Video ProductionBy Tony Gnau

Reputation management is an important part of public relations.

We often think of it in terms of managing a crisis or responding to bad reviews.

But in today’s visual web, there’s another aspect to consider: Video production.

As a video producer, I talk about the ins and outs of video production with clients… a lot.

And every time you produce a video, it says something about your business.

Not in the literal sense, I’m talking about in the almost subconscious way we judge people and companies. When you see an awesome company video, it reflects well on that business.

At the very least it upholds the company’s reputation. In many cases it will even enhance it. On the other hand, when you see a video that… well… sucks?

It hurts the company’s image.

Avoiding that scenario is one good reason to hire a professional to produce your corporate videos.

DIY vs. Pro Video Production

I know, I know… when it comes to DIY vs. Pro video production, of course I’m going to advocate for hiring a pro.

After all, I’m a professional video producer.

But there are times when I’ll encourage businesses to produce DIY videos.

That said, if you own, work for, or represent a company or organization that’s well known, well-respected, and projects a good image, you need professional video help.

Clients often have tons of questions when it comes to going pro.

  • How much will it cost, and how much should I spend?
  • What do I get for that money?
  • What is the process?
  • Will a ‘big production’ eat into my already busy work days?

Let me answer those questions for you.

The Big Question: How Much Does it Cost?

The answer is $20,000… minimum.

Just kidding! Don’t panic. That’s just what everyone thinks video is going to cost.

Sure, there are times when video can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.

There are all sort of factors for how to figure out video production cost.

The main factors in costing out a video production are:

  • How much time will the video take to produce?
  • What equipment is needed?
  • How many personnel will be required?

Can you have something produced for $500? Yes… but manage your expectations.

Chances are you won’t find many production companies willing to take on that project, but you can probably find someone on Craigslist who will do it, or maybe a student at your local college or community college.

There’s talent out there, but you may need to invest additional time and effort into finding it.

And while there are companies willing to produce a video for $1,000 – $3,000, if you can manage a budget between $4,000 – $8,000 you’re going to be much better off.

That kind of budget means they’ll be able to create a video that lives up to both your standards and theirs.

And if you can afford a budget of more than $10,000, you’ll have companies jumping to take on your project!

What’s in it For You?

How about well-trained professionals and all the benefits that come with them?

That’s the short answer.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the finer points:

  • Professional Equipment: While you probably have a nice HD video camera in your pocket (have you seen the specs on the iPhone 6!?), a video professional is going to bring an assortment of toys you likely don’t have on hand. A better camera, tripods, lights, and pro audio gear.
  • Professional Ability: Again, you have an HD camera in your smartphone, but do you know how to use it? I don’t mean being able to focus and hit record. I’m talking about whether you know how to light someone properly, compose a shot, and think about shooting with editing in mind. A professional is going to be doing all of these things and more.
  • Seasoned Storyteller: Video is one of the best storytelling mediums out there, and in many ways it’s different from “writing” a story. There are similar components, but being able to marry message with images is unique. The best video pros will know what to shoot, how to shoot it, how to get the most out of the people on-camera, and how to translate it all into a finished video.
  • Video Editing: This can be the trickiest thing for DIY video producers. Shooting seems easy compared to knowing how to edit. It’s not only the technical ability to use the software, it’s having a feel for and experience with timing… knowing where and when to make an edit.
  • Manager: Doing all of these things takes coordination. A good video production company will guide you through their production process and make it effortless for you.

What Is The Process?

Well, the process is going to vary.

Some companies will expect you to handle all of the logistics of setting-up interviews or a shoot schedule. Others will be willing to assist.

Some will want you to create a shot list or provide interview questions. Others will want to work on those things with you in some sort of pre-production meeting.

Some will give you complete creative control and allow multiple rounds of changes. Others will rein in creative control a little, and some will give you no creative control at all – you get what they give you.

Going into the project, you should know where along the spectrum your prospective production company stands on each of these topics. Make sure to ask about them as you’re vetting video producers.

You might also look for additional tips on how to pick a video company.

Bottom Line

Having said all of that, here’s what I hope your professional will give you: Time.

If you hire a good production company, they’re going to take over the project, which allows you to work on other things.

Having talked with our customers, I know one of the parts they loved most about our production process was that we pretty much take care of everything.

We ask our clients to help us coordinate shoot dates and to approve scripts and videos, but besides that they don’t have to do much. This leaves them free to be productive doing whatever it is they do best.

Not to mention, at the end of the process, they have a video that looks and sounds better than anything they could have done on their own.

And in many cases, it tells a more compelling story.

Is hiring a video production company “worth it?” I think you’ll find from both a quality and productivity stand-point it is.

Good luck!

Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions, a video production company specializing in PR and marketing videos.

View all posts by Tony Gnau