A Manager's Guide to Video Production

Choosing a video production company for your business or organization's next online video or DVD can be tricky. There are many production companies out there; some publish their prices, some don't. Some seem surprisingly cheap, others seem alarmingly expensive. All of them will assure you they're "high quality".

Here are some things for you to consider when choosing a digital media agency to produce video content:

1. Think About What Sort of Video You Need.

If you were choosing a restaurant, you'd first ask yourself "what sort of food do I want to eat"? and  "how much do I want to spend"? Knowing this will help narrow your choice and give you somewhere to   start. In terms of video production, have you thought about why you want a video? what you're going to do with it? who it's aimed at? and do you have an idea of your budget? Don't panic if you don't have all  the answers (you might be open minded about what sort of food you want to eat tonight)! A good video production company will be able to help you focus on these questions before you start and before you commit yourself.

2. Video Production Prices

Are expensive videos better than less expensive videos? How much should you pay? We recently produced a corporate video for a company. It consisted of 1day's filming at their offices, some interviews with members of staff, script preparation, music, professional voice over, adding the company's logo, editing etc. The project was very straight forward, everything went smoothly and the cost was just under RMB50,000.00 + vat. The Managing Director was delighted with the results and after the video was delivered, he told us he couldn't believe how little it had cost. "The YPP Corporate Video is much better than the last video we had made; and the last one, which was made by a different  video company two years ago, cost us RMB120,000.00"

3. Value for Money.

The MD's comments are worth a closer look. He wasn't simply saying, "Wow, you guys are really cheap", he was saying, "you guys produced high quality results and charged a reasonable price". So it's  not so much about price as about value for money. Video production companies are like restaurants  when it comes to value too. Some restaurants are very expensive, but may serve a mediocre meal and leave you feeling slightly "ripped off". At the other end of the scale, it's possible to find an ultra cheap bite to eat from a hot dog stand or back street burger bar. But the food may be virtually inedible and         you'll end up wishing you'd spent a little more.

4. Video Quality.

It's the right balance of quality and price that you need to aim for. So how do you do this?

5. Shop Around for Video Production Companies.

All video production companies have websites and browsing them is a sensible place to start. Look for examples of work the company has done, preferably with some sort of testimonial from past clients. Take a look at the client list. Does the video production company publish its prices?

6. Watch Out For the Following;

The company's website is its shop window, so too is the video it puts on its own website. If the video production company can't take the trouble to get this right, then this may tell you something about the quality of the company itself. On the other hand, a fantastic website isn't in itself a guarantee that the company will produce fantastic video. The shop window can be deceptive!

7. Trust your own judgement.

Have you seen examples of work the video production company has done? Are you impressed by the quality? Have you met someone from the company, or at least had a decent chat on the phone? Do you have a written estimate of production costs? Does the video company seem to understand what your business or organization does? Can the video company meet your deadline? Has the video company done similar work for other clients? If you get a good feeling after having asked yourself these questions,  then you'll have made an informed decision.

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