simon piece to camera

The NHS trusted Mandrill with a fast turnaround, high profile video filmed with chief executive Simon Stevens

Once you’ve written and agreed your video brief, the next challenge is how to choose a video production company. Who can you trust? Who’s the best fit for your project?

Searching for video production companies online will Google up a wide range of results – from major corporate production outfits to lone videographers working from their attics.

Between these extremes there’s a whole array of people who can all produce videos – but with different levels of production experience and competence. Here are a few pointers to help you narrow down the field.

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

Most quality video companies will be able to make your  video – whatever the subject. It’s their job. But you will reduce risk, help things run more smoothly and gain lots of added value if you find a video producer with experience in your particular field.

For example, at Mandrill – we’ve covered subjects from Second World War history to gardening… but our forte is medical and health video. We’ve made more of it than anyone else. And it’s the soft skills we’ve learned over the years that really help with any healthcare video production: great contacts and relationships with the NHS and healthcare charities; a total understanding of how to work with patient confidentiality issues and an innate awareness of how to behave and operate in sensitive clinical environments. Other specialist production companies will also have those extra skills that bring so much more to videos in their field of expertise.

LOOK BEYOND LOCAL

It would be a miracle if your nearest video production company was the best one for your project. They may convenient, but you’re likely to get far better value and a far better product if you work with a company that has relevant expertise in your field. A specialist production company will be keen to work with you if you’re in their area of expertise and shouldn’t penalise you for not being on their doorstep. The benefits of them knowing your subject intimately will far outweigh any slight inconvenience caused by distance.

ONLINE VIDEO SHOWCASE

All video production companies showcase their work on their website. But a word of warning – don’t make your choice of company based on their “showreel” – the snappily edited highlights video that’s usually found on a home page. It’s easy to make these look amazing because they include only the very best bits from a whole host of videos. Make sure you watch full videos to see what the video company’s final products really look like.

TESTIMONIALS

Like many purchasing decisions, choosing a video production company should be swayed by customer testimonials. What they say about the quality of the final video is crucial – but also pay attention to how the production company does business. Are they friendly, efficient and supportive? Video production can be a complex process, but if you involve competent, confident professionals, it should be enjoyable too.

MEET THE PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR

Once you’ve satisfied yourself that a production company has the right experience – make sure you meet the producer/director who would be in charge of your production before you make a final decision. This may seem like a luxury… but it’s crucial. The producer/director is the person who will need to get under the skin of your company or organisation… really understand what you want and turn your ideas into a video you’ll be proud of. It’s a creative process that will require trust and good communication between both parties. Put simply – make sure that person “gets” you… and that you’re going to get on with them. They’ll effectively become an extension of your team for duration of the production.

WILL AMATEUR DO?

With video cameras on most mobile phones and basic editing software on many computers and tablets, lots of people now have some experience of producing video. So there’s a great temptation to hand your corporate video project to someone in-house – or even a friend with a passion for amateur video production. But the truth is, most video made by amateurs will look and sound… amateur. Viewers are sophisticated these days. They’ll spot if your video is amateur – and make may form the impression that you are too.

Chris Wise – Executive Producer

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