9 Best Practices for Finding the Right Video Crew
Anyone can point a camera (or a phone nowadays) at something and make a video. But it takes a special group of people to produce a video that reflects your brand properly.
In other words, companies should take the time to find a professional video crew that is perfectly suited to their needs before proceeding with their video project. Here are ten best practices for accomplishing that goal:
- 1. Determine what you want or need. Before you begin searching for crews, you must plan out your project as possible. What type of video do you want? Do you already have an idea in mind? What’s your budget? Will you need help with scripting, location scouting and other creative processes? Where will it live after it is completed? Communication with your team to flesh out the details is crucial.
- 2. See who’s done what you’re looking for. Most video companies will have a portfolio of their work on their website. While viewing their past projects, look for ones that have the same purpose as yours—as well as those promoting similar companies. You will also want to check out their style and overall feel to see if they can accomplish the type of video you need.
- 3. Get out your calendar. Establish a deadline and/or timeframe for your video and see if any production crew is available. Depending on the scope of the project, a crew could be ready to shoot in a few days, while others may need longer to line up more crew and equipment. Also, ask potential crews about how long each step of the production process will take.
- 4. Talk dollars and cents. Production crews should give you a free estimate for the costs of your video. After determining whether the project can be done within your allotted budget, inquire about payment details like deposits, overtime, and possible additional expenses. If you need to add any additional crew or gear after your initial estimate, confirm the additional costs with the crew before the shoot so there are no surprises on the final invoice.
- 5. Ask about other personnel. Though it depends on your video, you’ll want to know what a crew’s policy is about utilizing outside talent for the video. Will they want to book the actors, narrators, and interviewers? Or can those roles be fulfilled by your employees or other stakeholders? Ultimately the casting should be approved by you with a good crew giving you guidance and accommodating your internal politics.
- 6. Weigh studio shoots vs. location shoots. Find out if a crew has access to its own production studio or whether you’ll need to find specific locations in, around, and/or outside your company offices or facilities. For a studio shoot, you’ll have more control over the environment, but there will be an additional cost and it needs to be booked in advance. For a location shoot, you may not need to book the location per se, but permissions or individual releases may be needed.
- 7. Try to plan for everything. Make sure to ask the crew what unplanned exigencies or unexpected problems are commonly encountered during video production. If possible, develop contingency plans to address these issues. A professional crew will also help manage expectations if issues do arise and will craft solutions to make sure you are satisfied with the end result.
- 8. Have their communication system explained to you. What’s the general process of communicating about the video during the project? Make sure your team and the crew know who is in the communications chain and who has the authority for final sign off on any key steps. This will cut down on any confusion or miscommunication later.
- 9. Envision how it will be working with them. Since you’ll be partnering with this crew on the video, do you feel they are on the same wavelength as you? Are they easy and pleasant to work with? Do they prioritize good working relationships with their clients? Are they committed to capturing your vision while staying on budget?
Enlisting the perfect production crew is one of the most important decisions you will make for your video. So, take the time to seek out a partner who shares your vision and can provide precisely what you are looking for.
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