How to Hire a Production Company

I’m doing a bit of marketing homework these days and keeping with the advice I got a while back from some rad millennials running startups (Instacart for instance) I keep an eye on YouTube and Kickstarter to stay abreast of what’s trending in the startup and specifically the video worlds.

I came across a blog on Vimeo, called “a handy guide to hiring video professionals”  that gives a quick and simple overview of who does what in the professional video content arena. Blogger Andrea Allen, breaks it down into three categories:The “Indie” Creator
What they do: shoot and edit
What they charge: $1,000-10,000
Awesome if: you have a really clear vision of what you want from your video and need a cost-effective alternative to an agency.

The Small/Midsize Agency
What they do: write, produce, shoot, edit
What they cost: $10,000-100,000
Awesome if: you want more help with creative direction and writing a script than an indie creator typically provides.

The Big Global Agency
What they do: write, produce, shoot, edit, campaign
What they cost: $100,000+
Awesome if: you want help with the marketing campaign and promotion in addition to everything a small/midsize agency typically provides.

I like the simplicity and the focus of the categories and I like the video samples she has chosen – check them out. The conversation in the comment section was a very interesting read as well- at least for me. There was much talk about cost. The first question I get asked by prospective clients is nearly always about cost. And my standard question to that is: it depends. There are so many factors that come to play; it’s like building a house. You can have a prefab house and the 10 bedroom, 12 bathroom MacMansion, and anything in between.

My first three questions to my clients are: who’s your audience, in what context do you see the video playing, and (after a bit of chit-chat with a new prospect): what’s your budget? I’ve learned to ask that question before I make a commitment to put together a proposal, because we are not the indie creator referenced above and most clients do need a bit of a learning curve on what they are getting and what goes into a professionally produced video.

However, budget should never be the reason not to have a smart looking or effective video. What you will need, if money is lacking, is a lot of time, a good idea of what you need, the willingness to stick with that idea and a solid shirt, because you’ll be rolling up your sleeves a lot.  If you have any questions, call me:  212-343-3099.

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