Hiring a video production team can feel a lot like taking your first step into something new and a little terrifying, but crazy cool. Kind of like the Grand Canyon Skywalk. You might be a risk taker who strides out fearlessly to take a selfie without a smidgen of hesitation. Or you might be the one who hangs back, verifies that steps you are about to take are properly supported, by one million pounds of steel and 83,000 pounds of four-inch thick glass, before you take your first step. You might even be the one who balks at the ticket price and decides to take the easier route to the South Rim observation deck, where the view is grand but not nearly as mind-blowing.
No matter how risk-averse you are, making videos for marketing can be an exciting journey. Your production team should handle your story like it’s the most important story to be told. Because it is. It’s yours. Video is in the moment, in the spotlight, and one of the fastest growing methods of advertising and communication with audiences. Use these guidelines when interacting with your production team, and we promise you are going to love the astonishing results that your commitment makes possible.
Here are four things we do at Manley Films & Media for every client, to ensure a smooth walk into new marketing territory (with no death defying leaps, slips or falls).
Research and Plan
As the architect of a structure that supports an entire business, you take great care in building a reliable, solid path forward. Like the skywalk example, you wouldn’t just nail a steel frame to a cliffside of limestone and invite everyone to take a walk without first creating a solid plan. From your first pre-production meeting to the final review of your video project, your film production crew should make sure to understand your business – who you are, what is important to you, your goals, and who your audience is. The pre-production process should include studying your market, vetting ideas, scouting, writing, and asking questions right up to shoot day.
Pick the Right People
When you’re building a structure that needs to support the weight of 800 humans over a 4,000 foot drop, you want to know who you are working with. We only work with companies who share our values. That means appreciating high quality work and attention to detail. Honoring deadlines and commitments. Respecting opinions and input and valuing the experience of learning from the client. The right production team will exceed your expectations and make every effort to to guide you through the process.
Talk it Out
Call us old-fashioned, but we believe in actual conversation. It is still the fastest, best way to ensure understanding (we often will call a client and follow up with an email summary of our conversation, to keep everyone in the loop and accountable). Especially when a project is underway, things move quickly and sometimes waiting on an email response jams up the works. Expect actually to be talking with your video production team frequently. Voice questions before shoot day arrives, while it’s easier to move things around. With so many companies taking their first real foray into video, you must bring out the most compelling story that can be told to get your video noticed. Don’t hold back ideas, thoughts or gut-checks; be open with your crew and expect them to listen.
Aim for Perfection
While you may not be building a skywalk that needs to hold the equivalent of 71 fully loaded 747s, you want your project treated like you are. You don’t hire professionals because you want mediocre, sloppy, or faulty workmanship. You hire pros because you want the assurance that perfection is in the scope, and everyone will be working to achieve it, even in the face of obstacles like budget, time and resources. With inexperienced production teams, you’ll spend a lot of time explaining what “perfect” means to you, instead of enjoying the experience of working with a team who have their own high standards nurtured through years of practice.