14 Dec 2021

5 Questions You Must Ask Your Video Production Company

So you’ve decided to commission some video content from your brand and you’re deep in the hiring process. What are the questions you must ask to make sure you give yourself the best chance of success with the project?

Question 1: Who is on the team and how diverse is it?

Chances are that when you speak with a production company you engage with one or two people at most, not the full team who will be working on your project.

So make sure you understand exactly who will be responsible for what roles in each phase of creating your video, and what does the makeup of the team look like. Is there enough diversity of experience to effectively tell the story you want to communicate?

Question 2: Are they professional?

Working on a film set is a certain kind of experience, and people’s behavior matches with that experience. Going into a business environment, where people might be interacting with high level, C-Suite personnel can be something quite different.

You want to make sure that no-one you hire is going to embarrass you in front of your colleagues.

Question 3: What is the pre-production process like and is there documentation?

Every phase of production is important, but getting things right in pre-production can often be a good indicator that things will go smoothly through production and post. Understanding what to expect in pre-pro can be really important and you need to make sure you and your production partner are on the same page.

How much of the project is shotlisted or storyboarded ahead of time? If there are interviews, who is writing the discussion guides and can you sign off on them before you roll? Who is handling scheduling, including scheduling of interviews?

If the company you’re speaking to doesn’t have already defined and clear answers for these questions, that might a huge red flag.

Question 4: What is the approvals process like? When will I see edits and how many rounds of review do I get?

Even with an excellent pre-production phase, the chance of your production partner completely nailing it with v1 of your video is slim.

So what does the approvals process look like? Having your team lay out an expected timeline and talk you through how they’d like feedback noted will go a long way to giving you peace of mind that you’re working with the right people.

Question 5: What work can you show us that aligns with our goals?

One of the easiest things for a young, inexperienced production company to do is put together a 60-second reel of impressive-looking, cinematic shots, edited to a cool song. Much harder is to be able to demonstrate the ability to create the kind of work that will engage with audiences.

Ask your production partner to share a piece of work they feel most closely aligns with the kind of work you want to produce to make sure they have the necessary skills and experience.