According to research, video is currently the most preferred content on social media. On YouTube alone, more than 1 billion hours of video are being played every day. Additionally, more than 100 million hours are consumed on Facebook. People recognize the importance video has both in their personal and professional pursuits. People want to record events left and right, from weddings and birthday parties to interviews, commercial videos, and corporate promotions.
Despite how integral videos are in our daily activities and how accessible smartphones are for recording, many still fall short in their attempt to produce a video that fully captures their vision. There is more to video production than a camera. It takes skills and knowledge to create videos that are pleasing and easy to the eyes, which is why hiring a professional video production company is highly recommended to help you manage the entire project more effectively.
But, are videographers worth it?
Why You Should Hire a Video Production Team
Video production companies and teams exist specifically to turn your concepts into visual masterpieces. They are the experts in their field, so you know that you are in good hands. Other benefits you can expect from hiring pros include:
- Superior Production Value
When you are creating a video, you would definitely expect the best. While there are arguably powerful smartphones today, you can never compare the quality a professional videographer can provide. You may be able to get away with enlisting friends to record key moments of your sibling’s birthday. However, if you are planning an event, like a wedding or corporate dinner, with hundreds of guests, you deserve footage with better quality.
Hiring a professional team can give you one-of-a-kind and top-rate results every single time. You can simply relax and enjoy the output.
Approach, trends, and equipment for videography change over time. To continue engaging with your audience and elevating your message, you must be up-to-date with these innovations. Employing a video production team, who spends hours immersed in creative work, can help you develop your concepts and ideas, some of which you may have never imagined.
Many teams also possess marketing know-how. They can serve as an outside perspective on your project, giving you tips and suggestions on how best to encapsulate the message you want to send. They understand the ins and outs of advertising and video marketing to make sure that you get the best return of investment possible.
When you hire video production teams, you’re not only paying them to hit record. There’s more to video production than the equipment. Teams can also attend to various technical aspects necessary to execute your video. They handle planning discussions to post-production sessions and apply their knowledge and skills in cinematography — lighting, colour grading, composition, and camera movement — to take your video to the next level. It takes sophistication and artistry to manage the different stages of the process, operate equipment, and capture events beautifully and creatively.
- Efficient and Cost-Effective
Cost is often a deciding factor in whether to hire a team or not. Cost is also sometimes a reason why it is tempting to produce a video in-house or by yourself. Forming your own video production staff may not necessarily be a bad idea until costs mount quicker than you’ll realize. First, it takes time and resources to grow an in-house team from scratch. Second, the equipment needed for professional video production doesn’t come cheap. The camera is not the be-all and end-all equipment of video production. You will also need lenses, tripods, sound systems, and lighting among others.
Besides that, technology evolves fast. Your gear may already be outdated. Professional video production teams own the latest video technologies, saving you the cost of buying these yourself.
Arranging the video shoot on your own can be exhausting. You have to pool your resources, get people to act, and build your own set if necessary. Asking friends for favours is fine, but they might show up late or cancel last minute. Working with the pros lets you avoid all these hiccups. They know what they do, and they are trained for these events. Professional videographers know how to adjust and modify their game plan depending on the situation on the set. They will show up on time, get the work done, and deliver within the deadline.
How to Find the Right Video Production Team
Your investment is only truly worth it if you are working with the right team. If you have decided to work with a video production company, here are a few important things you need to consider and prepare first.
- Know the Purpose of the Video
Before you find a production team, you need to define the objective of your project. Why are you making this video in the first place? Write a video brief containing the most vital aspects of the project — the what, when, where, why, and how of the production. This is an important piece of information that you will need to communicate to the production team. It will give them a general overview of what you want and expect from the video.
To help you out further, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
Specify their demographics. Are they current customers or are you still introducing yourself to them?
Your call to action will determine the creative direction of the video. What kinds of takeaways or actions do you want to generate from this?
- What is your mode of distribution or promotion?
There are various ways to distribute a video. You can do it the traditional way and send it via DVDs or you can upload it on the Internet. Whichever you choose, remember that each platform has its own requirements.
- Set Your Video Production Budget
More often than not, the budget sets the tone for the project. Before you even contact a videographer, it is important that you have at least an idea of your working budget. It may determine which videographer you can hire and what service you can get. Different teams have different pricing options. Some will provide you with a flat rate for an entire package, while some may charge per hour or per day.
The cost of professional video production will depend on the following factors:
Is it a short testimonial video for a birthday? Is it a product commercial with hired actors? Will it include visual effects and animation? Hiring actors and incorporating visual effects will cost more.
Longer videos tend to be more expensive since it may take more time, crew, and equipment to put together.
The technical complexity of the equipment and experience during production can also add up to the price.
