Experience – The creative aesthetic of their work will mostly drive your decision making process, but also be keenly aware of their experience producing for corporate brands. You’ll want to know that their crews are fully licensed, bonded and insured and that their entire team is run with the professionalism and precision needed to successfully navigate conservative corporate environments.
Case Studies – Make sure you familiarize yourself with not just the firm’s best-of-reel, but really look in depth at 5 to 10 pieces of their video work. Do you like their aesthetic? Do you think their work accurately portrays the brand messaging of their clients? Your collective team work and guidance of the corporate video production company will ensure that they stay on brand and on message. However, if you don’t like their creative product as it exists now for their other clients, there’s a good chance you won’t like what they create for you. That doesn’t mean you have to love every piece of work they’ve ever done. It means that you judge their work as a collective, and you get a sense of if they are truly the right fit for your corporation.
Strategic Partnerships – Every great corporate video production company needs a few key strategic alliances with subject matter experts outside of their area of expertise that they can access on a priority basis and leverage friendly rates and other considerations on behalf of their clients. A world class animation or graphics company. Preferred access to a dozen or so of the top casting agents. Great Editors. It takes a village of talent from research and pre-production through to editorial, graphics and music to get a great corporate video made. Most of the staff will be directly hired by the corporate video production company but a fair number of them will be outsourced, and they should be the best in class. Ask about their partnerships and make sure you align.
Scale – You’ll want to judge the corporate video production company, at least in part, on their ability and speed in scaling a production. You’ll need a tried and tested production team who can add and subtract shooting days and scenarios with aplomb. Sometimes you need to film in Cleveland on 7 hours notice. You need a team that can expand and contract as necessary.
Modular Story Telling – Pay attention to the length and versions of their video work samples. Do they have full length videos complimented by short edits for social media? Do they have an Instagram strategy? Almost every corporate video production team will need multiple edits of the content to fill various distribution channels. You’ll want to negotiate a flat rate up front so that cost overnuns don’t become an issue.
Editorial, Effects + Music – Don’t forget that pre-production planning and shooting aren’t the only critical elements of the corporate video production company you select. Editorial and sound design and music really affect the emotion and pacing of the storytelling. Make sure you know the strength of their post production team ahead of the time you shoot. Post production can be as challenging as production and the process is an iterative one.