Finding a great partner to help you create something important, special, or costly always takes a few rounds of research, education, or inquiry. It’s like that time I went to the mission in San Francisco: I wanted to find the very best Mexican food in a place with hundreds of Mexican restaurants! My ultimate decision was not only guided by reading reviews, websites and menus, as well as recommendations from friends, but it was finally solidified upon a personal look at the style and vibe of the taqueria in question. But hey, I’m a foodie. These things are important to me.
Perhaps your hunt is less about authentic guacamole, and more about creating the most authentic and effective video content, and getting the best value for your investment. If seeking out a video production company in or around NYC is a new endeavor for you, it can be hard to know how to vet them for your project. The following five things to consider before hiring a video production company should help you get started.
A company with great experience will have managed a wide variety of productions. Each production comes with its own strategic or creative goals, planning and schedules, filming conditions, technical details and more.
In the pre-production phase, an experienced company will know what details to consider ahead of time, how to best plan for the entire execution process, and how to schedule your production in the most cost-effective and efficient way.
In production, it’s essential to have a crew that is not only well-prepared to capture everything planned for, but to also be ready for unexpected challenges ranging from weather issues, sound or lighting challenges, or impromptu changes to schedule.
How can you gauge a company’s experience? They should express their level of expertise on their website or in their collateral, but also take a look at the depth and diversity of their portfolio of work. Finally, when you reach out to a company, ask that they tell you about themselves. Ideally, they will have experience that spans many years, and employ a team with a diverse creative and executional background.
When seeking cost estimates from production companies, you’ll want to understand the value you’re getting for your investment. Saving money is on everyone’s agenda, but going with the cheapest company may cause you trouble down the road if they aren’t truly prepared or experienced enough to execute the production and post-production correctly or effectively. You’ll end up paying more in the long run.
An experienced company will lead you through exploration of your project to ensure all details are covered. Some of these details should include: recommended size crew and hours necessary for filming, the number of edits you will get, any licensed music, stock images or stock footage that may need to be purchased from a third party, whether you will need actors, props or additional crew (such as a wardrobe stylist or hair and makeup artist), and much more.
Once you have these items assessed, it’s best to ensure you are comparing apples-to-apples between companies, and that you are truly getting the most for your investment.
While you may not be an expert in video equipment or terminology, a video production company should be able to express or demonstrate their range of capabilities, and their ability to enhance your image. By viewing the more recent additions to a company’s portfolio and talking to them about whatever particular look you are after, you can help evaluate the quality you will be able to achieve with them. As you peruse samples, you should be able to get a sense of camera use, picture clarity, audio quality, graphical styling, editing style, and more to hone in on what qualities you are looking for.
A production company should be able to produce videos in optimal quality for HD viewing on whichever platform you plan to use for playing your video. Be sure to discuss where you plan to place your video upon completion, as they should also be able to produce optimized formats of video for easy upload to your website, social media pages or mobile devices. They should also be able to properly prep or traffic a broadcast spot or segment.
As with choosing any partner, you’ll want to get a sense of them personally and be able to foresee the ease of working together. Creating a video production is a process, and one that requires good communication and reliability. You should find a team that has a can-do attitude throughout the entire process: in planning, on set, and throughout the post-production stages. You want to be made to feel comfortable and confident, with the cooperation of your team.
Your relationship with the team producing your film or video should continue beyond the date your project finalizes. You should select a company that will be there to learn from your shared experiences, take in information about your professional goals company and continue to apply them going forward. Choose a team that wants to establish a long relationship; they can advise you on future opportunities to capture fresh content or re-purpose some of what you filmed with them already.
How you select your video production company all comes down to what is most important to you. From my time here at Grey Sky Films I now know that the best provider is one that not only offers great quality and value, but is one that wants to form a long relationship, and leverage many years of experience to truly be an extension of you and your team, for the greater success and efficiency of all your film and video-related goals.