18 Nov 2021
Promotional video behind the scenes

Why Hire A Video Production Company?

Most businesses now recognize that engaging video content is an essential part of their marketing mix, whether it’s short snippets for Instagram or TikTok, or more in-depth storytelling that they share on YouTube or Facebook.

But when everyone’s cell phone has a built-in “4K resolution” camera, why on earth would you take money out of your marketing budget to hire an outside video production company instead of just producing content yourself?

Glad you asked. We have some thoughts.

REASON 1: Storytelling expertise

Let’s start with one of the biggies: storytelling expertise. If you’re running your business’ marketing efforts you already know how to tell a great story about what your product or service offers to your customers. But do you know which parts of that story are best told through video?

Often, people make the mistake of wanting to cram every detail about their product into a marketing video, instead of focusing on what video does best. That’s where a production company that eats, sleeps and breathes video every day can come in. They can guide you towards the softer, more emotional benefits that video will highlight most effectively, and recommend you leave the detailed product specs to website copy instead.

And not only will your production partner be able to tell you what video does best, they also know how to achieve the best results through video by thinking about format, storytelling style, documentary vs. scripted, verité vs. polished, and so on.

REASON 2: Outside perspective

Sometimes when you’re super close to something you can struggle to see the big picture. It happens to us too, especially when we’re editing. We call it “snow blindness” and the solution is to step away from the edit and come back later with fresh eyes.

For marketers, you can be so close to your product or service that every aspect of it seems equally important. Bringing in an outside perspective, like your video production partner, can often help identify which parts of your story, or which aspects of your product or service you really want to highlight in order to engage your customers.

And the things about your business that are obvious to you because you’re deep in that world, might not be so obvious to your customer. Here, your video production partner can act as the proxy for your customer and make sure that you’re communicating in a clear, jargon-free way that will connect.

REASON 3: Editing

Sure, everyone can shoot to some degree of proficiency with their smartphone, but what about editing? Editing is video’s superpower, and what makes it such a powerful medium for eliciting emotional responses in people. The ability to juxtapose images, run an interviewee’s audio under compelling b-roll that helps illustrate their point, or even just add stirring music is what galvanizes audiences into following your call to action.

And while editing is certainly a technical skill that you might struggle with on your own, it’s also a deeply emotional and empathic skill. Editors understand timing and pacing and how beats of a story need to land in order to hit home.

REASON 4: Sound quality

Every film school student learns in their first semester that while an audience may forgive poor picture quality (or be willing to chalk it up to avant garde experimentation), they will only be left confused and frustrated by bad audio quality.

So while you might think that smart phone has a great camera, the onboard mic is not only lower quality, but also way further away from your subject than is ideal for good sound quality.

Your video production partner will usually bring along a dedicated audio mixer whose sole purpose is to effectively place mics – both overhead “boom” mics and hidden lavalier mics attached to the subject’s clothing – and record their output using a super high quality recording device. In post, the editor will sync together the camera’s picture with the audio and the results outperform any onboard smart phone recording by orders of magnitude.

REASON 5: There’s more to image quality than “4K resolution”

Did you know that most Hollywood movies for the past decade have been shot on the Arri Alexa, a camera that doesn’t even shoot 4K? Resolution is kind a of marketing gimmick that camera manufacturers use to make people buy their stuff.

Much more important to how well a camera performs are things like the actual physical size of the sensor, how many stops of dynamic range it can handle, and what post-processing of the image is done before it’s stored to media. The cameras that your production partner uses are vastly superior to smartphones in all these categories.

Lenses are also very important in determining image quality by reducing things like chromatic aberration (the purple and green smears you might see in parts of an image where something very bright is next to something very dark). Cinema lenses also let you selectively focus, adjust exposure on the fly and have much higher quality glass.

Promotional video behind the scenes

REASON 6: And the camera isn’t even the biggest determining factor in image quality

While having a better camera and lenses certainly helps, creating compelling, beautiful images is really all about lighting.

The best cinematographers and gaffers in the world are famed for their ability to control and direct light, changing things like the hardness of light, the direction it comes from, and balancing levels between lights hitting foreground and background elements.

Lighting is also an incredibly powerful storytelling tool, and changes to the lighting setup can drastically alter the mood and feel of your story.

Whether you decide to shoot your own video content or work with a production partner like Long Haul Films, just remember that engaging content is key. Make sure your audience feels like they get some value out what you’re asking them to watch and you’ll do great.