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Things to Keep in Mind While Hiring a Video Production Company

Things to Keep in Mind While Hiring a Video Production Company
There are several things to keep in mind while hiring a video production company as it will call for a huge investment of time, money, and resources. This BusinessZeal article has some essential pointers.
BusinessZeal Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Tip
Ask the video production company to provide a storyboard based on the script so that you will get a better understanding of the shots and setting of frames. This can save a lot of rework and money on your part.
Social media is evolving with every coming day. Many companies are posting videos of their companies online to engage with their customers, vendors, suppliers, lenders, and employees. Today, it has become crucial that a company utilizes the video medium to communicate the right message to its target audience. Hence, it becomes all the more important that you hire a company that will offer a variety of film-related services like shooting documentaries, films, capsules, montages, customer testimonials, tributes, success stories, corporate events, etc. Finding a total service supplier for your video requirement can turn out to be cost-effective. However, hiring a wrong company can cause wastage of money and time. Therefore, it is important that you select a reliable company with proven credentials for the job. Here are a few things to consider.
Explain Your Requirements
Man explaining ideas
Once you conduct market research and invite companies to meet you, it is advisable that you keep a list of requirements ready at your end. Explain to them in detail about the intention of undertaking the video production, its duration, target audience, the anticipated result it is going to generate, mediums where the video is going to be released, etc. You should be ready to answer all these questions, or you will end up looking unprofessional in front of the vendors. The outcome of the video depends on your brief to the video production company. Hence, it is advisable that you keep a sheet ready with you, describing all these details.
Hire Firms, Not Individuals
Teamwork at office
You will find that a lot of individuals who do not own a setup of their own will approach you for the work. Most of them operate from their home and can offer the same services as big production houses at very affordable rates. They outsource major activities like equipment sourcing, direction, editing, etc. While many of them are really good at driving the project towards a successful completion, others are not. Since the whole project is dependent on one person, it gets stalled if he falls sick, takes up another project, or absconds halfway through the film. Also, if the company is wrapped up, you may not be able to modify the videos in future or even claim your existing footage.
Reputation of the Firm
Review
Most of the vendors, who approach you, will tell you that they are full-service providers and will take care of everything. However, it is important to verify whether they actually walk the talk. A friend of mine was approached by two different companies claiming to have created the same video. When he actually validated who had made the video, it was a third company. Hence, check online for the review that the firm has garnered on the BBB website. Also, tap into other review websites. Visit their social media pages to understand what people think of their work. Go to the company website and LinkedIn page to read customer testimonials. Do verify that the company is genuine.
Ask Them the Right Questions
Improving business
Know if they will be able to generate animation if required for the film. This is mostly observed in manufacturing companies. Know if a good quality stock footage is available with them. If your representative shoots a video on a camcorder and sends it to them due to traveling constraints, ask them whether they will be able to use it. Inquire about the places that they intend to shoot. Also, ask them if they need a track dolly or a jib arm for shooting. Know other requirements like clean shop floors, actors for shooting, availability of interviewers, background score, etc. A good voice over is crucial for the success of the film. So, inquire whose voice over is going to be used for the film, and ask for samples.
Hire Experienced Individuals
Interview
Do not get impressed by an attractive brochure of a relatively new company. You may make a hiring mistake by entrusting the work in the hands of an relatively inexperienced company. Try to get an experienced professional company for the job. If they claim to have done similar kind of work earlier, see it to actually believe it. Go through their work thoroughly before you zero in on the vendor. Take referrals of their clients, and contact them personally to know about the company's performance. Speak to them about the experience they had in dealing with this company. This will give you a clear picture about the capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses of the company.
Plans and Procedure
Plans and Procedure
Ask them to give you a plan about how they intend to complete the project within the stipulated time. Usually, if it is a full-fledged corporate film, the entire project will be divided into phases. Ask them to deliver a detailed plan about how they intend to take the film to its completion. If you are satisfied with the plans they offer and the procedures they intend to follow, you can hire them.
