This is the third blog in a series that will help you start or rethink your video strategy: Lights. Camera. Action. Is Your Media Production Company the Right Fit?
When it comes to trusted resources, you might think about your attorney, accountant or financial planner. You probably don’t think about your media production company–but perhaps you should. After all, when you create different types of digital communications, they represent you and your organization. You should not trust just anyone with a valuable asset and that is what your brand is–an asset!
What should you look for in a media production company? How do you know if there is a good fit? Can the company produce something that gets your message across creatively and with great quality?
No production company will have a sample that is exactly what you are looking to create. However, it should have a body of work that you can review. Watch the samples. Do you like what you see? I believe it’s important that there is variety. Sometimes every video or graphic sample has the same treatment, the same look and feel, the same overused content. You want a company that understands what is unique about your organization and captures it. You do not want to look like everyone else.
While media production is creative, you want a source that has a very clearly defined production process. The company should be able to explain the various steps for discovery and content development, specific milestones, and signoffs. They also should ask you how and when you want to be involved. Some clients prefer to set direction and let go. Others want to be present for shoots and during editing.
Ask about the team who will be assigned to your project? Are they on-staff or freelance talent? Can you meet them in advance?
Budgeting can be tricky. At my company, creative projects are budgeted by the project and we provide ranges for the product to be delivered. These take into account the complexity of the project, the number of shoot days, need for professional talent, editing, graphics, etc. Remember, you are in charge. I like to say, “I can make you a Kia or a Mercedes–you get to choose what you need.” Still, many have trouble understanding how the budget translates to the level of production. Don’t expect Hollywood blockbuster effects on a home movie budget. Have the production company show you projects in different budget ranges, so you understand what you are getting.
Ask if you will be able to see the progress of the video. Does the video company have an online system that allows you to see and comment right on the video? This can make the process much easier and communication more accurate.
Finally, how will the video company archive your raw video and finished project? This is an important point. Video is an asset and once you collect it, you need to make sure it is properly archived. Then you can use it in the future. It will also make changes easier and new projects less expensive. We often leverage video that we have shot for clients for years.
The most important aspect of a relationship with a media company is trust. Choose someone you trust with your brand and who will work for you whether it is a simple short social media video or a highly-produced, important campaign.
Need help with video production? I run a video production company. Let’s chat.