Featured, Hiring A Video Production Company

Top 5 Things To Consider When Selecting A San Francisco Bay Area Video Production Company

Five items to consider when selecting a San Francisco Bay Area Video Production Company.

1) Examples of work – Production quality is paramount. If there is something that is exactly what you are looking for on the Bay Area video production company’s reel, then that’s great. However, it’s unlikely that portfolio examples are going to be exactly what you’re looking for, so ask for examples that are in the same general area and try to see how the company executed those productions. Look for characteristics that could match the type of production you have in mind. 

2) Stability – How long has the video production company been in business? Do you get the impression that they are going to be around for years to come? It is a bummer if you need to revise your production or call to request new file exports and nobody answers the phone, or they don’t have a copy of your project anymore. Working with an established company also means that your media assets are going to be accessible down the road. Inquire about what sort of archive processes are in place. Companies that put media on hard drives and then place those hard drives on shelves could find themselves in hot water if those drives don’t spin up. There are a wide variety of archive platforms, so it’s a good idea to learn which archive system the company is employing and for how long they will keep your assets archived.  

3) Equipment + Facility – Does the company own their own camera or lighting equipment? Do they own their edit hardware and software or are they going out of house? Do they have a shooting space? Do they have edit suites that can accommodate clients? Video production companies that need to rent camera and lighting gear or take projects to post-production houses will generally be forced to charge more than those who can keep elements of production in-house. An in-facility shooting space can also keep costs down as the company doesn’t need to rent off-site studio space. Studio rentals start at a half day (4-5 hour) rate and some will only do a full day rate. So working with a company with a studio means that they can perform quick shoots that only take an hour or two and not have to pay the minimum rental. Edit suites that can accommodate clients can also speed up the edit process. Generally, a post house can communicate with the client by sending out proofs for review and then work out edits via email or phone calls. But there is no replacement for sitting with the editor in the suite and hashing out changes in person. It’s vastly more efficient in the long run and can help keep edit costs down.      

 4) Capabilities (multiple edit suites, staff editors, producers and motion graphic artists, editing, 2D & 3D animation) – Does the production company have to go out of house to create motion or 3D graphics or color correction? Hiring outside companies boosts up costs. A production company that has the capability of having multiple people work on the same production at the same time will help keep projects on track and completed in a timely manner.

5) Collaboration - Ideally, you want to have a production house that will work with you to convey the right message for your product. This includes help with the creative, budget and production timeline. A good production house will be able to adjust a project’s creative concept to fit your budget without compromising quality. If a budget seems too low or too high, be sure to question what you are getting for your money. Is this price all inclusive? What if I have changes, does this budget allow for changes? Lastly, if you have a budget in mind, share this with the production company. This will help both you and the production house to put together a creative package that fits into your budget.