Once upon a time in the business world, producing high-quality videos in order to promote what it is you do was reserved for only the biggest companies. Every video production company commanded large fees in order to account for their experience, as well as for the equipment they needed, which was in itself expensive. While this was great for an organisation who wanted to stand out — and had the funds on hand to make it happen — it left smaller businesses a little stranded, and without a viable method of creating their own promotional video.
Recently, however, things have changed. With the global digital explosion we’ve been witnessing over the last decade or so, advanced technology has become both more widespread and more commercially viable. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible to specify exactly which areas have progressed the most, with advancements coming thick and fast from just about every direction you could possibly imagine.
Why Less Isn’t Always More
Video production has been right up there with the fastest-growing high-tech services on offer, but the universal accessibility has actually had a sort of reverse effect on the amount of money people are spending. On the whole, things have gotten cheaper. These days, there are services out there which will seem unimaginably cheap to somebody who had to pay top dollar to a video production company for a video back in the 90s.
However, even though the range of options has increased with regards to the spectrum of budgets that are accounted for, the requirements that need to be followed for high-quality video to be produced haven’t really changed. It’s an expensive business — and even though every video production company will ultimately produce the same rough output (i.e., a video) there are definitely differences that can be noticed between the finished products.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing why exactly you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to working with a video production company and why we prefer to take a one-size-never-fits-all approach to video production. It might seem a little counterintuitive at first glance, but we’re confident that by the time you reach the end of the piece, you’ll understand where we’re coming from.
Reason One: Bad-Quality Video Is Really, Really Bad
Without fail, the best way to prepare yourself for working with a video production company is to become familiar with how exactly videos are produced. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but even just having a rough idea of what sort of equipment is involved and how the shooting schedules typically proceed can be enough to help you make the most of the experience for your business.
Now, we’re not saying that you need to be Martin Scorcese in order to employ a video production company for your own business. To tell the truth, you don’t even really need to know which end of a camera does the picture-taking. Your job will be to pick an agency and tell them what you want shot, and roughly what sort of message your brand carries. For many people, that’s where the responsibility starts and ends, with the quality of the final product not really falling under their remit.
There’s one thing you need to really understand, though. Videos that have been shot with subpar production methods are immediately recognisable for what they are (i.e., low-quality pieces of work) by just about everybody.
That’s right. It won’t just be a graduate student in Film Studies who can tell that your promotional short film is horrendously lacking — it’ll also be any regular working person who sees it on TV or the Internet. The reason for this is simple. With the rise of Netflix and similar services, we’ve all become accustomed to top-quality production values. This has had a serious effect on how we react to video as a population: we’re more discerning than ever, and we’re also more critical.
One way you can see this effect in action is how quickly audiences can tell between a well-produced piece of video and one which isn’t up to the same standard (think sound quality, image quality, lighting, exposure, colour, graphics, etc) - they realize practically right away.
Making sufficiently good videos requires expensive equipment, and lesser-grade pieces of kit won’t make the cut. After all, not all cameras were created equal. For example, at the low end you’ve got your prosumer grade DSLR video, and then you’ve got high-end digital cinemas. As a side bar, at Global Pictures, we’re proud to say we’ve invested in the latter (think of the cameras used to shoot your favourite Netflix TV show) and one way we provide a benefit to our clients is by providing this high-end gear on our clients projects at no extra cost.
Every production is unique, and every single client has their own individual requirements (these are the two tenets of video production that we base our services around). Rather than offer cookie-cutter videos to each and every person who knocks on the door, a good producer will put a lot of effort into working with the client to figure out exactly what they’re looking for.
Reason Two: Experience (Always) Comes At A Price
Being able to evaluate the relative merits of one decision and weigh those against another is an important attribute to possess in any area of business. That kind of calculated thinking is exactly what created some of the companies which have become big enough to be household names. They did it one way or they did it another, but one thing was always consistent — they were logical, and they thought through every decision thoroughly.
When it comes to comparing potential creative outlets for your brand, though, the importance of this kind of reasoning gets even clearer. After all, there are endless possibilities for how any given creative piece of work could pan out. It’s part of what makes media like books, music, and video so reliably compelling; the only real limit is your imagination. But how are you supposed to decide between the different choices you’ll be faced with as you go about trying to commission a video for your company?
The answer to that question will vary, but one thing won’t — and that’s the fact that experience has proven time and time again to be the single best way to judge what kind of creative output you might expect from whichever video production company you hire. A proven portfolio of successful campaigns for past clients is as close as you’re going to get to a guarantee in this business, and it’s almost always a good idea to take it.
Experience is like gold dust in any creative profession — and just like gold dust, it doesn’t come cheap. By being willing to pay a little extra for a proven portfolio, you’re saving your own business from taking on any risk it doesn’t absolutely have to. If you’re interested in the work we’ve done in the past, you can check it out here. We’d also be happy to tell you about what exactly went in to any specific production; this can often be the best way of helping a client to figure out more precisely what they want for their own business.
Reason Three: Budgets Exist For A Reason
Everybody knows and understands how important budgets are to any business undertaking. But more often than not, mid-level management will do its level best to come in under budget for a particular project.
They have the best of reasons for doing so, of course — they want to save their company money, and they want to be known as somebody who’s always willing to go the extra mile. However, by deliberately trying to come in under budget for video production, you’ll be harming the quality of the work that’s delivered, which will eventually come back to bite you as you have to present the result to the relevant people.
Don’t be afraid to use the entire budget, especially when it’s on a piece of creative work, such as a promotional video undoubtedly is. What a lot of people don’t instinctively get about a budget is that it has already been accounted for in the overall financial plan.
The best way you can help your company is by getting the best possible service for the budget you’ve been given to work with. At the end of the day, seriously high-end creative work will help your company’s revenue significantly more than whatever you’d be able to save by coming in under budget. If possible, it’s often a good idea to even ask if the budget can be stretched, particularly if you’ve come across a really promising video production company that answers all of your needs, but is slightly too expensive for what you’ve allocated.
As with any business decision, in the end it’s going to come down to your judgement. These decisions are difficult to make at the best of times, and invariably involve a lot of thought, energy, and attention. By keeping the three points above in mind, however, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of steering towards the video production company that best suits your needs.
If you’re interested in not paying extra for the best equipment — or if you want to see a professional portfolio with tried-and-tested results — we just might be able to help you out. Here at Global Pictures, we’ve been producing award-winning content since way back in 2007. With more than a decade of experience we’ve come to understand what works and what doesn’t, and we’ve designed our services accordingly.
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not you’d like a video produced for your business or company, why not get in touch with our experienced team? We’d love to talk through your options with you and figure out a way we could make something exciting happen together — and we always pick up the phone.