7 things you won’t hear from your video production company (even if you should).

All video production is the same right?

Video production is growing in it’s importance as part of the overall corporate marketing mix. With that growth comes specialization, complexity and a host of issues that many video production customers may or may not be aware of.

Here are 7 things that you wouldn’t want to hear from your video production company:

1. “We don’t have general liability or errors and omissions insurance.”
What could possibly go wrong? One of the crew drives over a customer, they forget to get a permission form signed, they use licensed material that you don’t have a license for, a light falls on someone… etc. Chances are things won’t go wrong, but if they do you had better be working with a company that is well insured. Standard insurance coverage for a video production company is $2,000,000 for errors and omissions and general liability.

2. “We do a bit of everything – websites, PR, SEO, graphic design, print, advertising… and video.”
The market will always support a range of generalists and specialists that service the same business audience. That said, a good rule of thumb is that if the number of services offered by a company is greater than the number of employees you might want to consider getting a second quote.

3. “We don’t really understand the web, or social media, or marketing .”
The vast majority of corporate video today is being delivered either exclusively or predominantly on the web. Creating video for the web is not the same as creating video for broadcast, or for entertainment, or for presentation at an event. Viewing behaviors are very different online. You also have to consider delivery platforms, hosting options,  interactivity,  conversion techniques, social media aspects of your video and many other factors that are unique to the web.

4. “We just do corporate video to pay the bills, we’d much rather be doing television.”
Very few people go into video because they want to help businesses sell more products or services (marketing and sales stuff). Film or television is usually the goal, doing corporate work is just what pays the bills. While there are a number of great companies that do both very well, unless your video production company is working under the direction of an ad agency or marketing firm, or they specialize in marketing video you shouldn’t be surprised if your video is wonderfully irrelevant.

5. “We didn’t really focus on business results per se, but we think this video might win an award.”
Creative work is wonderful if it serves a business objective. If it doesn’t you’ve wasted your money. Very few industry awards consider business results in their selection criteria – which is unfortunate because business results are the only thing that matter.

6. “There will  be many different people working on your video project.”
You met the president of the company and his senior team. Are they all going to be working on your project? Every services organization operates with some form of distributed work model. It’s up to you as a client to ensure you get the best people working directly on your video project. If you’re not sure, ask.

7. “We’ve been using the same equipment for the last five years.
Considering that video technology (hardware, software, delivery systems) is changing literally every month it’s hard to imagine any company not taking advantage of so many cost saving and output quality advances in video production.

 

18 thoughts on “7 things you won’t hear from your video production company (even if you should).

  1. Congratulations! What a great site. It is so refreshing to find a site not full of fluff and adds. You seem to have a true grasp of the marketing and video connection. I’ll be coming back often. Thank you and keep up the good work!

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  3. Jimm,

    I think that 2. “We do a bit of everything – websites, PR, SEO, graphic design, print, advertising… and video.” Is misleading. We would consider that people can both build excellent websites and do graphic design. They would go hand in hand. Same with graphic design with print and advertising. If your team is highly talented then people can have multiple skills and bring a lot of insight and experience into a project. . Since nearly all of these services are now closely related and all require synergy between them, if you’re looking for a turnkey solution, it’s a huge benefit to have them located under one roof.

    We might be a little partial to this methodology, however I think that companies in general who have synergy between their different marketing arms, have the most affective marketing strategies and thus results.

    • David, as I mentioned in the post, there will always be a market for generalists and specialists. Circumstances will dictate whether a specialist or general services company is best suited to the job.

  4. my favorite is we just do corporate videos to pay the bills. That’s pretty much what I hear from everyone in the businesses and most of them do nothing but corporate videos. I guess you gotta keep the dream of being a big time hollywood director alive.

    • I thoroughly enjoy the corporate work we do for our clients and we were a pioneer in Web video work but of course it’s true I still am interested in being a Hollywood director! The difference is I’ve done it once already and know I can handle it. Corporate work IS what pays the bills and buys that freedom to keep trying but it doesn’t mean I think less of what I do. Building my company is a truly enjoyable and challenging process by itself.

      • Jonathan, I’m sure your passion shows through in your work. My experience is that very few video production guys (most of the industry is made up of dudes…) I know would do corporate work if they could do entertainment instead. You’ll only ever do your best work with the stuff that you’re really passionate about.

  5. Nice work, Jim. I have always focused on a micro-nitch within the production industry, because of my deep experience as a retail-TV director and then very successful on-air talent. This article helped to re-affirm for me the value of what my company does and how we do it. We are the antithesis of all you’ve outlined. Thanks for solidifying my beliefs!
    -Cory

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