How to Choose a Production Company for your Project
This article will cover some important things to keep in mind while selecting a TV commercial production company. A lot of companies think that all video production is made equal, and this article should help to dispel that myth. Veterans in television production might already know some of these things, but even if you have hired a company to create a commercial for you in the past, you might learn a thing or two. Thanks for reading!
1. Asking for your television commercial to be "HD" isn't enough.
(or: not all TV commercial production companies are created equal)
One of the elements that seems to baffle people who are searching for a company to create their ad is that they assume, at least to a degree, that "HD" is a ubiquitous term. "How much for an HD video?" they might ask when they call up the production company. After all, it must be simple; their uncle got an ad for his doctor's office, and they filmed it on an iPhone. Therein lies the rub. Your smartphone is HD. A 7D is HD. A Red Dragon or an Arri Alexa is HD (or in some cases "ULTRA HD"--you can almost imagine a booming voice echo the phrase into the nether). So what is the difference, both in the gear and in the people manning it? Does it matter if production company A. is twice the price of production company B. if the TV commercial they are providing is shot on vastly different gear by people vastly different in their skill and experience level? The bottom line is, when perusing TV commercial production companies and speaking with their sales people, make sure you are on the same page when comparing services and cost. Which brings me to the second point.
2. Your Next TV commercial Could Be Filmed with This
(or an iPhone. It depends on what you're looking for.)
So what is the benefit of using higher-end gear? Is it right for your project? Well the answer to that lies within this next point:
3. TV commercial production should be an investment
(or: It's not a "cost" in the sense that you are "buying" something.)
There is a sweet spot when investing in a TV commercial production company. The key word there is "invest", because you are not buying a car or a house or a new shiny watch. You are investing in an asset akin to stocks, but more controllable. An investment should provide a return, and the expected return will, to a degree, dictate how much to invest. What are your competitors doing? Are they shooting their television commercials on iPhones? How much are you investing in placement of your ad? Did you know that by cutting costs with production, you could be hurting your investment and actually wasting more money than if you had invested in a higher quality TV commercial production company? So here are some questions you want to ask your TV commercial production company: what is the right sort of equipment package to help separate me from my competitors. A viewer will know in a fraction of a second if your ad is standing out to them enough to not fast forward or click the "skip" button, and part of that is based on your message coupled with the appearance of the message itself. Which brings me to my next point:
4. The FORM of your TV Commercial is Branding
(or: skimping on the production may negatively impact your brand)
Remember, the form of your television commercial itself is branding. In other words, the quality of the production will be associated with the quality and success level of your company, whether consciously or unconsciously. Make sure you are sending the right message relative to your competitors. Even in commercials where the production is purposefully skewed to appear "amateur", there is a clear difference between a TV commercial actually shot for little to no money by amateurs and one that is expertly crafted to appear that way. In fact, many times these higher budget ads are still crafted using the latest and greatest production equipment, and then a top notch colorist and editor come in and massage the commercial into it's final, roughed up form.
5. More on Selecting a TV Commercial Production Company
(or: the truth is out there when it comes to video production solutions)
We will be covering more topics in future articles on these and other video production subjects. There is a wide gamut of variables any company or client should be taking into consideration when putting together a TV commercial, whether it's their first time or their hundredth. For now, if you would like to explore further reading on this subject, check out the blog on these TV commercial production company website for a series of helpful articles on this and other subjects.