Crafting a quality request for proposal for corporate video production is an essential element of obtaining accurate quotes from production companies. Many executives have experience creating RFPs, but video production requires a special set of considerations that may not come to mind immediately. The usual elements are still essential, like a target audience, basic messaging and product or service details, and details about what you want or expect to see in the video on a general level. Being unsure about many of the details is not a problem, but being unsure about both the budget and the details can create issues with production companies trying to offer accurate quotes. Here are some tips:
- Explain location considerations and needs. If you write, “Interviews with corporate executives,” make sure to include whether you imagine the interviews all taking place at one location or at numerous locations (even different cities?), and whether the location or locations are company-controlled or elsewhere. In other words, corporate offices are available and free, but if you imagine the interviews taking place atop a beautiful rooftop with a view of the city, the production company needs to plan for the costs accordingly. Public locations will also require pulling permits, which can cost varying amounts of money depending on the city and crew.
- Specify whether B-roll footage (for instance, shots of people working, activities, etc.) will use company employees or paid actors. The difference in cost can be immense, not just because of hiring the actors but also hiring a casting director or compensating a producer for the time spent hiring cast. Additionally, consider whether a professional makeup artist and hair stylist is needed for the shoot, or whether it’s an unnecessary expense.
- Think about any special shots you may want in the video. If you imagine aerial footage in your video, indicate roughly what types of shots would be needed. If you like time lapse footage, mention what type of time lapse you envision (city view, activities, a sunset, etc.).
- If props are involved, for instance in a training video or product video, explain whether you are providing them or the production company needs to provide them. If you want to picture someone driving, will the car be a company car? A personal car? Will the production company need to rent a car of a specific type?
- Think about licensed content and avoid requesting it unless your budget is high. If you want to use a famous song, it will be very expensive most likely. If you want to show video game footage or movie footage, clearance may be both expensive and time-consuming. Many times, a company is better off securing their own clearances rather than paying for the clearance and the markup that a production company will charge.
- Be detailed about any graphical elements. If you want your logo animated, indicate your desire on the RFP. If you imagine multiple segments of motion graphics, try to be clear about their rough length and details.
- As much as possible, always provide extreme detail. Instead of indicating, “Demonstration of product features,” write, “Employee holding the product and explaining its features with close-up shots, text reinforcement of messaging and benefits, and creative lighting.” The final detail lets the production company know you don’t want a down-and-dirty job, but glamour shots of the product.
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Also remember you don’t have to know everything you want in your video production, so feel free to have a general idea and be open to suggestions. Just remember the more vague the company RFP comes across to the corporate video production company, the more vague the quote will be. Another option is to find several video production companies and ask each of them what they can do for your budget. If you are upfront in not understanding exactly what you want, don’t feel bad about writing, “We are looking for a company overview video explaining our offerings and we have $3,000 to spend. What would you suggest?” Each company will come up with a video idea with what will be included for the price, then you can select whichever company seems to offer the most value.
A company that has no budget range and no clear concept for their video production should remain in the research phase, which is where any professional production company should help guide you. Many of our blog articles and marketing materials are designed around educating marketing professionals about the costs of video production, the options available to them, and many considerations to keep in mind. Our philosophy is to provide information that guides potential clients in the right direction, even if they’re not in the decision-making stage yet.