How to choose the right video production company for you
We know that choosing the right production company is no easy task.
It can feel daunting when there are so many production companies to choose from, with different niches and examples of past work.
The last thing you want to do is hire a company that will not prioritise your project, will outsource it to another company, or have tons of hidden costs.
There is nothing more frustrating than trusting a company to deliver and them failing on that promise. That’s why we have created a few questions to ask a production company before hiring them.
We think it’s important that prospective clients feel comfortable to ask us questions about our work, process and success rates.
So next time you’re looking to hire a production company, try asking these questions and see how you feel about their responses and if the questions are met with honesty.
12 Questions to Ask a Video Production Company Before Hiring Them
1. Have you worked on a video like this before?
Whether you’re looking for a promotional video, animated explainer video, or interview video – it’s helpful to ask what experience your production company has producing that style of video and ask for some previous examples. This will help you get an idea of whether or not you like their video content.
Showreels are certainly helpful in understanding the variety of work your production company creates, but watching full videos will really give you a sense of how well-paced their videos are and if the information is communicated clearly in a way that is engaging and enjoyable to watch.
2. Are you familiar with our company or industry?
If you’re struggling to decide which video production company to go with, you could ask them whether or not they have any experience in your industry. We often work with tech and finance companies and have plenty of experience with communicating complex messages in easy-to-understand terms. We believe that our experience working in this sector helps to inform our creative process when working with new fintech brands.
3. What is the estimated timeline / can you deliver the video by a certain date?
Sometimes it’s important to ascertain early on, whether or not the production company has the capacity to deliver your video by a certain deadline. If your project isn’t time-sensitive then this is a less important question, but it’s helpful to gage what the turnaround will be for your own marketing and strategy planning.
4. Will there be a Scope of Work?
The Scope of Work document is a vital part of the contractual phase to make sure that you and your video production company are on the same page when it comes to the brief, deliverables, and timeline. By asking whether or not you’ll receive a Scope of Work (or equivalent) you’ll make sure that your prospective video production company is being transparent and keeping you abreast of all the steps required to produce your video. This will also help you check that you’re only going to be paying for the work that’s carried out.
5. What happens if I need to change the brief?
Most production companies understand that things can change and that there needs to be some flexibility in terms of how a concept may develop over time. That being said, you need to make sure that your production company can work with you to bring out the best in your video and therefore fully support your marketing strategy. Check whether they will be receptive to your ideas and encourage you to be creative. After all, you know your audience best and should be included at every step of the creative process. Ask their previous clients whether they had a fun and enjoyable experience during the creative process.
6. Who will be working on the project?
It’s good to know how many people are involved in creating your video, both from a financial perspective and from a creative standpoint. Finding out whether or not you’ll be allocated a lead producer or specialist account manager to oversee your video and liaise with you, can help you get a sense of what sort of customer service you’ll receive from the company.
7. Will you use subcontractors?
Hiring freelancers is standard practice for Production Companies. We use experts in their fields and often have longstanding relationships with trustworthy suppliers. It would be unfair of us with fluctuating workloads, to expect them to sit on their hands in between, but our regular freelancers prioritise our work. However, you should double check that your video production company will not be subcontracting the whole job. Outsourcing to other companies is sadly quite common when teams are stretched and as a result you’ll be paying over the odds – as both companies will be looking to make a profit.
8. How do I pay?
Every company has a different approach to invoicing so we recommend asking this question early on so you can manage your budget and cashflow.
9. How many rounds of amends will I get?
Your prospective video production company will most likely budget for a set amount of amends. Make sure you know what you’re getting – as going over could become costly and stressful.
We tend to offer three rounds of amends, giving our clients the chance to respond to a first cut, a second draft, and a final cut where we hope to sign the video off. We do this for two reasons.
Firstly, it helps ensure that client feedback is consolidated. In the past we’ve been caught out with multiple team members giving us contradictory feedback – so our editors become unsure of which feedback to prioritise. We ask that clients have internal discussions offline and share one consolidated voice – that way we can turn the edits around quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, we believe that offering anything less than three rounds of amends can mean that clients come away from projects feeling shortchanged. As a result, we like to offer clients three chances to respond and share their feedback to make sure that we are delivering a video they are happy with. Having said that, we’re not sticklers about it and if changes are needed beyond three rounds we’re usually able to accommodate. We want you to be extremely proud of the video you’ve invested in and get many years use out of it.
10. How do I get shorter versions edited for social media? Is that included or will that cost me extra?
If you want to have your video content repurposed for social media, find out how much this will cost and get it integrated into your quote and Scope of Work early on, to prevent added costs and time pressures later. The more your video production company knows in advance, the easier it will be for them to manage timelines and quote accurately.
11. Do you have any testimonials or are there any previous clients I can contact for a reference?
Check out their reviews on Google and see if their website has a testimonials or client feedback page. If you’re still unsure, you can always ask them to provide references so you can find out from other companies what their experiences were like working with the video production company.
12. Do you get repeat business from any of your clients?
We like to receive this question as we have many clients who return to us for all their video marketing needs. We pride ourselves on this because we believe it’s a reflection on our customer service and high-quality product. If you’re looking to understand your prospective video production company a little more, try to see if any client has come back for repeat work and were satisfied with their videos. If so, you’ve probably found a good one!
When doing your research into prospective production companies, don’t shy away from asking any questions you need to fully understand who they are and what their values are.
Ask for a video call if you’d like to meet your producer and put a face to name too. Sometimes talking face-to-face makes asking these questions easier.
If you have any questions about this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We love to help marketers find the right fit for their company and video marketing needs. If you’d like to read some similar articles on choosing the right video production company try these:
How to find a Production Company if you Need a Video in a Hurry