Much like effective governments, the best corporate video production succeeds on a system of checks and balances. A single contractor who speaks to a client, plans the shoot, shoots the video, and edits the finished result could do a fantastic job, just like a president could make all of the right decisions, but a team effort is most likely to result in polished success. When a production company has specialized talent to handle each aspect of production, even if the corporate video is limited to a simple production, the result is more likely to be worth the investment. A least with a client relations specialist to understand the needs of the client and their marketing goals for the project, a producer to oversee the planning and execution of the video, a videographer who can match the client’s vision, and a dedicated editor, the project will have the best chance at success.
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The difficulty of corporate video production in today’s marketplace is the cost sensitivity of many clients but the expectation for the finished work to shine and stand out in an increasingly crowded Internet of marketing videos. The cheapest solution will always be to hire someone off Craigslist or a one-man-band type of solution, but why don’t major companies go that route? For one, a big brand can’t trust their branding and company image to a single person, no matter how talented. Even Steven Spielberg hires a team of professionals to make his vision a reality and whoever you hire off Craigslist will not be Steven Spielberg.
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Videographers may shoot a lot of great footage that simply doesn’t work in context of the edit, but they spent a lot of time on setup and lighting, so they may try to force the footage into the cut anyway. An editor has no clue how much time the videographer spent on each shot, so he’s going to make the best decision for the finished video. Ultimately, all creative professionals involved have to answer to a producer of some sort, to make sure that whatever the client discussed on the phone or through e-mails or in person is reflected in the finished video. If the point of contact is the videographer, editor, and client relations all wrapped into one, people have a tendency to become overly defensive of their work and have more difficulty looking at it from an objective point of view.
Even in the best case scenario where the person is a complete professional, you have to be comfortable receiving a video that will be one person’s style and input almost exclusively. Before picking such a professional, make sure their work is more or less exactly what you want to see from your own company’s video. Also keep in mind any strengths or weaknesses you noticed so that you can discuss them before committing money to the project. For instance, maybe the person has some cheesy motion graphics work. Would they be open minded to contracting out the motion graphics to another professional? If you noticed their videos typically run long, be clear that you are shooting for a 2-3 minute video. Many potential obstacles may be avoided in early discussions, but keep in mind the limitations on quality when hiring one person to do everything, especially as far as their time and juggling of multiple clients and projects.