of this nature:

  • “Can we make the talent sound more sarcastic during this sentence?”
  • “His voice is too distant/echoey, can we make him sound closer/crisper?”
  • “I like how the shot looks, but the colors are not as vivid, can we make them look vivid?”
  • “I don’t like how the image moves, it’s too jittery”
  • “I like how she looks, but the background is too blurry for my taste, can we make it look sharper?”
  • “The phone looks too far away, and I can’t see the content inside the app, can we make it closer?”

Remarks that trigger confusion and are not proactive are of this nature:

  • “I don’t like the image, it’s not like WOW… you know what I mean?”
  • “What is this? Is this what I’m paying for?”
  • “It just doesn’t look like a million bucks”
  • “I don’t know what you’re doing, but it’s not working. Can we make it work?”
  • “You’re the video experts, you should know”
  • “I’m not too fond of how it’s looking, but go ahead, I trust you”
  • “Can I show you a video I took with my phone? I want your video to look just like mine.”

Ultimately, all the tips above are not purposed for you to “do the job” of the video professional. Quite the contrary, they are so that you as a marketer or company can reap the rewards of a team that understands you on every level, and consequentially, translates your ideas to the screen the way you want. As with all companies or entities we admire, the focus and goals of their leaders are clear and relatable, right? The same way, if you are clear and understanding to you video production team, your video will be great and some more.

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