“Video production company” is a phrase that can cover a very wide range of meaning. It can describe a very creative, skilled freelancer working from home, or it could refer to a full-service company in a business tower with a staff of fifty… or many possible permutations between the two. All involve people who are great at what they do and turn out good video.

An animation about entertaining viewers

James describes the five things only the very best production companies offer their clients.

It can also mean a company that comes up with a concept and script for your project, but doesn’t actually complete the work; conversely, it could mean an organization that will accept a script and move forward to finish your project; or, it could reflect the capacity to finish your project from concept to delivery.

What does this mean for your choice of vendor and how do you decide if you have the  right one?

What sort of company you need depends on who you are and what your project entails.

If your production is short, straightforward, and well-planned, and if you’re experienced with videos, you can probably work with just about any reputable company and get good results.

If your production is more complex, you’re not precisely sure of what you need, and you’re not steeped in knowledge about video production, you may want to give some thought to selecting what will be the best video production company for you.

Here are five qualities that a full-service production company offers.

  1. A professional project management staff. You want to work with a firm that knows how to manage your project, in addition to having the creative and technology skills to carry it off. This means they know how to communicate with you, how to bring your project in on time and on budget, and have systems in place to involve you in the process.
  2. A dedicated team to work on your account. You need to be able to talk to one specific liaison throughout the process, who has a deep understanding of your business and the project, and who in turn directs an entire team of creative experts. (More on them below.)
  3. A well-practiced and documented process for creating the video. If initial discussions don’t evidence such documentation, you may want to look elsewhere. You want to work with people who knows step D comes after step B but before step L, because they’ve gone ‘round this barn enough times to know what is most efficient and effective.
  4. A QA process to ensure the final outcome meets your requirements. Successful Quality Assurance means you get no alarming surprises: the project proceeds and finishes on a timeline and a budget you agree to. The finished product accurately reflects your company and its mission, and it does the job you need done.
  5. Experience in making the kind of production you need. Video production can include thousands of approaches and techniques to tell the story you want told. You want to work with a company who has successfully used those approaches and techniques in the past. They may not have produced a video before for your specific service or product, but they have performed well using the approaches and technology that will best serve you.

Having In-house Experts

A full-service video production company must have creative staff able to perform many in-depth skills, including:

  • Writing
  • Directing
  • Project management
  • Project coordination
  • Animation
  • Sound
  • Camera operation
  • Computer and software operation
  • Computer and software programming
  • On-set staff

In addition, a whole range of specialists may be required for your project: for instance, make-up, color, green screen  and technology of all sorts. If a company you’re considering doesn’t have each of these experts on staff, they should have a network of contractors to call on with whom they’ve worked in the past.

As you interviewing video production companies, you have two pieces of homework:

  1. Realistically assess your own experience and knowledge in video creation.
  2. Understand the company’s approach, capabilities, past experience, and the range of activities they can do for you.

For other insightful advice, watch the vBook & download the eBook titled “Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Promotional Video Production Company.”