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9 areas of expertise to look for when choosing a video production company

If you're searching for professional video production services, then this blog is for you.

Film set with two silhouetted camera ops in foreground

1 - Raison d'etre?

Creating a purposeful video begins with understanding its intended function. Consider the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of this video?

  • What problem does it aim to solve?

  • What impact do you hope it will have on your audience?

Keeping this clear goal in mind with your videographer throughout the production process will ensure that your video is both effective and engaging.


2 - Working relationship

Establishing a strong, collaborative relationship with your production team is crucial for the success of any video project. It's important to ensure that you can work well together and that they possess the necessary expertise and equipment to deliver the results you desire.


3 - Sound

Sound quality is just as important, if not more so, than visual quality in a video. Poorly recorded sound will immediately stand out to viewers and detract from the overall experience. Ensure that your videographer prioritizes sound recording, using the appropriate microphones and wind protection when filming outside.

Rycote microphone and wind protection kit

Additionally, pay attention to ambient sounds that would be expected in the scene, such as machinery, and make sure they are clearly captured in the recording. Remember, good sound enhances the visual impact of the video.


4 - Expertise in Picture Quality

Visuals play a crucial role in the overall impact of a video. To achieve high-quality images, they should be:

  • Properly lit

  • Well composed.

  • In focus

  • Correctly exposed

  • White balanced correctly

Proper lighting is one of the most crucial elements of visually stunning video. A skilled lighting team can make a world of difference in a TV drama production, but even in smaller projects, a single soft light or reflector can make a significant difference. Make sure your videographer has a solid understanding of lighting techniques.


Avoiding common amateur mistakes, such as blown-out whites in the sky or windows, is key to creating a polished, professional video.


5 - Standard of equipment

When hiring a videographer, it's important to consider the equipment they use, but it's not always necessary to have the latest, most expensive camera with a plethora of accessories.


Equipment such as a top or side handle, monitor, matt box, and cage, can enhance the functionality of a camera, but ultimately it's the videographer's ability to capture high-quality images and sound that is most crucial.


It's also worth noting that the quality of the lens is just as important, if not more so, than the camera body itself. Good lenses can be costly, but they are essential for achieving professional results.

Canon 28-70mm lens

It's important to remember that filming can present many challenges, and it's the expertise and knowledge of the videographer that will enable them to navigate and overcome these challenges. Ultimately, the goal is to produce a high-quality video, and that goal should be the most important factor in hiring a videographer.


6 - Type of camera

Your videographer needs the right kind of camera for your project. The type of camera used can greatly impact the overall feel and quality of a video. For live events where you have limited control over the subject matter, a camcorder is often the best option. These cameras are designed to capture shots quickly, with a flexible zoom range that can easily switch between wide and close-up shots. They are also lightweight and easy to handle.


On the other hand, for more controlled settings like dramas and interviews, a mirrorless camera or cinema camera may be a better choice. These cameras offer interchangeable lenses and larger sensors, allowing for a more cinematic feel with a blurred background. However, they are typically more complex to operate and may not be able to capture as many shots in the same amount of time as a camcorder.


7 - Location of filming

The purpose of your video will heavily influence the locations selected for filming. In addition to this, it's important to consider the factors that can be controlled and those that cannot at each location. Some key considerations include:

  • Other people: Will you be filming in a public area with potential background distractions?

  • Lighting: Are you filming outside? What will the lighting conditions be like? How does the videographer plan to address any potential issues?

  • Sound: Is there ambient noise that could affect the audio quality? Can it be mitigated or is it an important aspect to capture?

  • Weather: Are there any potential weather hazards to consider such as wind or rain?

blurred rain on tarmac

Considering all these elements will help you to understand the level of difficulty and time required for filming at each location.


Filming often takes much longer than initially anticipated. It is recommended to plan for a longer schedule and possibly double or even triple the expected time frame to account for unexpected delays. Setting up shots, even for seemingly simple videos, can take a considerable amount of time. This includes the arrival and preparation of the crew, as well as ensuring all equipment is properly set up and ready to go.


Furthermore, using specialized equipment such as a camera stabilizer or drone, can further prolong the filming process and should be taken into account when planning.


8 - Editing

Editing is where the true magic of video production takes place. An editor's role is to take the footage captured during filming and craft it into a cohesive narrative that meets the goal of the video. However, this task is not as simple as it may seem.


A crucial skill for an editor is the ability to understand why certain shots are chosen and how they fit into the overall narrative. For example, in an interview-based edit, the editor must be able to seamlessly weave together multiple interviews to create a seamless story. Similarly, in a dramatic production, the editor must have the ability to select the most impactful takes and arrange them in a way that propels the story forward. Additionally, if a voice-over is being used, the editor must be able to match the visuals to the audio in a way that enhances the overall experience for the viewer.


As a rough guide, it is recommended to budget at least two days of editing for every full day of filming. Additionally, it is important to remember that the end viewer has not seen the footage before and therefore it may be beneficial to allow for a longer video than you think.


9 - Motion graphics

Motion graphics are a form of animation that can be used to enhance videos, from simple section graphics to entire videos. Despite their potential simplicity, creating motion graphics requires advanced skills and can be time-consuming, with several days of work often needed for each minute of final video.


Conclusion


So there's lots to consider when hiring a videographer. I hope this article has been helpful.

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