When Should I Contact You?
When To Connect With A Company
Clients reach out to us during various stages of their project, but the one common factor is they reach out when they feel prepared to do so. While that threshold of preparation varies from project to project and client to client, from a production standpoint, there are many benefits to connecting with a company sooner rather than later.
Let’s explore some of the stages of production, and the benefits of working with a production company at each.
Your stage: I know I need a video.
You might not know what that video will be, or how you’ll use it. Maybe your marketing team is pushing for video, or you just keep seeing everyone else’s videos and know you’re falling behind.
This can be a great time to get ideas. Reaching out to various production companies now will provide you not only with a range of budgets for a project, but you’ll also get to tap into their creative side. You’ll learn a lot about what each company can offer you in terms of support, flexibility and creativity. Waiting too long might limit your options in the future, if the company you want to work with is booked for several months out and you need it done sooner.
Without a clear vision of your budget or plans for your video, you may be in for sticker shock. At a stage where “anything’s possible” you might find that “anything” is expensive. The plus side is that you can weed out low-ball offers that signal inexperience and often, unpreparedness for a large scale project.
Your Stage: I Know What I want, And I have A Budget
For us, this would generally be the ideal stage to work with with a new client. Clients that have seriously thought through what they want and need, know their message, their audience, their budget and their timeline–but are still looking for the creative concept and are open to new ideas.
You’ll easily be able to narrow in on what companies will be suit your needs and fit your budget, and you will have professional insights and experience at your disposal the entire step of the way. A creative company can generate ideas that you might not have considered, and share the responsibility for a great end product.
Your Stage: Pre-Production Is Done, I’m Ready To Shoot!
Maybe you have your own in-house creative team that you’ve tapped into, or maybe just somebody who discovered how much fun video can be and gave it a go.
Taking care of your own pre-production: concept, script, storyboards, and planning can often save time and money if you’re tight on either.
So many possible oversights: unoriginal ideas, campy dialogue, poor planning.
Not every video needs to be video-reinvented, but that doesn’t mean you should sell such a big marketing tool short. Collaborating early could open a lot of possibilities.
Script writing isn’t easy, it’s hard even for professionals to get right sometimes, and it can be very tough for somebody with no video experience to tackle. Not every video will be scripted, but every concept should be run by somebody with experience to know how it will convey on video.
Scheduling an hour for a couple lines of dialogue might seem sufficient unless you know how long that scene will take to set up, light, block and shoot. Mismanaging a schedule can have a devastating domino effect. If you’re impatient to shoot, you might be tempted to book the first company with short notice availability, but perhaps there is a reason they aren’t booked.
Are You Prepared?
It’s okay to meet with some companies to see what they can offer, and then step back while you decide how to proceed. At least you will be equipped to make the best next decision, you’ll have a better idea of the company you want to work with and what their process and schedule is like.