Finding a Production Company
To choose a production company, evaluate the prices, but also check out the extras like the number of duplications, animations and graphics you are given. Look for a production company that has references, demo reels, or samples of their work.
For a simple video, the crew will include a producer/director, camera operator, and an audio person. For a more complex video, you may need a production assistant, make-up artists, grip, lighting directors, and others. The producer/director can be someone from your company if that person has the skills to direct. If not, you will have to rely on a production company. Good producers/directors know a lot about the subject matter and have strong creative vision. They are quick thinkers and understand the technical aspects of the production.
Try to choose a production company that can handle the entire production process: shooting, editing, and duplicating. It can be more expensive to hire a production company for production, an editing company for editing, and a duplication company for duplication.
Try to find a company that can add time codes to your tape. A time code is the time at which a clip starts and ends on tape. For example, 01:08:20, is 1 hour: 8 minutes: 20 seconds. Time codes are recorded in hours, minutes, seconds, and sometimes, frames. This allows you to edit or find a shot you are looking for without viewing the entire tape over and over again. Producers can go straight to the clip they need quickly.
Obtain several quotes. Most of the planning should be done before calling the production company because quotes depend on what you intend to do. Be prepared to ask the production company the following questions:
Questions you should ask
1) What kind of experience do you have? Ask for demo reels, pamphlets and brochures about the company, references, and Web site address.
2) What do they specialize in?
3) Are there any extra charges? Extra charges can include, taxes, tapes, mileage, and travel expenses. Note: If you make changes to the project that require additional work, expect extra charges to apply.
4) What will they need from you? They may need someone from your company to be answer questions, coordinate approvals, and schedule shoots.
The production company may ask you some of the following questions to determine the price:
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2) How long will the video be
3) Who will write the script
4) Do you need an on-camera talent or will you do voice-overs
5) Will you need extra graphics or animations
6) Who is the target audience
(It’s good to be prepared)
The production company can provide the talent, or your company can recruit one. The talent can be a weatherization technician, program manager, or anyone else who knows a lot about the subject. You will need to familiarize the talent with the script.