You’re all set to produce your marketing video. Or… maybe it’s an internal project? Maybe an event video? Regardless of what type of “corporate video” you’re producing, finding a Milwaukee video production company is next on your docket. These are some practical tips for just about any city.
Shopping for a production company isn’t the typical kind of thing you’re used to researching. You’re about to create a video… something that’s one part functional and another part art, so you’re tasked with finding a credible company with talented marketing artists.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. You could certainly just hire us. We’d love that (we’re pretty awesome), but really the best advice is to do a little research and get bids from a few companies.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Why You Need Look At Multiple Production Houses
Every production company is different from the other. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some help with creative and marketing ideas, others simply execute your plan. Equipment and personnel can also vary from company to company.
When you take these things into account, it’s good to look at multiple companies to get a sense of which is best for your project.
Are you heading into a big budget production? Multiple cameras, a large production crew, fancy equipment like cranes or drones?
If so, you’re going to need a big production house that can handle that kind of stuff.
On the other hand, are you trying to keep it simple? Are you more interested in quality storytelling than video gadgets? A smaller company or even an independent video pro might be better for your project.
So… how do you begin to separate each company from one another?
Tip #1: watch their work
You’re obviously going to start looking at production company websites. You’ll be able to get some basic information, but really what you want to do is watch examples of their work.
Forget the company “sizzle reel” if they have one. This is simply a highlight video… a compilation. How’s that going to help you?
Instead, watch their client work. If you want to know what to watch for, check out our vlog post on the subject: Tips for Picking a Video Company.
Also, has the production company produced a video about itself… an “About Us” video? Are you kidding me!?! They haven’t? A company that produces marketing videos for other businesses hasn’t produced one about itself? That’s… a little… weird.
Tip #2: vetting
Once you’ve found a few companies with videos you like, you’re going to want to vet them.
Start with their clients… Fortune 500, medium-size companies, micro-businesses… see any companies that seem to be about the same size as your business? Are there any in related industries?
Of course, cost is going to be a factor when vetting production houses as well. The only problem? Many (most) production companies don’t list any prices at their website.
I know why they do this. Every video project is different, so that makes it tough to put together a price list.
It would be great if every other production house did this, but they don’t. That means you’ll have to spend some time on the phone speaking with them. You could try email, but the phone is probably easier.
While they’ll ask you a bunch of questions for your price quote, you should ask some as well, like:
- Is there a minimum cost?
- Do they produce low cost videos?
- How do they charge? By the hour, day, video length?
- Make sure to ask if they’ll give you a fixed price, or will it change depending on how the production goes?
We have clients who were burned by production companies in the past. They thought the price was fixed, but things were added during the production process (extra shoot days, special equipment, more post-production time) and next thing they knew the price had skyrocketed.
It’s okay if it’s not a fixed price, but make sure the production company will agree to talk with you in advance of any additional expenses.
It also helps to sometimes work backwards when getting a quote. Tell them your budget and then see what they can do for that amount. I know… you don’t want to show your hand, but this is a great way to shop around. You can still find a deal because if they’re offering more than you need, you can walk back your budget and ask what they can do for less.
- Once you have a price, make sure you know what you’re getting for your money. How big will the crew be? How many hours will they spend on your project?
- What about content ideas? Will they help generate creative ideas and work with you on storytelling, or will they simply execute the plan you provide to them?
- Ask them about their video production process. Every production house does things a little differently from the rest. Find out what’s involved and how long the production will take.
- Are revisions included in the price? Again, every company handles things differently. With some, revisions cost extra. With others, you get a certain amount included in the price.
Tip #3: get it in writing
You’ve looked at some videos, you like a company’s style, and you have a good price estimate. Time to get an official proposal.
The proposal will probably just put into writing what you’ve already discussed with them, but it’s a necessary step. Communication is so important! You don’t want there to be any curve balls.
Once you’ve approved the proposal, get a contract and you’re ready to roll!
You’ve Selected Your Milwaukee Video Production Company
Hopefully, I didn’t scare you away. It sounds like a lot, but it’s all worth while. And now that you have this trusted guide, the process should be much easier.
And the good news? At the end… you’ll have a terrific marketing tool, so have fun!