If you’re like every successful company in the 21st century, you’ve realized that video needs to be a part of your marketing strategy. Forbes Magazine agrees with this approach and explains why in this article. But, whether you’re producing content for national TV ads, internal communications, social media, or web pages, you’re going to need someone to take your idea from a concept to applause. This is a good time to bring in a producer and a video production company.
What Does A Producer Do?
The question I have been asked so many times in my career is “What does a producer do?” Many people think of the film industry and envision a producer as someone who chases money to fund a project. Although there are those who do that, never has raising funding for a project been my responsibility in all of my years in the industry. In my role, a producer is what you would imagine a film director does, combined with being a writer, and possibly even your editor and cameraman, too, depending on your budget. Overall, I see myself as your guide through your production, and my responsibility is to let you know what can and cannot be done within your budget, and give my creative opinion on the most effective way to convey your message.
Finding A Video Production Company
So, how do you find the right production company? Like everything else, word of mouth is always a good option. If you know a friend who has worked on the type of video you are considering, ask that person who produced it. Find out if the process was enjoyable, and make sure you were working with similar budgets.
Obviously, a web search will turn up a wide array of people who will be happy to take on your project, and a few phone calls may be the start of a career-long collaboration. I recommend finding someone who has a diverse career and can draw creativity from varying types of experience. I know that I learned a lot about television production after I left national network TV. The more varied the producer’s experience, the more avenues she or he can walk you down to determine the best path for your final product. Don’t forget, you can always find my video production company at www.KahwatyMedia.com.
When to Hire Your Producer
So when do you hire someone? I suggest doing so as early in the process as possible, once you know what your message or goal is. This is a good idea for several reasons. First, it allows you to gauge your compatibility with your collaborator. Compatibility is important! Chances are you will be working a lot with this person, and you should look forward to reaching out to him or her and collaborating, our best work will be done when there is a sense of trust and mutual respect and it is good to know early on if that will be the case. In a perfect world, the interaction will be more than just pleasant, it can be fun, too.
The second reason you should choose your production company early in the process is that in the best cases, a producer is on board at a point whern there are as few constraints on direction and creativity as possible. You may have a general idea about how you want your video to look and how your script should read, but an experienced producer should be able to build on your ideas and stay within your budget. If you personally are not a seasoned video professional, the weight of this task should not fall solely on you. And that input should come before you have a vetted script and a location booked. The more that is undecided when you bring in your producer, the more you will benefit from his or her input.
The last reason why it makes sense to hire a video production company, and thereby your producer, early in the process is that sometimes the process takes longer than you may realize. Locations need to be secured, even if they are at your place of business, scripts need to be looked at by managers, executives, and sometimes even lawyers; technical personnel need to be hired; and everyone’s availability needs to be considered. This can take time, and the more time you have, the better your final product will be.
So, whether you are with a large corporation that doesn’t have an agency handling all of this for you, a small division of a large company who needs an internal or social media video, a medium sized company looking for a video strategy, a non-profit with a message to deliver, or a small business who is ready to go to the next level in terms of marketing, then now is time for you to bring in some production help.
Can I Afford To Hire A Video Production Company?
The real question is, can you afford not to hire a production company? While it’s obvious that everyone has the ability to create a video with the phone in their pocket, a professional will bring not only technical, but editorial expertise that will raise the impact of your message. Yes, everyone has the equipment to produce some sort of video, but not everyone has the skills to do it well.
Once you find someone you like, be open about your budget. So many people call me and ask how much it costs to produce a video, and my answer is often something like, “Videos are like weddings, you can pay to fly 200 people to Bali or you can invite a few loved ones to join you in the park and have a pizza, at the end of it all, you still got married.” My point is this, the level of production will depend on what your budget can accommodate. Equipment, locations, graphics, personnel – all of it depends on what you can afford. So be honest about how much you are willing to commit to your video, and a good producer will do the most with what you have. And let’s face it, that’s really what you’re paying for!
So, when you’re ready to get the ball rolling, give Kahwaty Media a call, or send us a note here. I am happy to discuss your ideas with you free of charge, and I’ll put together a plan for delivering your message effectively. I look forward to hearing from you!
Al Kahwaty spent the early years of his career at CBS News’ 60 Minutes, HBO Sports, and BMW. He started Kahwaty Media eight years ago and produces video for national television as well as large and small businesses.