If you’re reading this, you’re likely just starting out with video production in New York or the NYC area, you want to find someone to work with, but you have no idea where to start. There is a lot to learn when it comes to video production, not only in the actual capturing of video content (pre-production, production, and post-production), but also in developing strategies or creative ideas, and distributing your video and getting it to the eyes of your viewers.
I want to make getting started easier for you, so my main goal with this post is to try to give you some very specific advice from my experience at Grey Sky Films.
While making mistakes is part of life, it can be quite costly when it comes to a project such as production. I’m hoping that by looking for the following 5 things while searching for video production companies, you will be that much closer to a supremely successful shoot!
1. A Variety of Samples
A video production company should have an online presence with plenty of video samples to view. Commit some time to looking through available samples, and try to examine various traits: style, quality, as well as each video’s message. Videos produced by a company for a client will often reflect the client’s feedback which ultimately contributes to the look and message of the final product.
A helpful strategy for you: select a few videos that stand out to you, and write down what you like or do not like about them. When you speak to a representative of the company that produced them, you can discuss those project specifics and get a sense of where the company’s skills and judgment were used or how they merged their creative and execution goals with that of their client.
2. Great Communication
Great communication is noticeable early as you reach out to companies to inquire about their services. There are a lot of moving parts to a production, and a successful one relies much upon preparation and teamwork; great communication is the grease that keeps those parts moving smoothly!
A company representative should make the time to lead you in a thorough discussion about your needs and goals early on in the process, and ensure that you and the production team are on the same page to kick off pre-production.
This is a good sign that your desires will translate to the project throughout the remainder of the production process. Communication is key, so make sure your early conversations seem to set the tone for responsiveness and clarity you’ll want throughout the entire project.
3. A Tried-and-True Process
Experienced video production companies in NYC will know the ins and outs of completing a production, and have a clear, tried-and-true process to lay the groundwork for a success. Having a well-developed and practiced process signifies that the team is seasoned, trained and prepared to take the reigns on your production and help steer it in the right direction.
Upon searching for a reliable video production company, look for their process outlined on their website or in their collateral. When making contact with a company, ask them about their process. Ideally, they will be able to walk you through the steps and answer any questions you may have right up front. These steps should at least include:
- Discovery: discussion of your goals and all specifics including budget
- Pre-production: planning, scheduling, and all details that will come together in filming and editing.
- Production: what you can expect upon your actual filming date(s).
- Post-Production: what happens after filming is complete, and how you will be guided through the editing process.
- Final steps and file delivery
One thing is certain in video production: there are many variables that can be subject to change. The ability to stay fluid and adjust to change is an important quality in a production team. Changes can occur because of client preferences, or they can be dictated by budget, timing, or other conditions.
Here’s a true example: you’re shooting a commercial that requires outdoor filming of a family and their home. You’ve secured a residential home as a location, and booked your actors as well as a wardrobe stylist and makeup artist. Now, two days prior to your film date you see that you are destined for stormy weather.
Your production team will need to snap to it, and see that everything can be rescheduled for a later date. Now, one of your actors isn’t available for the new date, so casting will have to be revisited, and subsequently wardrobe will have to buy items for the new actor. All of this will need to be done while still ensuring your overall deadline can still be met. This is just one of many examples I’ve experienced in video production.
When evaluating multiple video production companies in NYC, ask them about their flexibility and their policies on rescheduling or expediting. A flexible – and highly communicative – video production team is a must-have for a successful production experience.
Stewardship by definition is: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something. In my experience many clients seek out a video production company on a per project basis, looking solely to address the project that is of immediate concern. However, you’ll reap greater benefits overall by selecting a company that wants to truly partner and manage your overall goals with regard to content production.
Choose a team that has experience in this type of partnership. They should be able to advise you on opportunities to be efficient and proactive in capturing new content or re-purposing footage that has already been filmed, thereby making the most of your investment in production.
Ask them how they have done this for existing clients of theirs, and hopefully they will have some examples to share with you that will make you eager to select them as your partner.
I hope these top 5 qualities to look for in a video production company help you find the best team in New York or the NYC area. Best of luck to you in your search!