In your quest to find the right video production company for you, you’ve probably realized that it’s slightly more frustrating than hunting through a used car lot and a touch more overwhelming than dealing with a used car salesman. These following three steps can help you refine your search in order to find the best options available for you and your company.
1. Determine who your audience is and what MESSAGE NEEDS TO BE TOLD.
All video production companies are not equal. While some companies may have a visually appealing artistic style, you need a company that can effectively and tastefully convey your message as well as produce great looking video.
Determining who your target audience is as well as the message you want to convey to that audience will give you a clear direction and first step towards finding the company for you.
2. Start looking at video production companies’ past work and pricing.
After you have a good idea of what you want to say and who you’d like to say it to, you’ll need to determine which video production companies could be the best fit for your business.
The best place to start is with a company’s portfolio. Try and find companies with portfolio pieces that are similar and within the same scope of the end product you’re wanting. If you find something close but not quite what you want, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for other samples within your desired genre. If the company is anything like Hoptocopter™ Films, they’ll most likely be able to provide you with other examples of their work. If they can’t provide similar work to what you’re looking for, keep on looking!
When you’re looking at a company’s past work, consider how it communicates the message. Does it communicate a clear, unified message or intention throughout the video? Do ideas flow easily into one another or are they disjointed? Typically, most companies will have a defined artistic style. Does the visual style complement the messaging? As you figure out what style you’re looking for, you will find that you will have already refined your search significantly.
Quick tip: Be wary of basing your judgements solely on demo reels. Video production companies often include footage in their demo reels from larger productions to which they might have minimally contributed, possibly giving you an unfair understanding as to what they are actually capable of producing. After watching a demo reel, make sure to review a company’s completed productions to make sure their team brings the whole piece together well.
Once you’ve narrowed your search to your favorite production company, it’s time to look at pricing. Try to find a company whose pricing options fit your total budget.
Companies who price out services using flexible hourly and day rates often will be unable to give you a solid final price for your project as the estimated production times and the actual production times may vary; in this case, be prepared to pay more for your video or ask the company for a max price that will not be exceeded.
Another way to address flexible costs is to use contingency fees. Contingency fees are a common and fair way of giving the client and video production company a realistic idea of how much the budget could flex depending on unforeseen expenses. Make sure your contingency fee and reimbursable expenses (like travel and food) are the only unknown expenses in your bid. Also, make sure you have the capital set aside in the case that it’s needed.
Let’s say a project from a company is $50,000, and they have a 5% contingency fee (not including travel). It’s important to make sure that you are ready to cover all travel expenses, pay the full project price, and cover the entire contingency fee in the case that it’s needed for unforeseen expenses. At Hoptocopter™ Films, it is common for our custom productions to not bill any extra out of the contingency fee, but it's there for a reason and needs to be available. With our CO/FILM model, every production-related expense is included in the simple price, so we don’t have a contingency fee on that model, and, other than travel, the pricing is extremely straight-forward.
After finding the pricing models that fit your project’s scope, determine the availability of the companies you want to work with. Start with your top pick and work your way down from there. If the best company can’t deliver your video by the time you need it, work your way through your list until you find one who can. You’ll quickly figure out who’s easy to work with, quick to communicate, and willing to commit--all great qualities in a video production company.
3. Finalize agreements and GET prepareD.
It’s important to finalize an agreement and thoroughly prepare. Producing corporate films can be a tedious process that can fall apart quickly if you aren’t prepared to jump into the production. Most production companies will appoint a producer who will help clearly outline what the company needs from you to assure success throughout the entire process.
The most important part of hiring a company to lead a creative project is to make sure you’re comfortable with the process, pricing, terms, and personalities of their crew. Go with your gut on this. Signs of inconsistency early on are a sure sign of difficulties later on in the creative process.
At Hoptocopter™ Films, we pride ourselves in making things easy for our customers. We love communication and making sure everyone is on the same page. We created the CO/FILM model specifically for businesses who want a simply-priced option that packs a lot of punch for their next video production.
We love helping in any way we can. Please reach out with any questions or to just to say hello.