How to choose the right production company for you in the UKedits
How to choose the right production company for you in the UKcategory: Video Content Creation Tips
Are you a marketing director trying to weigh-up whether to make that next video campaign 'in-house'? Are you looking for advice about how to choose your next great UK Production Company partner? If so, then the guide below is for you: What to expect from a pitch A good production company should be able to provide, at the barest minimum, a creative treatment, a full breakdown of cost and complete schedule of work. Without this, how else can any marketing or comms director know whether they are really up to the task? Is their showreel really made up of their own work? It sounds ridiculous, but many of those working in the UK video content scene advertise work that they haven't actually produced, or only have a very loose connection to. By affiliating themselves to market-leading creatives, or by representing freelance directors, a production company can artificially enhance their portfolio. Most of the top London production companies will be able to show you clear examples of how they have produced the content they refer to on their website and showreel, if they don't, then think twice before hiring them. Are their quotes transparent? All creative agencies worth their salt should be willing to offer transparent quotes, showing the fees they are charging and outlining daily rates. Watch out for any company that may be marking-up expenses such as travel and hotels. It's expected of any credible production company to outline their production commission (typically around 20%) as well as their insurance fees. This system is preferable for many, as it avoids the dishonesty of the production company artificially raising crew rates to account for their overheads and profit. Ask a production company for a detailed breakdown of the equipment they intend to use, as well as the amount of time they feel each stage of the production will take. At RD Content, we provide detailed breakdowns and digital timesheets to show exactly how we plan to achieve your results. This is something that you would be perfectly entitled to request of your video content provider. How much do they do in house? Do they own their own equipment? It's an accepted fact that freelancers are a key component of video content production, but when hiring an agency to bring your video content to life, be careful that they aren't outsourcing the entirety of the work and taking a cut. At RD Content, our video production utilises our own experienced in house production team. Our video content strategy and creative agency services are all provided by our in-house creatives and directors. You should find out whether your production company has its own post-production facilities, such as a voiceover booth and grading suite. If it does not, then it is likely that once you come to that part of the production they will be outsourcing the work and so may struggle to keep within your budget if any changes are required. Does the company own its own equipment? At RD Content we own a huge range of filming equipment, from RED cameras through to DSLRs, from lights to motion stabilised rigs. If a company does not own at least some of its own equipment, then it will be entirely reliant upon rental houses and will have more trouble in guaranteeing you a production cost.
Are they production specialists?
In an effort to try and retain more clients, many of the old-fashioned advertising agencies are trying to sell themselves as production houses. This has been a move that has caused traditional commercial production companies to accuse the agencies of a rigged system. In years gone past, the advertising agency would define the overall strategy and creative for a client, and then outsource production to a production company, and the post-production to a post-production house. With changing budgets, many of those creative agencies are pitching themselves as being able to produce the content as well. However, be careful that you aren't having to pay inflated costs for 'creative' whilst being given an inexperienced production and post-production offering.
You should look for a production company with a specialism in certain areas. For example, at RD Content, we have a lot of experience in automotive video content. If you want to produce a film featuring cars or motorbikes, then we could provide a competitive and realistic quote. At RD Content, we are for many the perfect combination of production and creative specialists. Our focus and core is production, but we have an extremely strong creative offering. For budgets under £200,000 many ideas from creative agencies simply aren't possible or achievable, and so if you're operating in that range then a production agency with creative capacity will probably give you a more efficient spend for your budget.
How fast can they turn the work around?
If you're looking for a great UK production company, you must enquire on whether the production agency are able to turn around the work fast enough for your needs. Responsiveness is critical to a good social video content strategy and so your production partner needs to be able to react. If the above criteria are in place then this will be possible, but if you are operating in an old-fashioned advertising model, then it will be far more difficult.Conclusion
When looking for a solid video content agency, following these steps should get you the best possible deal for your company.