12 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Video Production Company in Washington DC

So you’re ready to make a video, and if you’re reading this, you’ve wisely decided to hire professional video production services. Choosing the right firm can be daunting if you’re doing it for the first time. So many companies are doing great work out there, but which one will help you craft your vision, work well with you, and deliver precisely what you’re looking for?

As you search, you will be hit with a lot of information and a lot of persuasive pitches. Under the sorcery of excellent salespeople, you might even be tempted or pressured to make a choice there and then. 

Not if you go in prepared.

In this blog post, we cover 12 questions you need to ask yourself and the video production company you’re interviewing to help you make your choice. 

Understanding Your Video Production Service Needs

Before you go to interview production companies, it’s paramount that you get clear on your own needs and vision for the project. This will ensure a productive discussion and make it easier for us to help you better. Get together with your stakeholders and answer these questions before you reach out:

1. “Who is my audience?”

Before diving into production, define your audience. Suppose you were a non-profit aiming to engage donors. Identify their demographics, interests, and preferences. This will allow us, as filmmakers, to make better technical and creative choices.

2. “What is my goal?”

What’s your primary objective? Is it to inform, persuade, entertain, or a combination of these? For instance, your goal as a non-profit might be to encourage more donors to donate again. We might suggest you employ an emotionally evocative script with donor interviews and uplifting background music.

3. “What are my key ideas and themes?”

List the major points or themes your video should convey. If you want to engage donors, you might want to highlight the ideas that your team works around the clock or the positive impact you’ve had on your beneficiaries’ lives. This step helps in developing a focused and coherent script and visual narrative.

4. “What is my approach?

Determine an approach that resonates with your target audience. Whether it’s storytelling, humor, emotional appeal, or educational content, the right approach is vital to engaging your viewers. If you’re unsure about this, let us help you.

5. “How long do I want my video to be?”

Decide on the length and structure of your video. Consider the platform (website, Youtube, Twitter, etc.), your audience’s attention span, and the complexity of your message when determining these aspects.

6. “What are my resources?”

Assess the resources you can allocate to this project. This includes budget, personnel, and time. Can you get real beneficiaries to speak in your nonprofit donor engagement video? Being clear about your resources helps set realistic expectations about how much the production will cost.

7. “Where will my video live?”

Plan for how and where your video will be distributed. Will it be on social media, your website, or displayed at conferences and events? Choose platforms that align with where your audience is most active. This will also affect the length, creative and tonal choices we make with your video.

Choosing the Right Video Production Company in DC

Once your expectations and needs are sorted out, it’s time to hunt around. As you screen production houses, ask them the following questions. We’ve found that we always get the best results from clients who’ve asked us these questions, as it helps to set expectations:

8. “What do you specialize in?”

Some production houses may say they “do everything,” but they almost always have one narrow area of expertise. Do they excel in ads and brand storytelling, or are they more adept at creating documentary-style content? Let their work speak. Ensure their strengths align with your project goals.

9. “What resources do you have?”

Do they have the necessary resources and technology to bring your vision to life? Do they have a studio? What about their equipment, software, and acting talent? Would you be expected to take on any part of the process, such as scripting and concept? For instance, here at Rock Creek Productions, we handle everything end to end: from pre-production to post-production. You won’t need to hire anyone else to handle steps like casting and script work.

10. “How much will my project cost?”

Discuss your budget expectations openly. How much will making a film that aligns with your vision cost? Can the company deliver quality within your budget? While making a budget consideration for yourself, bear in mind that good quality does not come cheap. Evaluate the potential ROI of your video, and consider this amount an investment.

11. “How extensively will I need to be involved?

Understand the level of involvement you’ll have in the creative process. Some companies may take complete control after receiving a brief, while others prefer collaborative participation throughout the process.

12. “Can you show me some similar work you’ve done?”

Review the company’s past work. How well do they do the kind of film you’re going for? Have they worked with clients like you? Don’t forget to ask for references. This will give you insight into their capability and set your expectations. (If you’re looking at hiring us, you can check out our work here!)

Ask us these questions!

We are the foremost name in video production in Washington DC, with years of experience in making videos for government agencies, non-profits, corporations, and higher educational institutions. We’ve worked with clients across the spectrum: from those who’ve come in knowing exactly what they are looking for to those who require guidance on clarifying their vision.

Whichever side you’re on, we recommend discussing the various considerations we’ve highlighted above BEFORE we begin working together. Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions. This is key to ensuring our collaboration is successful.Are you thinking about your next video project? Grab a FREE consultation with us today! (You can bring this list along!)

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