What To Look For In A Video Production Company
When you’re looking to hire a video production company, there’s an important difference from working with just a videographer. A video production company offers a full range of video services, from pre- to post-production, including scripting, filming, lighting, audio, studio work, drone, editing, motion graphics, and more, all in one place.
What you shouldn’t do is simply look at a company’s reel and previous work and assume that’s everything you need to know. While reels are a great place to start when evaluating videographers, it’s only one element that goes into the process.
Here’s what you should be asking about before you hire a video production company:
You need to decide what kind of editing style is right for your job. Do you want dynamic, fast-paced editing with a lot of motion and cool transitions? Or do you want a non-obtrusive style that you barely notice? A professional editor should be able to do both, but you might want to see examples before committing.
Graphic design and filmmaking tend to be completely different skill sets. Expecting one videographer to be great at both is probably asking too much.
That’s why my partner in my first video production business was a motion graphics designer and animator. This was what he specifically went to school for, and while I’m able to handle simple titles and such, any heavy duty graphics I still turn over to him. Before hiring a video production team, make sure they have a dedicated animator.
Professional lighting equipment is a must if you want professional looking video. Whether you’re videographer owns the gear him or herself, or rents it for specific jobs, make sure they have experience with the gear before hiring them. This is especially true for product shoots and interviews.
Some people say that audio is even more important than the visuals. While I agree that bad audio will sink a project, my personal opinion is that audio and visuals are equally important. Either way, make sure your video production team has a dedicated audio person. Unless you are looking to go the ultra-budget route, investing in sound quality is a must.
If you know you want shots done in studio for your video project, then you definitely need to hire a videographer with access to studio space. For product demos and some interviews, a studio is a necessity. Don’t wait until after you’ve signed the contract to ask about this important detail.
Along the same lines, if you know you want drone footage, ask about it at the very beginning. Just looking at a company’s reel doesn’t tell you whether they have a drone operator on staff or not. That sick looking drone footage could be stock, have been supplied by the client, or shot by someone else. Find out if they have a licensed drone pilot they work with regularly if they don’t have one working on staff.
Finally, you want to find a company’s whose visual style matches your brand aesthetic. While a professional videographer should be able to shoot in multiple styles, if your brand identity is really important to you, it pays to find a videographer whose aesthetic matches your own.
My goal as a videographer is to provide agency level quality at freelancer prices. I’m able to do this because I regularly partner with other professionals to provide services that aren’t my best talents. For instance, I work regularly with a sound engineer and animator, and I have a number of camera operators I can turn to when we need multiple cameras on set. I also have a home studio and access to a fully equipped studio when needed.
This way you get the best possible video quality for significantly cheaper than you might otherwise have to pay because I don’t have to worry about the overhead in the same way a video production studio does.