Kersh Media; Manager’s Guide to Choosing a Video Production Company.
1. Think About What Sort of Video You Need. If you were choosing a restaurant, you’d first ask yourself “what sort of food do I want to eat”? and “how much do I want to spend”? Knowing this will help narrow your choice and give you somewhere to start. In terms of video production, have you thought about why you want a video? what you’re going to do with it? who it’s aimed at? and do you have an idea of your budget?
2. Don’t panic if you don’t have all the answers (you might be open minded about what sort of food you want to eat tonight)! A good video production company will be able to help you focus on these questions before you start and before you commit yourself. But it’s useful to draw up a specification before you start with a few bullet points.
3. Video Production Prices. Are expensive videos better than less expensive videos? How much should you pay? We recently produced a corporate video for a company. It consisted of 1 day’s filming at their offices, some interviews with members of staff, script preparation, music, professional voice over, adding the company’s logo, editing etc. The project was very straight forward and everything went smoothly. The Managing Director was delighted with the results and after the video was delivered, he told us he couldn’t believe how little it had cost. “The Kersh Media video is much better than the last video we had made; and the last one, which was made by a different video company two years ago, cost us £20,000.00″
4. Budgets. If you know what your budget is, then why not tell the video production company when you meet. Producing a video is a bit like buying a car. You can buy a new, top of the range Lamborghini, or a second hand family saloon. They’ll both get you from A to B, but the budgets are quite different. A good video production company will be happy to work out a proposal for you based on your budget. We recently put together a low cost proposal for a client which, instead of using professional actors and locations, used the family of one of their employees and was filmed in their home. A good production company will also be able to think up different ways of doing things which are more cost effective
5. Value for Money. The MD’s comments are worth a closer look. He wasn’t simply saying, “Wow, you guys are really cheap”, he was saying, “you guys produced high quality results and charged a reasonable price”. So it’s not so much about price as about value for money. Video production companies are like restaurants when it comes to value too. Some restaurants are very expensive, but may serve a mediocre meal and leave you feeling slightly “ripped off”. At the other end of the scale, it’s possible to find an ultra cheap bite to eat from a hot dog stand or back street burger bar. But the food may be virtually inedible and you’ll end up wishing you’d spent a little more. As with anything else in life; the cheapest isn’t always the best. What you should be looking for is the right combination of quality and price that’s appropriate for your project.
6. More Value for Money. We recently put together a proposal for a company who contacted us to produce a video. Their response was “We love what you guys do, but we’ve had a cheaper quote. Can you match their price? ”Yes” we replied, “We will always match or beat any genuine like-for-like proposal”. When the client sent us the quote from the other company, it rapidly became clear that the quotes were not “like for like”. The other video production company only had one video example on their website and YouTube channel. This was apparently the only video they’d ever produced. Some of the shots were out of focus and the interviews were very badly recorded from a sound point of view, so you could barely hear what was being said. Finally, their quote simply said, “around £5,000.00″ but was very vague what was included for this budget. Our price, although slightly higher, was very specific about what was included (no hidden extras). When we pointed all this out, the client decided to opt for Kersh Media. And, in case you’re wondering, they were thrilled with the quality of the videos we produced!
7. Video Quality. It’s the right balance of quality and price that you need to aim for. So how do you do this? Shop Around for Video Production Companies. All video production companies have websites and browsing them is a sensible place to start. Look for examples of work the company has done, preferably with some sort of testimonial from past clients. Take a look at the client list. Does the video production company publish its prices?
8. Watch Out For the Following; The company’s website is its shop window, so too is the video it puts on its own website. If the video production company can’t take the trouble to get this right, then this may tell you something about the quality of the company itself. On the other hand, a fantastic website isn’t in itself a guarantee that the company will produce fantastic video. Beware; we know of at least one video production company in Kent who showcase videos that they haven’t produced themselves. Instead they use footage from ITV news. The shop window can sometimes be deceptive!
9. Draw up a Shortlist. Contact some of the companies who’ve caught your eye. Tell them what you have in mind and ask them for ideas and an idea of costs. Ask to meet someone from the company for a chat.
10. Trust your own judgement. Have you seen examples of work the video production company has done? Are you impressed by the quality? Have you met someone from the company, or at least had a decent chat on the phone? Do you have a written estimate of production costs? Does the video company seem to understand what your business or organisation does? Can the video company meet your deadline? Has the video company done similar work for other clients? If you get a good feeing after having asked yourself these questions, then you’ll have made an informed decision.
Graham Majin, Head of Production, Kersh Media