Pre-production, such as writing scripts, acquiring filming permits, scouting locations, and scheduling shoots among others, should also be considered on your budget.
Post-production includes editing, grading, colouring, visual effects, and more. You should include this on your budget if you want an edited video from your videographer. If you want to minimize expenses, you can simply get the raw recordings instead.
A small budget does not mean you’ll be getting lower-quality output. This is where your video brief comes in handy. Ask videographers for a quote, present your brief, and more often than not, they will give you suggestions on how to work with your budget.
- Ask For Referrals or Search the Web
One of the best ways to source a video production company is through referrals. Ask a trusted colleague for recommendations. Don’t forget to also ask them about their experience with the company, some important details and notes on the process, and downsides to avoid.
Another way of finding a qualified video production team is through the web. A quick Google of “video production company near me” can present you with tons of results. Check out their website and social media accounts to get an overview of what they have to offer. As you review their sites, see if:
- They have a clean and organized website
- They have an existing portfolio
- They give you a sense of what you want
As much as possible, narrow down your list to 10 video production companies.
- Check their Portfolio and Testimonials
If you have settled on a list, the next best thing to do is check out their works. Often, the company’s website and social media will feature its portfolio. When reviewing their best works, here’s a few things to ask yourself:
- What’s their best piece? What’s the worst?
Take note of why these are your choices.
- Am I fine getting their worst?
The best-case scenario is you’ll get something unique with your vision. But if your video winds up being mediocre, would it pass your standards? If you’re okay with their worst work, keep them. If not, remove them from your list.
- Does their portfolio reflect your vision?
Looking at their samples, know if they have a cohesive point of view and if is similar to yours. For example, if you have a funny and light-hearted concept, you won’t probably find yourself with a company with a mostly dramatic portfolio.
Apart from their works, you can also check out testimonials and reviews about the company to gain additional insight into other people’s experiences. It would also be a bonus if the company has won awards for its video productions.
- Be Clear About Your Expectations
As the saying goes, “Know how high you want to fly before taking off.” It is important from the very beginning that you understand and you communicate not only what you want but also where you are heading. During an exploratory meeting with a potential partner, lay down all your expectations, set the timelines, and go over the details and creative vision of your project. This way they, too, will have an idea of what assets are required to deliver your vision.
Understand that different teams offer different professional video production services, equipment, and sometimes, strength. By being honest with your expectations, you and the company can agree on the standards, performance indicators, and the ultimate goals of the production early on.
- Check the Lines of Communication
Among all other considerations, communication is key. No matter how wonderful their portfolio is, it wouldn’t matter if they’re unresponsive. The lack of timely response can jeopardize the entire video production. Production is a relationship game. Feedback at various stages is critical to turning the concept into actuality. Both sides would also benefit from openness to new ideas as it can lead to more opportunities and better strategies, and to fill in knowledge gaps.
Questions to Ask
Whether it’s video production for business or personal use, you have to be clear about your intentions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and to ask the company before hiring.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you need a videographer?
Before anything else, do you really need to hire a videographer? Your video brief can help you decide on that. There are videos that you can make using your smartphone (like social media posts). On the other hand, there are others, like product commercials that require you to flex your creative muscles and hire professionals.
- What makes a good video production company?
This differs based on your personal standards. Again, take a look at the company and see if they fit your vision. In general, a good video production company is someone who can deliver things as promised, and who can provide value to the project.
- How can this team help you tell a story?
Storytelling is difficult, so finding a company that can help you effectively tell your story is important. Their portfolio should give you a general idea. If not, be sure to ask them about their process.
Question to Ask the Company
- What is the process or the setup?
Understand how they will handle the entire production from start to finish. By asking this question, you may also understand their decision-making process, learn how they handle difficulties, and know the role you’ll be playing in production.
- How do they handle changes and additional or out-of-scope requests?
There are times when plans change due to unforeseen circumstances. So, it is important to assess how they accommodate changes and “out of scope” requests if they come up. This helps curb any surprises and unintended additional expenses.
Remember that a production company charging for additional requests is not a red flag, but one that does not discuss associated costs before incurring them is.
- Who owns the video footage?
Video ownership, confidentiality, and exclusivity are important. You need to discuss this with the company to know the companies policies around video production, distribution, and/or promotion. You also need to know your legal rights to the footage and work product from the project.
- How to determine if a project is a success?
Discussing the objectives of the project helps you clarify goals and expectations. By asking them how they can objectively say that a project is successful, you may know how the company approaches and values every project and client they work with.
Videos are an invaluable part of people’s lives. Be it for keepsakes, education live streams, or marketing campaigns, a professional video will only grow in prominence.
If you are looking for a professional video production near Toronto who can deliver awe-inspiring personal, documentaries, and branding videos, call Twenty5Films at (905) 741-3697 today!