Things to look for when Hiring a Videographer
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We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about video genres and knowing which one is right for you.

What we’ve left unsaid is that without the right company to execute your video, you’re dead in the water.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when hiring a videographer to execute your next project. In this last installment we’ll discuss things to consider as you look for a production company to hire.

Look for their Specialty. Are they a good fit?

Not all production companies are the same. Most have some sort of specialty – though, most tend to present themselves as generalists (for you, that means “one stop shop”). Keep in mind that generalists tend to do generic work. Here are some methods for determining if they are a good fit:

  • Do your homework regarding which genre of work they specialize in. You should understand the difference between an informational video and an essence video. You should also know which questions to ask [link to prior]. Force them to demonstrate that they know more than you.
  • Look at the production company’s portfolio to see work similar to what you have in mind. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask for more examples with your direction – production companies often only make a portion of their work public.
  • Not all projects need a specialist. Sometimes a generalist will do just fine!
  • A reputable company will know the limits of their expertise – when we (Quadrid) encounter something outside the scope of what we’re good at, we’ll refer the project on to a company we trust. If they’re not willing to do the same, you shouldn’t be working together anyway.

Look for Overall Quality

Often times, production companies will show you a demo reel. Demo reels are highlight reels. They’re where production companies put all their best work. Quality, in this context, can be deceiving.

Be sure to watch several videos in their entirety as well as the demos. Ask yourself: “Do these videos accomplish goals similar to my own?”

  • Pro tip: if you can’t find full length videos on their site, look them up on YouTube and Vimeo.

Look for Realistic Pricing

Many production companies bill based on actual time and materials spent.

If staying on budget is important to you, make sure the production company will bill a fixed rate for the project. Get it in writing.

Creatives are often not great at anticipating everything required for a project – better for them to take on that risk than you.

Either way – don’t underestimate the importance of pre-production. Change fees can still occur in fixed rate situations if you change your mind mid-process.

Look for Signs of Flakiness*

Videographers tend to be more right brained than left brained – meaning organization might not be a strong suit. This can be great – as long as you’re flexible.

The complaint we hear most often about other videographers is that they don’t stay on schedule and veer off-course from what was originally discussed.

Do a test – request a proposal, including a description of the project and goals. Ask when you can expect to see it by.

Did they deliver it when they said they would? Did it clearly articulate your goals for the project? If yes, then proceed. If no, then run! Run away and don’t look back!

Look for appropriate level of production

A one-person company with limited gear might not give you the expertise and reliability you need. That said, a production house with studio and staff might be overkill.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • The Young “Pro:”
    • demo projects are often collaborative projects (school assignments) and/or passion projects – Will he/she be able to bring the same team/passion to your project?
    • Warning: high potential for flakiness (see above)
  • Production House
    • are you a small fish in their world? What ensures that you’ll be working with the top talent that drew you to them in the first place, rather than some interns/entry level staff?
    • Warning: realistic pricing may be an issue (see above)
competing priorities when hiring a videographer

when hiring a videographer, you get to pick from three priorities: price, quality, and speed

A Final Note: Three Competing Priorities in Video Production

In video production there are generally three main priorities for clients:

  1. Low Price
  2. High Quality
  3. Quick Turnaround

Pick two…because that’s all you’re going to get. Take some time to consider what’s most important and plan accordingly. For example, you can get high quality video quickly, but it’ll cost you.

Why We Care

One of our secret missions (don’t tell anyone) is for small businesses in Denver to have access to top notch video production that’s approachable for their budgets.

We strive to make sure our business practices offer a different approach to video production – one others can follow.

If you’re interested in learning more about Quadrid’s approach, email us. We’d love to talk about your next project!

*(yes, this is an official term)

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