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How to pick the right production company

Hiring the right production company can be a crucial decision; it all depends of the type of film or video that you need producing.

For example, you could be looking to hire someone to capture your wedding day. On top of the hundred other things you need to arrange, making sure you pick a company that can capture your moment perfectly and within your budget can start to feel like a monumental task. Alternatively, you could be looking to hire a company to promote your business or real estate property.

As you can see there are a number of different products that you could need a production company for. To help you narrow down your search, I’ve compiled a list of different things you’ll need to consider.

Portfolio

A portfolio is a company’s body of work; they may showcase their work in individual pieces or through a 2-3 minute show-reel. Although many companies can produce a variety of work most specialize in a specific craft. If you’re looking for product videography then hiring a company that showcases a large variety of product photography would be a step in the right direction. Furthermore, if you’re looking to create a timelapse video then searching for a company with an impressive timelapse video show-reel is a good start. You can also learn more about a company through client testimonial videos, here is an example of a testimonial video put together by a local company:

Location

Hiring a company that is close to where you want your shoot is the most cost effective way to hire a company. If you hire a company from outside of your city or state, you’ll run into a number of extra travel expenses in your quote. Not only does the company have to pay for personnel to travel but they’ll also have to hire gear when they arrive. If you can’t find a video production business in city then start by looking at the next closest city and work outwards. For example, a simple search for video production San francisco will show many different companies located around the San Francisco Bay. Searches for video production LA or San Diego will also provided location relevant companies.

Where to find production companies

Everyone and their neighbor seems to know someone who can film your wedding or make your a promo video for you business, but the chances that this is some kid with an iPhone are pretty high. Finding a good production company in San Francisco, LA and New York is the same as finding one in Australia and South Africa; it all takes a bit of patience. Here are a few places you can look to find a production company:

  • Google/Google Maps
  • Yelp
  • Vimeo
  • Youtube
  • ProductionHub
  • Backstage.Com

How To Save Money?

Like I mentioned above, hiring a local company will save you a lot of money. You can also save money by knowing exactly where your film or video is going to be showcased. If you’re planning to make a feature film that will be showcased in theaters across America, then you can expect high costs because that quality will need to be of the highest standards. However, if your video is going to be shown on youtube and to mobile devices, you may not necessarily need the latest and greatest technology to produce your film. You may be able to opt-out of filming in 4K and settle for HD. Saving money on camera hire costs and even the cost of extra crew to operate the camera. This saved money may let you put more money into hiring actors or even a more experienced production company.

The 5 best cameras for your video productions

Understanding which camera is the right one for the job can be a tricky process. Because I’m currently in the process of shooting some drone stock footage of my home town for MarketME video Production San Francisco (See their previous films below), I thought I’d talk about the different cameras on the market and what function they serve best.

I wish I could say that I own each camera but many times I need to rent a piece of equipment to accomplish a certain style or type of footage.

GoPro Hero 4: I do own this sturdy beast; it’s cheap, small and water proof. I’ve started to see lot’s of stock footage being shot with these things. The quality is fantastic, but what’s great is that you can basically stick it anywhere. This is the camera that I’ll be using for my drone footage for MarketME.

Canon Cinema EOS C500: I think we may have passed the phase of Digital SLR cameras shooting video. This was a great way for companies like Nikon and Canon to test the video and film waters. We’re now seeing video cameras with full features and the ability to produce impressive professional quality video.

Red One: This camera is by far the best when it comes to producing stunning 4K imagery. Of course this will be the go-to camera for almost any production. The only downside is the price-tag of $30,000. Renting these things don’t come easy either. This is definitely a production camera and not one that will help you with your indie-gorilla style shooting.

Blackmagic Production Camera: This is a great choice in camera for anyone looking for a photography/video hybrid model. Again, shoots fantastic 4k footage with a Super 35 sensor.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4: As far as entry level cameras go, this one is pretty damn impressive. I understand that shelling out 10k-30k on a camera may be unreasonable for any one starting out. So I’ve added this to the list because I believe that this little DSLR will seriously impress some people. This is a great camera if you want to hit the road, travel light and still capture good footage.

Hopefully this list helps narrow down some of the fantastic options we have available on the market today.

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