5 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Video Production Company

If you want to promote your business or non-profit the right way, then you need to find a video production company that is a good fit for your brand. In a city like Austin there are a myriad of different companies with varying styles and histories to choose from.

With so many options, how can you ensure that you find the best company to tell your story? Here is a list of five crucial questions to get you started as you sort through what your local video production companies have to offer. Ask these questions and you’ll find the best match for your promotional needs.

Alex works with a testimonial subject in the studio.

  1. How much experience do you have?

Whether you are buying a car, a house, or even just a new pair of shoes, the old adage is true: “You get what you pay for.” Video is no different and a company’s level of experience and history will often strongly correlate to their pricing. Step back and put yourself in their shoes: what did their education in understanding video, media, and advertising cost? How much have they invested in equipment, a studio, insurance and hiring freelancers? How many videos similar to the one you’re looking to create have they made in the past? A good starting point is to view the company’s production highlights reel or client success reel and assess their level of quality and ask if their previous work has generated a good return on investment for their former clients.

Experience is great, but some companies are more focused on documentary storytelling while others are heavily invested into animation and motion graphics. You may encounter a company that specializes in creating great, creative music videos, but you probably wouldn’t hire them to promote your law firm or funeral home. This leads us to the next question…

Don (left) & Chris (right) shoot one of the moms of Toybrary Austin

  1. Which types of videos do you create?

If you want a specific type of video for your business or non-profit, then you need to ask this question. But let’s take a step back – what if you want to advertise through video, but you’re still not certain what that might look like or what would be the best format with which to promote yourself? First, you could download our free E-book outlining different kinds of video projects and what a video production company can create to best help you achieve your goals.

Then ask, “Are you enthusiastic about each project or is there a particular type of project you like to work on?” Video production is a creative, collaborative process, so naturally if your collaborators are passionate about the work you’re creating together it will be a more effortless and successful endeavor. This crucial question allows you to gauge the amount of excitement they have, their level of professionalism, and how much interest they have in your type of video project.

However, although a video company has a lot of experience in one area, it’s possible that they are aspiring to become something else or move in a new direction entirely. Let’s say you have a project that requires a lot of animation but the production company just lost their lead animator and now they primarily shoot their videos in-studio in front of a backdrop. Now might be a good time to ask….

Alex (left) & Walker (right) shoot a promotional video for Dr. Michael McClung’s Austin Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Center

  1. What type of companies do you like to work for?

At the end of the day, video production is a business and just like every other industry, they are going to be concerned with their bottom line. While just about everyone in town will gladly take your money and do their best to create a presentable video, it can be important to ask what kind of projects they are truly excited about.

Such a question allows you to determine if the video production company is specialized or not, so asking this question (maybe even more than once) is a good idea. The more they say about their clients and how they’ve helped them achieve their goals, the better. Any examples they can offer to illustrate former client success should give you the confidence you need to move forward with their business. Maybe you’ve heard of the Project Management Triangle, a model of three constraints which limit virtually any company on any project – quality, speed and price. Ideally we would like to have every project done well, quickly and at a good price, but the reality is we can never have all three without compromise. Let’s say you really like the quality and pricing of the video company you are pursuing and you’re excited to get started filming. Now it’s time to ask another really important question…

Full GAMily Roster Spring 2015

  1. How fast you can deliver?

Everyone has a deadline. Maybe you need to highlight what your company is doing for a big gala coming up in a few months, or perhaps you’re launching a new website in which you want a high quality welcome video to be the focal point at the top of your new page! Understanding turnaround times and what is necessary during post-production will save you a lot of frustration.

In video production, it’s mostly the time needed in pre-production and post-production that determine how long a video takes to produce. For pre-production, how much planning, writing and coordinating is there? For post-production, how many shots are being cut together and how much polish is needed for the finished video? What does their team look like in terms of multiple editors and people who can mix audio and do color correction?

Ask for an estimation of the final delivery date and you’ll both be on the same page from day one. While speed is great, an even better question to ask might be, “What is your correspondence like during this post-production process and how much are you willing to allow us to be part of the process in shaping the final video to our liking?” Finally, it’s time to ask one last question…

Lead animator, Tiara (left), works with Laura of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities on a project.

  1. Do you provide revisions?

Let’s face it, no one’s work is perfect and sometimes you might need revisions. Video can be so subjective and used for so many different purposes that it is not uncommon for us to provide a client with multiple soundtracks, multiple voice-over artists and even various options for lower thirds and animations. Will they provide you a platform to see the progress of your project throughout various drafts? You may prefer to be left in the dark until the project is close to completion, but often corporate headquarters or your small team of trusted company leaders will have feedback about changing a phrase, taking out a shot, or changing the content of your video in order to avoid making an unsubstantiated claim or even attracting a lawsuit.

This may well be the final factor which determines who you choose when selecting a local video production company since, like in any relationship, good communication is key.

These are some of the best questions that you can ask when you want to find a competent company to shoot your next big video. Personalize these concerns for your own project or promotional needs and you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect fit to amplify your message!


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Comments 6

  1. A friend of mine is thinking about making a movie for a project that he is doing, and I was curious about how he would choose a company to help him out. It’s interesting that you say to ask for an estimate on the final delivery day. It would be nice to know how long they are going to take on the project.

    1. Absolutely. It’s crucial to for the client to know when to expect the final video so that they can meet their own deadlines for promotions, events, etc., and just in general to keep everyone on the same page to begin with. 🙂

  2. I agree that it can be good to ask what types of videos a company creates. It’s important to find a company that can represent your business brand well to your potential clients. Videos are becoming more and more useful in terms of marketing now with mobile media. It’s important that you feel like you business is represented accurately and well on that front.

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