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April 20, 2023

5 questions you should ask a video production company

Choosing a Video Partner

"Reel-y" Insightful Key Points

If you're thinking about producing a video for your company, it's important to find the perfect video production partner. Whether you're preparing for an RFP or a smaller project, there are some important questions to ask when narrowing down video production vendors.

  1. When choosing a video production company, make sure to select one that provides detail and insight into their process.

  2. Vet potential companies by asking them to show you their best work and what types of videos they specialize in.

  3. Have clear communication about timelines, workflow, and feedback expectations, and ask the production company about their knowledge of video best practices, and how they would work with you to track video analytics.

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 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 production is a team game, and the people behind the scenes are the key to a successful project.

Have a call with the production company and ask questions about their creative team members, their creative process, and the videos they specialize in. Additionally, it's crucial to know the size of the company and who exactly will be working on your project, as this will give you an idea of their capacity and expertise in creating the type of video you need. When choosing a video production company, make sure to select one that provides detail and insight into their process. A company that takes pride in their work and lives and dies by their process is a good sign that they have the experience and the capability of producing high-quality videos that meet your expectations.

So, some questions you can ask include "Tell us about your agency", "Tell us about your creative team members", "What team members would be working on this project?", "Tell us about your process", "What types of videos do you specialize in?".

2. 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!

When vetting a video production company, consider asking simple yet informative questions such as "What kind of gear are you using?", "What other companies similar to ours have you worked with?", and "Can you show us your best work?" By doing so, you'll gain a clearer understanding of their capabilities, and you'll be able to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs.

3. When can I expect it?

All video teams function a little differently, and often enough it's due to the size of the team. However, don't assume that a bigger team will automatically translate to a better video. A standard timeline for a one-minute video is typically between 8-10 weeks, but keep in mind that some times of the year 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.

This is an excellent opportunity to dive deeper into the details of your project and ask the video production agency how they would handle it from a workflow perspective. In addition to timelines, you'll want to know how they ask for feedback, how much time you have for feedback, and how many rounds of feedback you can expect at each stage of the process. All of these factors can directly impact how your business functions.

Consider who on your internal team needs to see the video, whether it needs to go through the legal or brand team before going live, and any other specific requirements you have. Working with a video production team that knows how to accommodate your internal processes will ensure a seamless and positive experience for everyone involved.

Ultimately, clear communication about timelines, workflow, and feedback expectations, will set you up for a successful partnership with your production company.

4. How do you implement?

Even at the planning stage of your video project, it's important to start thinking about how you'll showcase it to your customers. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time and resources creating this masterpiece, so you want to make sure it's seen and used effectively. That's where a video production company can really help.

When you're considering which company to work with, ask them about their knowledge of video best practices. For example, where should the video be hosted, and what format or aspect ratio should you use? They should be able to give you guidance on all of these important technical details.

But it's not just about the technical aspects of video production. You also want to make sure that people actually see your video. Ask the production company how they would work with your team to track video analytics. This will give you insight into how many people are viewing your video, how long they're watching it, and other important metrics that can help you evaluate the success of your video. Just like the tree in the forest, we have to ask - if nobody sees your video, did you even make one?

Remember, video is an investment. You want to work with a company that understands this and can help you get the most out of your investment. By asking the right questions and working with a knowledgeable and experienced production team, you can ensure that your video is seen and appreciated by your target audience.

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.

You'll also want to know about the payment structure for the project. Typically, a production company will require a percentage upfront to start the project and the remaining payment upon completion and your satisfaction with the final product. Additionally, ask the company if there are any extra costs that you should be aware of. At Oak + Rumble, we pride ourselves on being transparent with our clients about the total project cost, and we never change that price unless there's a scope change and we've discussed it with the client beforehand.

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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