Often when a company is seeking a videographer or a video production company they don’t know where to begin. Most likely, they’ll do a web search and simply choose from the top of the list, or steer towards one of the biggest and most common mistakes: get pricing for their video recording needs, and choose the “lowest bidder” (read: cheapest videographer) they can find and have no idea whether the videographer will be recording their videos with top of the line equipment and years of experience or show up with an iPhone and a tripod.
The misconception is that videography is a commodity like buying a gallon of milk when in reality it’s more like choosing a doctor where you want the best and most appropriate for the surgery.
Just like you wouldn’t choose an ophthalmologist just out of school for a heart transplant, you might not want to choose a wedding video company for your corporate videos.
Most people have no idea the amount of precise planning, time, and actual work that goes into a quality professional video production from start to finish.
For every minute of a finished video, between scripting, scouting locations, shooting, editing, designing graphics, animations, and choosing and inserting appropriate music, a video production company might spend many hours of work. This work effort is time and the time necessary to do a video project correctly, with the proper equipment is reflected in the cost.
What’s best in most situations is not to go with the cheapest, nor necessarily the easiest to find (meaning whoever’s #1 on Google), but to take the time to research a few videographers and their companies to find which one best suits you and your company’s needs for a specific project. You can start by looking at the content on their website.
Often, referrals from people who have had work done that’s similar to what you are looking for is a good start also.
A video of your company is a reflection on your company. Your company is to a viewer what your video shows.
Tips on Choosing a Videographer
1. If a video production company seems very inexpensive, it’s probably because they don’t plan or know how to provide the necessary effort for your job to be successful. You’ll essentially “get what you pay for.”
With the ease of purchasing decent video equipment today, anyone can with a video camera can claim to be a videographer. They may have a winning personality and sway you with their sales pitch, but you have to be able to decipher between the professionals, and the part-timer hobbyist.
As with any industry, you’ll find individuals and companies who are in it for the quick dollar, are doing it as a semi-hobby or are just starting out. When prices are lower than other estimates, you may want to dig deeper and find out what is and isn’t included. Look for authentic client reviews, past video work, years of experience, equipment used, etc.
Experience matters. A company without experience may know how to do a certain task very well. However when they are faced with problems or changing requirements they have never faced, they won’t be able to cope.
Unfortunately when it becomes time to satisfy your requirements, they will be learning with your project and the results will most often be disappointing.
2. If you meet or get in contact with the videographer to discuss your project, they should prioritize learning what your objectives are and be willing to learn as much about your company and the subject as possible.
You’ll receive insight on their professionalism, how they work and equipment they use. They also may share their experience with ideas on how to make your project better than you imagined.
The majority of a video project effort goes into the planning, known as the pre-production phase. Inexperienced video companies don’t realize this. Without the planning, they may shoot and then realize that the story line doesn’t work properly and they can’t use anything they shot
If the videographer does not display interest in your objectives for the video, doesn’t mention the planning process or if they say, “We’ll just show up and shoot your video,” watch out!
3. A video company should be able to show you examples of work they’ve done similar in concept to what you need for your project.
If they can show you a sample of work they’ve done that matches your vision that you like then you’re definitely on the right track. Bear in mind that no one else may have done a video exactly like you are looking for so you are looking for something with the look and feel you want rather than an exact match.
4. The videographer should be able to provide a list of recent clients you can speak with to learn about their
If this isn’t available, or even if you find yourself questioning what the available references are able to tell you, this is an obvious red flag. A professional videographer should strive to satisfy their customer’s needs and if there is any sign of an unsatisfied client or mediocrity, the same is likely to happen to you.
5. You should feel very comfortable with the videographer and/or the video crew you’ll be working with.
Just as with any other business, professional appearance, punctuality, mannerisms, and customer service are critical traits to take note of when interacting with your videographer.
Video requirements can change as the process unfolds and you want a videographer who shows they can be flexible to needed changes.
A good video production company will strive to make the experience simplified, stress-free and pleasant for you and your company. If you sense personality traits, conflicts or lack of concern for your needs, these will be magnified as the project progresses.
With all the video equipment that’s available to everyone, it’s easy for people to buy equipment, advertise and claim to be in the video business. Understanding your goals, planning properly, being professional, flexible and easy to work with, having done successful similar work, having satisfied clients and having the experience to solve problems during your project are traits you should look for when choosing a company for your video project.