Hiring a video production company takes a lot of work.
But not as much work as producing a professional-looking explainer video, product demo video, customer testimonial video, or any other type of video for your branding needs.
So, you spend time researching a bunch of different video companies near me, reading tons of reviews and references, reviewing some of their work, and finally questioning the best choices. Finally, you find an agency that best fits your budget, your deadlines, and your goals.
But one thing you might not be completely confident about is what exactly can you reasonably expect from them? You don’t need your hopes to be too low or too high.
To make sure you get off on the right foot with the video production company you’ve hired and know the real things they can and should do for you, read on!
At Malevolent Mouse Productions, we’ve assisted many companies, VC-backed startups, and businesses like yours grow their revenues faster.
As you and your new video production team get to know each other, here are some tips on how the launch process should go.
Be transparent with your needs
Honest and direct communication is imperative from day one of the project launch, as well as throughout the working relationship.
Remember, the people responsible for creating a great video product can’t read your mind. So be honest with your wants, needs, goals, and expectations. Provide as much information including preferences and guidelines, as your video production company that can help to help.
Some key information you should give to your production team:
- Share examples of the types of videos you want to create as well as real examples of videos that captivate you (or have the opposite effect).
- Do you have any branding rules or specific guidelines that the agency must follow?
- Do you have communication preferences? Email, SMS, impromptu or scheduled phone calls, or regular in-person meetings? Certain days or times that work best for meetings and recordings?
Also let your team know if any idiosyncrasies could affect your interactions, such as unusual hours, availability restrictions, deadlines, etc. Make sure you let the agency know how you prefer to work so they can do their best to accommodate you.
Understanding the agency and the staff
You’ll want to make sure that the project liaison officers on your team clearly understand who the agency’s primary contacts are for different departments – accounts, creative, strategy, and design. It should be pretty straightforward, but sometimes it can be overlooked when kicking off.
Key people, you will likely work with:
Account Manager: This is normally your main point of contact and the person you interact with the most.
Creative Director: The Creative Director is the head of everything creative. This person will work with all other team members, vendors, etc.
Strategist: He will make sure that the different videos, distributions, and media all work together.
Media Planner/Buyer: This person identifies the best media platforms to advertise with and negotiates purchases and deals.
Art Director: He/she sets the graphic style for the campaign and video, makes the overall design, and then instructs others to create the layouts or illustrations.
Screenwriter: Whether it’s voiceover (VO) or a script featuring actors, the writer will be in charge of all the copywriting and writing.
Producer: The producer leads the planning and coordination of everything from hiring the actors to renting locations and planning the shooting schedule.
Director: Will lead the execution and structure of the video story and lead the talent
Director of Photography: The DP is in charge of everything related to the camera and lighting.
Editor: This person takes care of everything post-production, including editing, graphics, animations, and special effects.
Sound Designer: It will polish everything related to the audio in your video, including music, mixing, VO, and sound effects.
Colorist: One of the last people to touch on a project, the Colorist makes sure that each shot matches and looks coordinated with the video.
You’ll also want to have a clear understanding of your agency’s process and checkpoints, as well as the general timeline they work with.
While you may have a certain deadline to hit, it’s up to the 3d movie maker to come back with a clear timeline of deliverables, reviews, and create milestones that add up to your final deadline.
Take note of how much time your team will have for revisions and revisions, and make sure everyone by your side is informed of the schedule so as not to delay the production team. Schedule regular evaluation times when required to keep the video project moving forward as scheduled.
Understand the contract and the fees
You must fully understand the compromise conditions of your agreement with the production agency, including any fees or penalties mentioned during project discussions and present in your agency contracts.
We can’t say it enough: read the wording of the contract carefully to make sure that you are fully aware of your rights and responsibilities as a customer and that you do not incur any unforeseen costs due to changes or revisions throughout. the realization of your video. process.
Most standard video production contracts should include explicitly worded terms for the following:
- Project summary
- Terms and conditions
- Property rights
- Planning parameters and specification changes
- Urgent costs (if applicable)
- Guarantees of production companies
- Customer guarantees
- Revisions and modifications
Integrate with their project management system
Many agencies will use a project management system like Wrike, Basecamp, or Asana (pictured below) to keep things organized and make sure your project stays on track.
Add members of your main project team to this system so that everyone involved can check all the moving parts of your video in real-time.
* How to Research Your Audience Before You Produce an Explainer Video
* The Kinds of Videos to Use up at Every Stage of the Marketing Channel
* How to Make a Video People Watch Until the End
Video project flow
Each agency will be different in terms of how it works and the exact steps it uses to produce deliverables for its clients.
In general, they should implement a highly structured process that includes the following points when creating a video for your business:
Concept development is the first step in which the agency takes time to get to know you. Rely on the video production services near me for creative and strategic advice but be sure to stay very involved in this phase.
Your creative team will dive deep into your brand, reviewing and analyzing current and past marketing strategies.
The agency should also perform competitive analysis to check what your competition is doing in terms of marketing and video marketing.
During development, the project preview is created or refined and should include a campaign strategy indicating where and how the video will be used.
You will need to provide a fair amount of documentation and information in advance to help the agency do its job well. Once the concept is decided, there is no going back.
The mood board is a visual representation to help the production team define the creative vision, like this mood board for places:
Your mood board should encompass anything visual such as:
- movie style
- overall color palette
- location plans
- the music
- visual effects
- similar projects
The production company near me should lead this step but will look to your team to offer any rules or needs such as brand guidelines, logos, fonts, etc. During the mood board review, elements can be changed to help shape the final look of the video.
The script includes the copy or message that will be heard by the audience in the form of a voiceover or actor/character lines.
Normally, the script is done in two phases: outline (for the strategy) and writing by a professional scriptwriter. The writer will take the lead in crafting the post, but your team will need to thoroughly review and approve every word because once the script is locked, revisions or updates will cost you dearly.
The broadcast of voice-over talent and/or cast in your video is controlled by the video production company, although your team has the final approval of the professionals who are ultimately hired.
Casting can be done remotely using video auditions or in person at a casting studio. The mood board ought to give descriptions of the perfect candidates in the form of physical qualities, style, and personality to make sure that the real talent is found.
Search for locations
Location scouting is mainly managed by the agency. The production team will do most of the legwork of finding the ideal filming locations (or studio), renting the space, and obtaining permits and insurance.
An experienced agent will know a variety of local locations and may even work with location services professionals to find out-of-town filming locations or more specialized buildings or environments.
Most of the locations will need to be reviewed and approved by your team, and you should visit the location yourself to make sure it looks and feels exactly the way you envisioned it.
Here’s a great localization video:
Buy accessories and a wardrobe
Unless props or wardrobe is a major part of the story or theme of the video, these tasks will normally be left to the director and producer. Often, it is possible to rent accessories and a cabinet instead of buying new items to help the budget.
The storyboard is a sketched representation of your video’s story that is much more in-depth than the mood board.
It can also help answer production questions such as:
- Where does the light come from?
- What does the location need for production to work?
- What tools will each shot need to make them look and feel the way the script wanted them to?
After the storyboard artist draws the scenes, your team will need to approve the plan. The storyboard is more than just ideas and should include exact visuals intended for the shoot, so be sure to be thorough in your comments and approval.