Timelines
If there is any business where the philosophy 'time is money' is applicable the most, it is definitely the video production business. Most of the equipment is on a hired basis, as it is very expensive. So, if the shoot costs somewhere around $5,000 for two days, imagine what will happen if it extends over 6 days. Your budget will be blown out of proportion. Also, you may have stringent deadlines to complete the work for your organization. Recruiting an agency with laid-back attitude can hurt your reputation as well. Hence, hire a company that can keep up with the timelines.
It's All About the Concept
Man Showing Script
In order for the video to be successful, it should have a cogent concept. For example, if you are making a video about the CSR function of the company, ensure that the interviews do not look scripted and forced. You should have a strong concept that will sound believable to the audience and doable for the company. Do not just hire someone who shows you a single concept and impresses you with all his marketing skills. Ask him to provide few more concepts and research online about the concept's viability before zeroing in on the vendor.
Cost Implications
Calculation of budget
It is advisable that you ask the companies to give you a turnkey quote instead of charging you by the number of hours implemented for the project. If you allow them to charge you for every hour they put in, the budget will soon go out of hand. It is important that the company you hire knows about the budget constraints and does not work up the bill beyond them. Inquire how much advance they need to start the shoot. Do not pay a lot as advance. Also, decide which overheads are included in the project cost and which are to be treated as extra. Ideally, payment should be made as the phases are completed. Undertake proposal comparison, and hire a company which will offer optimum benefits at a reasonable price. Ask if they are going to charge you separately for transferring, rendering, and uploading the video. Inquire if there are any late fees if you cancel the shoot closer to the schedule. If they are renting equipment or a location, they should first seek your sanction. However, do not hire a company based on the cost itself; look at their credentials as well.
Check Their Offerings
It is important that you hire a technologically advanced company who will work on all your video-related fields. They must incorporate the latest technology to deliver the best results. Ideally speaking, hire an agency which will undertake high-definition shooting so that it will have a good quality, and you will be able to use the footage for some other videos as well. Ensure that they come up with a script as per the demand of the video. If you intend to make a lighthearted employee training film for your organization, the script should be innovative, fun, and informing. If it is a serious, technically driven product, it should be professional and business-like.
Work Agreement
Signing Agreement
You must then make a work agreement or contract with this company. It should include all the relevant clauses like cost, payment schedule, deliverables, the necessary permissions, etc. Ensure that you mention everything in the agreement so that it can work in your favor if there is a legal conflict later on.
Legal Considerations
Ideally, the video production company should waive off its rights over the film or the raw footage as it belongs to the company. Ensure that there is no copyright and permission issues with the photos, music, references, or logos used in the film. Most companies will seek your permission before putting their logo or name in the credits. Hence, if your company policy permits, you may allow them to retain their logo or name. Ensure that you will not face any kind of legal trouble because of the film.
Marketing Services
Video marketing
Imagine that your company has gone the viral way. You want the creative recruitment video that you made for your company to make waves on the social media websites. However, your video production agency declines the work, as it does not offer such marketing services. You will have to then go ahead and hire another agency who will do the work for you. This may take up a lot of time and money. Hence, it is advisable that you choose a company which will not only produce the video for you, but will also market it for you through various platforms, like social media, company website, industry websites, etc.
Do not forget to take the master tapes from the company so that you can modify the video or use it for something else whenever required. Also, you need to have a free- and long-term access to the footage whenever required. Ensure that the company comes up with an engaging video that gains popularity. Scrutinize the video to verify if the colors and lighting are balanced properly. Hire a company which will have creative shots, eye-catching captions, and reliability. Find a company which is covered by insurance. Also, inquire if they can modify the videos done by other vendors for you in the past. In most cases, if you own the rights to the video, modifying them should not be a problem. Now that you know how to choose a video production company, ensure that they understand your requirement thoroughly to deliver better results.