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What to Look for in a Video Production Company in St. Louis

8 Qualities To Look For in a Video Production Company

Eighty – one percent of businesses are utilizing video as a marketing tool. Online users view more than 1 billion hours of video each day just on YouTube alone! Even better, viewers retain 95% of your messaging when they watch a video, compared to text.  We’re sure you agree video is the MOST important marketing tool to share your story and communicate your WHY. 

Below, our marketing team has highlighted some key elements and questions to consider prior to signing a contract with a cinematography/video production company. Carefully evaluate the following eight paragraphs before choosing a video production company:

 

  1. Differentiate Through High-Quality Video Production

When researching video production companies, ask what type of equipment they’ll be filming with. When your equipment list includes cameras such as RED or ARRI,  Aputure lighting, and top of the line Sennheiser lavalier microphones, you are willing to shout from the rooftops to let the community know you have Hollywood set cinema equipment. If you have a video production company unwilling to share their equipment list, look elsewhere. Quality is King. A professional camera is just not enough anymore. Lighting the set appropriately is equally as important. Crappy audio quality means disinterested viewers. You have one opportunity to engage and capture a viewer. Don’t skimp on the quality of your video. Video is a waste of money if no one sees it. Every box must be ticked! 

When it comes to the filming itself the proper use of movement,  angles, shadows, and natural lighting are critical. A video without B – roll is elementary, especially with an interview-style video. Take a look at the two clips below; one with and one without B-roll. Notice how much more appealing the video is when b-roll is added.

 

  1. A Professional Portfolio

Before signing a contract, ask for a portfolio. A professional company will provide one. A fly-by the seat of your pants video company will not. Search for a company that builds long-term partnerships with its clients. The cheapest option is rarely the best option when purchasing anything. The same is true for video production. 

 

  1. Clear Expectations

Before getting started on filming your video, schedule a planning/debriefing session on the expectations and goals you are looking to accomplish. Your video company should schedule this meeting. Remember, pre-production is just as important as production. When working with a professional video company there are quite a few things to think about before you sign a contract. Having all these questions answered prior to beginning will ensure your expectations are met. What’s the projected timeline? How many editing revisions do we get? Is travel included? What is the intended filming time? What is the intended editing time? How many cinematographers will be on set? How many different locations? Is audio being recorded on set, or will we be doing that separately? Is there an additional charge for audio? Am I being charged by location? If we’re filming for multiple days, am I responsible for covering overtime and/or food? Can we have strategy sessions to go over goals? These are all great questions to ask your video team prior to signing an agreement. After the storyboard, your video company should be capable of handling all of the details without your involvement. Many times, excited clients want to play an active role in helping the story come to life. You should be able to do that if you’d like! That’s part of the fun! Some video companies will charge extra as more people on set = more opinions, which could increase the filming time. 

  1. Imagination and Creativity

Imagine your perfect video. What is the overall message you are trying to convey? Who are your main characters? How are you going to effectively communicate that message to your viewers?  The above questions are very important to answer, but there’s one question we haven’t asked you yet and it’s the absolute most critical question when trying to effectively communicate your brand, mission and purpose, which doesn’t just apply to video. It is marketing 101.

Why would anyone want to do business with us? Why do we exist?  And why is supporting our business so important in changing the world and making the planet a better place? 

Like Simon Sinek’s book, you must “Start with Why.”

A compelling story is what separates the good from the mediocre. And adding emotion is what separates the exceptional from the good.  Find a team of creatives that encourage you to think bigger about your WHY. Storyboarding is EVERYTHING. Every audience should be able to relate in some capacity and with proper character development, they will.  The entire team (including the director, cinematographer, editors, voiceovers and every member of the production team) should work collectively and provide a unique perspective on how to tell your story with meaning. 

 

6. Social Media Knowledge

Video is currently the fastest-growing advertising medium. Social media is constantly evolving. Below, we’ve inserted an infographic with some of the most mind-blowing video social stats. These are all things to keep in mind when determining the best way to share your content with the world.  Hire a video production company that understands marketing. Your video team should be asking where you see your video being distributed. Your audience and distribution methods influence so many factors on how the video is filmed and produced. As an example, if you’re distributing via Facebook or Instagram, you have seven seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. Those numbers are strikingly different for LinkedIn, TV and YouTube. [Infographic Below]

When your video is ready to go, it’s time for your in-house marketing team to push out the content. If you do not have an in-house marketing team, we recommend hiring a marketing agency. Sharing your new content is not as easy as posting on Facebook. You should create campaigns to target your audience. Feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to help guide through this conversation.

 

  1. Commitment to Customer Experience

Find a team of creatives driven to help share your story with the world. From the first draft of the storyboard to the final edits, the right company will be there to bring your vision to life. If skyping at 10:00 PM is what fits your schedule — our team will be on that call. Exceeding expectations is what we strive for and our team bends over backward to serve our clients. We listen to feedback, operate with humility, and work as a team with you. If you aren’t working with us, find a cinematography company that embodies our values and customer experience. It’s worth paying a bit more for.

 

  1. Strong Editing

This starts with a strong storyboard and a creative team. Now that we have all the puzzle pieces, it’s time to put everything together. We have our storyboard. We’ve captured the audio. We have all the shots. This is where the magic happens. Just a quick note here.  If you have archived (older) footage that you’d like to use, be sure to bring it to your video team’s attention before storyboarding. 

When working with a strong team, multiple revisions shouldn’t be necessary, but you’ll want to make sure you’re allowed one full re-edit. 

Just so you’re speaking the lingo, some popular editing programs include:

  • Sony Vegas
  • Davinci Resolve
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Adobe Premiere

Another great program is After Effects, which is a leading animation software. After Effects will ensure your video feels modern and harnesses the power of technology with animated text, logos and fades. 

Depending on the size of the project and the number of videos you plan to film, expect turn around time from storyboard to delivery to be within a window of 10-60 days. Most of our projects are two-week turnaround. Time is of the essence. Working with a team of professionals will cut down on delivery time. 

OK …. Happy filming! Have questions? Need inspiration? Ready to storyboard? We’re here to help! CLICK HERE for more information and a free consultation meeting with our team.

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