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How To Approach A Video Production Company

When it comes to video production most businesses are aware they need video and many have produced their own in-house. Yet if you really want to stand out having a video produced by a specialist video production company can set your brand apart from the competition.

From speaking to small businesses there are 2 main factors that stop them from producing this valuable content.

  • The Cost
  • What the video will be about?
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Cost

Without even asking clients often say “I couldn’t afford a video” as if the days of £1000 a minute were still in vogue. Professional video is now more affordable than ever. What’s more competition is rife so if you want video you can usually find prices vary dramatically depending on the company you speak to.

A well established company based in an office with the associated overheads and wages can be a lot more expensive than a newly qualified graduate or enthusiast, living with his parents and eager to film something. However as with all things…

…you get what you pay for

This doesn’t mean the most expensive company is the best. This patently isn’t true but you should look at the showreel (that every company worth it’s salt has) and judge from there.

Showreel

The showreel is made up from the very best footage the company has to offer. That means this is that video company on it’s very best day. So if you like it – great – book them. If you don’t; move on regardless of price.

Their showreel is old

An old-ish showreel is actually a good counter intuitive sign. It means one of 2 things; they are out of business (unlikely) or they are too busy to update their showreel.  This means if they are too busy it might mean they are really good. Video production companies are like builders. They never work on their own house – as such many showreels can go un-updated. So if you like what you see then get in touch with them.

Ask For Examples

Should you be in a sector that isn’t addressed by a company’s video production showreel then why not contact them? You can ask for examples of work they may have done in your sector. If they haven’t done any ask for anything similar. Don’t be too prescriptive. Should your company makes the machines, that makes the plastic that goes in car registration plates don’t be too surprised if the video company you approach doesn’t have videos for that. Extrapolate from what you can see.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice ring and chat to the company. Odds are they offer a free initial consultation.

 

Having Ideas Is Good, Having No Idea Is Fine

Video people, on the whole, are creatives. As such you should listen to their ideas. It’s like if you showed someone a room that needed painting and let them run wild you might get something amazing. If you hand them some beige paint all you’ll get is a beige room.

What Do You Want?

This doesn’t mean you should let them ride roughshod over you with a creative brief. Their first question, and yours should be; what do you want the video to achieve. Here’s some examples

  • Drive sales
  • Make customers aware of a product of brand
  • Find more website visitors
  • Get more people in your shop/store
  • Pursuade people to subscribe to your newsletter
  • Get current clients to feature in a video review or testimonial

If the answer is why you want a video is “because everyone told me to” then you need to think about your overall aim.

Budget

I hate, HATE the “how long is a piece of string?” answer. Really there is some truth to it. We’re unique in that we have affixed price per day for studio and crew. Moreover this is way easier than the sliding scale offered by most video companies. But there are factors that influence any budget.

Talent. Are you using named presenter? If so what are their costs and availability?

Specialist equipment. If you want to shoot something super slo-mo most cameras can’t achieve this. The really good super-duper slo-mo camera is really super-duper expensive to hire.

Effects or Animation. This can cost more in terms of both time and money.

After you’ve outlined an idea you can ask for a quote based on what you’ve told the company you want.

Budget Top-Tip:

Tell the video company how much money you want to spend. It’s counter intuitive but it gives the production company some idea of what can be achieved. In any initial consultation you have with Galleon we will always ask about budget. That way neither ourselves or the client get carried away if the budget is small.

Timetable

One of my first questions after I’ve heard a client brief is; “How soon do you need it?”. That’s because some people have unrealistic expectations as to how long their project might take from start to finish. If you do have a deadline (like a sales promotion you need to draw attention to) get assurances your video company can hit that deadline

Really a minimum of 2 weeks is usual from initial discussion to actual filming.  A further 1-2 weeks before you’ll start to see rough cuts (depending on what it is that was shot).

This is all really dependent on availability of you (the client), the production company and any talent you want to involve.

When do I pay?

Different video production companies offer different terms. At Galleon Productions we take 50% up front and the rest upon completion. This is necessary to pay for any overheads like crew, presenters, make-up artists, props, sets, any travel and any locations.

Most companies offer 2 sets of amendments as part of their cost. It’s important, as a customer, to closely examine the first draft you’re sent. Look especially for any typos in any text. Amend these now in case they slip by you into the finished product.

Where does my video go?

An important question to ask your video company is what kind of support, if any, do they offer after filming. Or can they help you upload it to a website, or get it broadcast on a channel. Remember to think about who you want to see this video and how to get it in front of that audience.

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Conclusion

If you type in “video production companies in Manchester” you get 23 million results (I believe Galleon Studios is 50 something??) so your options aren’t limited when it comes to picking your supplier. Like you would any company do your homework, read reviews and chat to the prospective company.  Furthermore if you get along with them then that’s usually a sign of a great prospective partnership. If you’re looking for a video production company you can always give Galleon Studios a try. Large or small we’re always looking for video projects and are happy to help companies make their first video. Speak to us today via the contact page or call Kris or Les.

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