How to Hire the Right TV Production Company in NYC
Hiring a production company to film and edit a piece for TV can seem like quite a tall order if you’ve never worked with one before, or if you’re not sure how to go about finding and evaluating a company fit to produce content for television. The following guidelines can help you get started and help you hone in on the most important criteria for selecting a TV production company in NYC.
Search for What you Want
The best way to start is to conduct a few online searches using a variety of keywords related to they type of video or film piece you would like to produce for TV, and the geographical area you would like them to work in. The types of pieces aired on TV can include commercials, pilots, full shows, interviews, documentaries, infomercials. Be specific in some of your searches to help find companies with experience in the type of TV production you are seeking.
Your desired location may vary as well. Perhaps you are based in NYC, but you need a crew to film an event in LA and send footage back to you. Or, perhaps you’re seeking a post-production team (graphic artists, special effects and editing professionals) to create some animated promos by working with images and text you’re able to provide from afar via digital transfer, hence allowing them to be based anywhere.
By using popular search engines and specific words related to your project, you should be well on your way toward finding several candidates for further evaluation. The following items should be next on your list as you take a further look at some television production prospects.
Offerings and Capabilities
Again, this can vary greatly based on your needs. Do you need someone to plan, script, cast, location scout, and produce? Or, do you have all of the planning and details covered, but need a crew to work equipment? List out the specific roles you need a team to fulfill and start browsing their websites to see if they offer a complete list of capabilities and seem like they could offer what you need.
See what they claim their specialties, either in product (i.e. commercials, pilots) or industry (i.e. corporate, entertainment), to be and take a look through their online portfolio to see what their range of work looks like. If you like something about a company, but don’t see a specific offering or example of experience, don’t rule them out just yet. Keep evaluating further, until you can confirm more information in person, over the phone or in a meeting.
Visual and Creative Style
The amount of visual content being produced these days is leaps and bounds greater than years past, and one of the best ways to compete with others is in quality over quantity. You should seek out a TV production team with high-quality filming capabilities and a current shooting style. While opinions on style can be subject to opinion, there are general trends of visuals and styles or themes that can be perceived as new or modern versus dated or even out-dated.
For example, we’ve all seen the original Star Wars films. (If you haven’t, do you live under a rock?) It is no insult to say that the way scenes transition from one to another, wiping off to one side of the screen, is a dated look. A ‘wipe’ has in fact become recognizable and iconic to the original Star Wars movies, which is the very fact that dates it. There are many other filming and editing techniques that can either evoke an bygone era, or can mark the here and now. Be sure to study items on television that you like, and a look you are going after, then see if you recognize a similar quality in a company’s online portfolio.
Communication and Working Style
A TV production involves many tasks, detailed planning, and precise scheduling to efficiently achieve what is desired in production, and capture everything needed on film. Likewise, planning and communication are essential in the post-production phase in order to maintain momentum and meet critical deadlines for projects going to air.
Be sure to evaluate these core traits of a team: do they seem organized and ready to take the reigns of their particular part of the job? Is it clear who is in charge of each particular role? Who is leading, and who is following whom? Establishing this order and clarity in communication helps to avoid confusion and inefficiency during the production, not to mention in post-production as your finished piece enters the homestretch toward broadcast.
This is especially important if you’re hiring a crew to work a great distance away. Are they in another state covering a one-time only event or interviewing someone? If so, you’ll want to make sure you and they are clear on all details, including what they need to capture on film and the timeline to return footage or an edited product.
Perhaps you need more than a production crew; rather, you need an agency or team who can serve as your liaison with another agency, a media or production hub, or with the broadcast company directly. You may need someone who understand the specifications and common practices of file handling and trafficking, in order to ensure proper delivery of your production and to offer assistance with technical difficulties.
While some companies may not highlight this capability as an offering, or they may use different terminology to express it, be sure to discuss the full details of what you will be needing to not only produce your TV commercial, pilot, or other project, but to get it to air with the correct technical specifications, in the designated timeline.
Getting a Quote
Once you have listed out and discussed the full range of capabilities and services you will need, have a few companies provide you with proposals or quotes. These proposals should give you further idea of what it’s like to work with that company, and they should outline the production you’ve discussed with clear pricing.
Different companies or producers may understand your goals or visions differently, or they may simply have different approaches on how to achieve your goal based on their experience. Be sure to discuss and try to understand how those differences may be reflected in the quotes or proposals you receive.
By simply knowing what you want and need specifically, and reaching out to a companies that fit your project and search criteria you will very quickly be so much closer to finding the right TV production company.