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April 20, 2016

5 questions you should ask a video production company

Behind the Scenes

You've been thinking about producing a video for some time now, and you're ready to pull the trigger. Step one is to find a video production company! Your friend recommended someone, and you've Googled five other options, but you want to make sure that you pick the perfect fit for your company. Whether you're narrowing down video production vendors for an RFP or looking for a production partner on a smaller project, here are five questions you should always ask:

1. What can you show me?

There are so many important questions to ask, but the most important is: how good are they? You may not be an expert in the process or know much about creating video, but you should be able to look at something in their portfolio and get a handle on whether or not their style is a fit for your company.

We're exposed to television and video every day, so start paying more attention to it. Identify what stands out, what hooks you, and simply find the style you like! Explain what you're looking for, or find a link online that will help. Perhaps you're a large Fortune 500 company, and you need a video of your CEO addressing your team globally. Ask to see something they've produced that may be similar. You want to be prepared for what's coming and ensure that your high expectations will be met. The last thing you want is for someone to show up with a camcorder from the 90s, and a green screen!

2. When can I expect it?

All video teams function a little differently, and often enough it's due to the size of the team. A bigger team doesn't always translate to a better video in your hands quickly. A standard timeline for a one-minute video is usually between 4-8 weeks, but there are times of the year that are busier than others. Be upfront with your deadline. There's no sense in starting your video with a company that isn't going to get it into your hands-on time.

3. What are you all about?

Learn a little bit about your video partner before you get into bed with them! A website and demo reel isn't going to reveal everything about a video production company. Video is a process, and organization is key to a successful project. Have a call with them and ask questions about their project briefs, project timeline materials, or just about their creative process in general. The production team should live and die by these materials, so make sure to pick a company that's providing detail and insight into their process!

4. How do you implement?

This is super-duper important! When your video is complete, you're going to need to host it, showcase it, and get your customers' eyes on it. It's good to work with companies that can help you with the aftermath, and give you advice. You're going to spend two months making this masterpiece, so you're going to want it to be used effectively!

5. Where do I sign?

Ask about the production contract materials, and if the production company will provide these. A professional, experienced company will have specific documents in place such as a Contract and a Statement of Work to outline the task. These are fairly standard documents that provide details about the job so that both you (the client) and the production company are on the same page!

It will also outline things like 'who has ownership over the footage', and whether the content can be hosted on the production team's website. This may all be fine and dandy with you, but you should be aware of the production company's protocol.

Keep asking questions until you feel comfortable! You're looking for a team that you'll trust, and great video companies will take the time to understand your goals and vision.

Author: Brandon Hardy

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