How to choose the right production company for you in the UK?


How to choose the right production company for you in the UK?

category: 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 on how to choose your next great UK production company 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, full breakdown of cost and schedule of work in order to win your business. Any good London production company should be willing to do that, and if not then how can any marketing or comms director know whether they are really up to the task?

Is their showreel really made up of their work?

It sounds ridiculous but many of those working in the UK video content scene advertise work that they haven't produced or only have a very loose connection to. By affiliating themselves to creatives or representing 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 marking up expenses such as travel and hotels. It is typical for a production company to outline their production commission (typically around 20%) as well as their insurance fees. For many, this system is preferable as it avoids the production company artificially raising the rates of the crew to account of their overheads and profit.

Ask a production company for a breakdown in detail 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 what and how we plan to achieve your results. This is something that you would be entitled to request or see from a production company.

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 we offer video production utilising our own experienced in house production team. Our video strategy and creative agency service comes from our in house producers and directors. You should find out whether the production company has its own post production facilities such as 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 changes are required.

Does the company own its own equipment?

At RD Content we own a huge amount of filming equipment, from RED cameras through to DSLRs, from lights to motion stabilised rigs. If a company does not own its own equipment then it will be reliant entirely upon rental houses and will have more trouble in guaranteeing you a price of your production.

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Are they production specialists?

In an effort to try to retain more client work, 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 company accusing 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 the 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. 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 of your budget.

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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 fashion advertising model then it will be far more difficult. Conclusion When looking for a solid video content agency, if you follow these steps then you should get the best possible deal for your company.

If you have any further questions however, don't hesitate to give us a call on 020 7096 9159 or email us at, we'd love to hear from you.