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Jon Flacke
by Jon Flacke
Mar 2, 2015
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6 Questions to ask your Video Production Company

When looking for a new video production partner it can be difficult to differentiate your options. Use these inside questions to peer inside each vendor and get an idea for their true capabilities. 

Will the production company be able to handle your volume?

Most marketing campaigns include several videos to be released over a pre-designated timeframe. Simply put, can the production house keep up with the volume of work you have, and keep your campaign on schedule?

Dig a little deeper and find out how the production company will handle your work starting at pre-production with concept development, scripting, and scouting. And when they turn cameras on for production, will their crew scale to execute your creative vision? Can multiple crews be out picking up footage at once?

Post-production can be the most time consuming step of all. The last thing you want is to get stuck in an endless loop of editing. What capacity does the edit team have? Is the creative leadership in place to guide the concept to completion?

Does the production company offer a platform to manage your project?

A lot will happen during the creation of your awesome video. From creative concept to full-blown motion graphics, how will you stay involved along the way? What touch points will you have with the production team for input? You probably have a team of people in your own organization that need to be able to review a video and give feedback along the way. What utilities will the production company provide to make this step simple?

What does a typically timeline look like?

We all work on different schedules, and different mentalities for that matter. Find out if the company has worked on projects of similar scope and timeline. It’s important to set realistic deadlines, but don’t be afraid to ask for things sooner. An experienced video provider can turn around work quicker than you think.

Can they prove the quality of their work?

It’s hard to find a guarantee in creative industries. It’s not nearly as hard to find reliable references. Does the production company have clients of a similar size to yours? Can they provide samples of similar, and successful campaigns? Follow up with references to find out how your provider was involved in their project.

What’s their expertise?

A lot of production companies will tell you they do it all. But most have an area of expertise. Find out where they shine, and maybe where they’re rough around the edges. Some production companies are in it to create documentaries and entertainment – they might take on corporate clients just to pay the bills. These providers can be less engaged in your project. Finding a production company that focuses on corporate video will pay off in the end.

Where has the company earned most of its experience? Some providers specialize in live event, others in interviews and testimonials. There are production companies building their entire reputation on animation and motion graphics alone. 

Where do they shoot?

Does your project require shooting in multiple cities, states or even countries? Video production can be a very local business. However, for larger campaigns it's important to find out if your video production company is capable or coordinating a remote shoot. Have they worked outside of the country? Are they comfortable working with fixers and translators? 

Start with these questions and you'll be on the right track to finding a production company capable of fullfilling your needs. Remember, the right production company will be happy to talk shop with you. They'll want to understand your creative and communication needs as much as you do.