How to select the right video production company for your brand or corporate film?
In the age of smartphones, broadband, and social media, video has become the best way to communicate with your stakeholders and end-users. Whether you want to showcase your products and services to your customers or manufacturing infrastructure to a prospective client or communicate your company’s values & principles to attract the best talent, video comes as the most powerful tool of communication. Uploading your videos on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram is cheaper and an effective tool of communication. And that’s the reason digital promotions are gaining ground day by day against the conventional TVCs and promotion in cinema theatres. And while setting out to create your first video campaign, whether it's a digital ad, a corporate film, or an animation video, it’s important to select a professional video agency to partner with, which not only understands your brief well but also executes it most credibly.
Here is a basic five-step process for hiring the best video production company for your corporate or brand film:
Showreel and Brands:
A good place to start is by reviewing the past work or production showreel of an agency and the brand the company has worked with in the past. The showreel is usually hosted on the company’s website or their YouTube or Vimeo page while the brand list is on the company’s website. The showreel will give you an idea about the experience and level of expertise of the video agency. It also shows creativity, the scale of work, the areas of expertise, and above all the brands the agency has worked with. If the company has worked with quality brands, that assures you of its credibility.
Once you like the body of work and find a credible organization, then comes the sector in which the company has worked with. Someone working with a financial brand might not be comfortable with creating content for manufacturing or vice versa. Though there is always a first time for exploring a sector a lot of clients prefer to see a past work in their sector of operation and it helps since the creative/scriptwriters of the company would understand the terms and nuances of that sector better. If a company has a good reel with reputed brands and has films from your sector of operation, you are close to shortlisting the one you are looking for. So, now it’s time to contact the ones shortlisted and communicating the brief.
Once you’ve narrowed down on a prospective agency based on their past work, reach out to them with your brief. The brief will explain why you’re making the video and will clearly outline the scope of work, the target audience, the communication, etc. The agency may brainstorm with you and will respond to the brief with their take on it, their plan for the video, video references, timelines, etc. The agency’s response will tell you the extent of their understanding of your requirement and their ideas. Once you have given the brief then you should ask for a treatment note. Treatment note is the director’s note on how he/she envisions the film. A treatment note would have an overall description of the flow of the film, the opening, body, and the end. It also describes how the director is planning to visually present it plus the kind of music and graphics he is planning to use and above all, few reference videos.
Every director would have a different take on the film. The treatment note reflects the director’s level of creativity and understanding of the subject. It acts as one of the major deciding factors in choosing or rejecting a production house worldwide. Once you have shortlisted the treatment, it's time to ask for the quote. A lot of clients prefer to ask for the treatment and the quote together.
Request a quote:
If the agency is on the same page as you, you can request a quote. It is always good to keep a tentative budget in mind while preparing a brief and you can also include it in the brief so the agency can limit the scope of their conceptualization accordingly. Keep in mind that the budget shouldn’t be the only factor in the selection of an agency. You should be mindful of the fact that the estimate provided is per the director’s treatment. So, no two treatments, or the ensuing quotes would be the same. When comparing the cost estimated by the production houses one needs to keep in mind the director’s treatment one has proposed. Someone proposing a better visual quality treatment would have a higher cost than someone proposing a simpler visual treatment.
If the quote of a production house is higher than the allocated budget then it is advisable to ask to simplify the treatment to bring down the cost of the one whose treatment note is the best. This would ensure to get the person who has visualized your film best. If you choose a production house purely on the cost you might miss on someone who has better visualization of the film and go with the one who chose cheaper elements to give a competitive cost.
Once you have a video agency on board, understand the production process of how the project will move forward, the team who’ll be working on the film, the timelines, etc. Ensure that clarity in communication and make sure the agency is on the same page as you as far as the deliverables are concerned. It is advisable to go for a production house with an in-house own post-production setup. This reduces the turnaround time when it comes to changes in the edit. It also saves money in the long run since the production house would not bill you for the changes in edit.
At the end of the process do take an undertaking from the production house on the copyright of all the visuals, graphics, and music. A lot of time to save money, people use free digital usage products which gets the clients into legal complication because it is you who would be uploading on your digital channel and not the production house. So, any copyright infringement would be addressed to you and not the production house.
Finally, after receiving the final delivery of the film, it is important to ensure that the shoot footage is properly archived by the production house. A professional production house maintains an archival library of their work, including not only the final films but all the shoot footage, which comes very handy in the event of future edit changes in the future.
The bottom line is that the realm of video production is a vast and subjective field, and there's no 'best' video production company. Rather it is ideal to follow a process to select a video production agency that's right for your video requirement and is on the same wavelength as you. Looking to create a video for your brand or corporate film? Request a quote now & get a free consultation from video experts.