Hiring a production company can be a tough decision. If you’re thinking… “Can I just do this myself?” or “Where do I even start?”… then here are 9 questions to ask before committing to a video partner.
Questions to ask internally…
1. Why do I want to work with an outside production company?
This may seem a bit straightforward, but it’s important to understand what you’re looking to get out of this relationship.
- Maybe you’re a small business owner and you want someone you can trust to take care of all your marketing so that you can focus on what you do best.
- Maybe your marketing team lacks a dedicated video person(s), and you’re looking for someone to partner with in video creation.
- Maybe you have an internal production team, but you need some additional resources in an area where you don’t have much experience, such as remote video or animation.
Whatever the answer is, make sure that everyone is on the same page so that expectations are clear – both internally and with your production company of choice.
2. How much creative control do I want over the project?
Do you and your team want to be responsible for script writing, graphics, and other creative planning/execution OR do you want a production company to take the reins? Maybe you have a concept, but need someone to bring your idea to life.
Similar to question one, it’s important to know what you’re expecting from your relationship with a production company (at White Knight Productions, we believe a collaborative approach works best)!
3. What’s my budget for the project?
When you’re considering hiring an outside production company, it’s a good idea to know how much money you feel comfortable spending on video. A budget of $50,000 is going to deliver a polished, professional product – but $5,000 can go a long way and deliver excellent results when planned well.
Knowing your ballpark budget up front will help a production company understand how much you value the quality of your production. For example, it will help make decisions about which equipment to use and how many members of a production team are needed for the project. Professional hair and makeup, anyone?
4. How much time can I dedicate to this project?
Time is your biggest resource. How much are you and your team able to spend on this project? The answer to this question may tie in with your response to questions one and two. Knowing up front how much time you’ll be able to focus on the project will tell you how much you need to rely on an outside production company.
Questions to ask the production company…
1. What kinds of videos do you specialize in creating?
Each production company is going to have different strengths. Maybe they specialize in product videos and brand stories. Maybe they’ve worked on a lot of fundraising and campaign awareness projects. Ask this question up front to see if their strengths align with your goals.
2. Who will we be working with on our project?
A good relationship with your production company is key. And just because you like the salesperson or point of contact at “x” company doesn’t mean that you’ll be working with them directly on your project. Ask if you can meet with the producer, the videographer, or whoever else you’ll be collaborating with to see if that relationships clicks too!
3. Have you worked with anyone else in our industry?
If a production company is already familiar with your industry, that’s a plus! It will mean that less time will be spent learning the language you use and who your audience is from the start.
4. Can you share some samples of recent work?
Every production company should have a reel that shows their best work. But don’t be afraid to ask to see more samples, especially if they’re from projects with similar companies in your industry!
5. What is your process like?
Understanding how a production company works will help you understand how the project will fit into your own workflow. How many stages of feedback are there? How much time do we have to provide feedback? How long do we stay in pre-production before we begin shooting? A good production company will outline all of this for you; but if they don’t, it’s always a good idea to ask!
Decision making time…
Before making the decision, be honest with yourself and your team. Understand what your needs are, how much time and money you can spend, and how much you want to be involved.
Once you’ve talked with a production company, follow your gut to see if the connection feels right. When you hire a video partner, you want to feel confident in your relationship.
Interested in asking us some of these questions? Book a meeting with us to see if we’re the right fit!