With our new production page going live, we thought it might be worth scribbling a few bits about how we work, and how best we can work with you.
Commissioning video, whether you’re an agency or end client, can be a considerable investment, so here’s some thoughts on how to find your production partner, and a few tips on the initial stages of your video project.
There are literally hundreds of video production companies and videographers in our home town of Bristol alone. From one-man bands up to the big agencies; there is no shortage of shooters.
So how do you pick through them all? Most will have nice showreels and/or a nice website with reassuringly friendly copy. We all have access to similar equipment, and in a heavily freelance-based industry everybody knows somebody who can do the clever thing that they can’t.
So the obvious first step is to go through those sites and reels to see if they’ve done something you like. If you like the reel but you’re concerned they haven’t worked in your market specifically, get in touch and ask for further examples - most companies have a wealth of content that didn’t quite make the two minute highlights film so it’s always worth an ask.
And most importantly, once you’ve identified a handful you like, go and meet them. This is probably the most important aspect - you’ll need to have a good, honest working relationship with whomever is producing video for you - they’re going to be ultimately responsible in distilling and communicating your message so you’ll be working closely together. If you get a sense from a meeting that they’re people you’d like to work with, that’s a major tick in the box.
Planning: Production & Beyond
There are a lot of moving parts involved in video, and it’s why we put a lot of emphasis on the early stages of a video project. There’s a very good reason why we like to storyboard everything and get scripts and ideas nailed down before anyone starts polishing lenses and reaching for the clapper board.
Time, effort and yes, a little bit of money can save you thousands over the course of a job, because equipment, crew and locations/studios can very quickly drink the budget bar dry.
There will always be new ideas and developments mid-project, and more often than not can be accommodated, but starting off with a thorough plan/script/storyboard/schedule, agreed and signed off by all, will avoid unmet goals, crushing disappointment, and going enormously over budget halfway through the job.
Speaking of which….
The ‘B’ Word
Budget! Everyone’s got one, and no one wants to talk about it.
There will be those who have worked in, or have some experience of production and may have a rough idea of what they can expect for ‘x’ amount of pounds, but for many - and it’s a reason we believe some are put off by video - the whole thing is a mystery. and where there’s mystery, there’s always a nagging fear you’re being charged an arbitrary amount for something you don’t understand the technical reasoning behind (like web design in the early 2000s).
So try and get it demystified, talk to the production company - there’s usually a pretty good reason why things cost what they do. It might be a certain piece of equipment required to achieve an effect, or operators skilled in a certain discipline. It may just be that a deadline requires a certain number of crew to get the job wrapped up in time.
So when you get asked ‘what’s your budget’, it’s not a company trying to get as much as they can (okay, sometimes it is), they just want to know what parameters they have to work within.
Rather than thinking of it as a budget, think of it more as a figure you’d prefer not to go beyond!
So why us? Well, we have one big differentiator between us and massed hordes clamouring for your business, and that’s our studio. Nobody has produced more work in the studio than us. Of course we work on location as well, as our work will attest to, but if you’re looking at a studio shoot then to us it makes sense to hire the most experienced studio shooters in the city.
Aside from that, we’d suggest a look through our work, and then coming in for a chat. We like to think we’re personable, approachable types, but come in, take a look around the space and find out for yourself.