Every video project is a real partnership between client and production company and there are lots of important elements to consider. Sometimes the intangibles is as important as the tangible. All video companies are not created equal and your decision depends on what you would like to accomplish. Below are a few items to consider when you make a decision.
The Plan - When you contact production companies
Establish a clear goal. The more defined your objectives, the greater the final product will be. Determine a budget range. Oftentimes, the budget will define the finished product. You will save a lot of time by knowing what you would like to invest - even when it's a range - and sharing these details with the production company. Know your audience. Will this system be used to sell something? To educate customers? To launch something? To boost your brand and image? To motivate and inspire employees? To entertain?
Establish quantifiable measurements for success. What would you like the audience to complete, think or feel after they've seen the video? Research. Get on the Internet and find out as much as you can concerning the production companies by which you may well be interested. Ask business colleagues. Lots of business can come from word of mouth. What better solution to narrow your choices that to ask friends and family who work at other companies? Check social media. Ask your contacts on LinkedIn for advice and their experiences with video production companies.
Identify internal expectations. What results will persuade your management that the project is a huge success? Does your CEO be prepared to be on camera? The length of time should the finished product run? Will there be travel? Budgets can increase dramatically if a staff needs to shoot in multiple cities. Getting customers and experts on camera can strengthen the message and is usually worth the extra cost. What are the preferred delivery options? Will this system stream online? Can it be broadcast on TV? Can it be presented at an event?
Limit the amount of bids. Request bids from 2 or 3 production companies. When you approach four companies and above you might reach a point where it is hard manage proposals and arrived at a qualified decision effectively. Are there strong opinions for a direction? Sometimes companies think they know what type of approach they desire before they start. If so, they should be made recognized to the bidders. Who's the point of contact?
The Meeting - The first impression can inform you a lot
How's the pitch? If the company can sell themselves and understands what it takes to deliver key information, the greater the opportunity they could do the exact same for you. Have they done their research? Could it be obvious that they know very well what your company does or is this initially they've heard about you. It's (almost) O.K. if you're a startup but with the Internet, they should have some inkling about who you are. Can there be chemistry? You are going to be spending a lot of time with your people. You should at least like them. Do you receive the sense they like each other? You don't need conflict when you even get started.
Do they listen? Do each goes on and on about themselves without digging into the purpose of this system and the potential challenges. That's a notice sign. Do they ask good questions? Intellectual curiosity is key to an excellent proposal and a successful script, shoot, edit and finished product. Look at reels. If you haven't seen their work online, be sure you notice it whenever you meet and ask questions. If you don't see examples that report the amount of quality you expect, it's most likely not going to suddenly show up in your project.
Have a tour. If they've an editing facility ask to see it. You don't have to know much about equipment but know enough to learn if the gear is relatively new. If the gear is old, there might be problems. Consider awards. But don't make a decision based on awards. A display of awards can indicate a company's excellence or their competence at filling out award competition applications. Be consistent. If you should be getting bids from several production companies, make certain each of them receive the exact same parameters and background and budget information.
Find out about the staff. Do they've in-house writers, editors, videographers, directors and producers or use freelancers? Or both? What's their experience? Who owns the footage? Generally in most agreements, the production company owns the raw footage and the customer owns the finished product. Avoid surprises and find out in front of time.
The Proposal - Do they have it?
Is the proposal presented in an expert manner? A well-produced proposal demonstrates an attention to detail that will be essential to the production of your project. Is the method clear? A movie production is a logistical challenge. movie producer company Is the workflow well organized? Can there be a deliverables timeline that's clear and easy to understand? Is your role as client defined? Is the style befitting your audience? Did they pay attention to your input? Does your gut inform you this can work?
Is the creative treatment attuned to your corporate culture? Can you sell this idea to your management? Or even, how would it be revised to produce it work? Is the production company ready to accept your creative input? This is a preview of your future working relationship. If they are rolling their eyes now they are most likely not the team for you. Is a person in the creative team present? Account managers serve a good purpose but sometimes you'll need to talk right to the writer, producer or director to have key questions answered.
Is the budget clearly presented? Did they pay attention to your financial allowance range? Is the payment schedule clear and linked with deliverables? Can there be a contingency budget with guidelines concerning how and when those funds will be spent? Just how many creative treatments? A good proposal will limit the amount of creative treatments. This shows confidence in the proposed approach. A bid with four or maybe more treatments lets you know the creative team isn't sure what you would like or what will work (but it's in there somewhere).
Your decision - The minute of truth
Check references. It might seem like it's unnecessary, but get it done anyway. Think that the production company is giving you their happiest clients and most successful stories. You are able to still dig for useful information. Would they utilize the production company again? What were the challenges? How was the product received? Location. Location... etc. How important can it be that the production company be local? To some folks it matters. Trust your gut. Decision grids are great but sometimes you simply know one company is going to do an improved job. Go with that feeling.