Should I choose a video agency or an independant videoographer?
In your experience of small business video production, would you recommend going with a video agency or an independant or freelance videographer?
This may depend on budget and what you want, as well as how much support you need. Are you looking to create a very "glossy", Cannes-award-winner with a six figure budget to match? Or are you looking for regular social content that will mainly go on YouTube and Facebook?
There is a lot of overlap between independents and agencies in terms of what each can offer. It's probably best to get an idea of some of the work they have done before and what their specific capabilities are.
Some things to consider are:
The services you need
- Do you need help with storyboarding and scripting?
- Does your video involve interviews, and do you have someone on staff who can manage that, or do you need an external producer/interviewer?
- Do you need drone footage of your premises?
- Will your video need 3D animation?
Your time and flexibility
- Have you got a tight deadline or is the timetable more relaxed?
- Is this a one-off, or part of a series?
To give an example, I work as an independent videographer and my background is in TV news as a reporter and videojournalist. Because of this, my top skills include being able to carry out an interview, from drawing up the questions to ensuring that we get the right messaging in the answers. I can storyboard and scriptwrite, so when I'm interviewing, I know what soundbites we'll need for the final production and I make sure I get them. This is great for customer case studies. But I don't currently offer drone photography and I'm not an experienced 3D animator. So if someone approaches me wanting these elements, I'll usually refer them to a different videographer or agency.
My final piece of advice is that most video today is very ephemeral. All productions should be good quality, but frequency and timeliness are paramount in our world of endless streams of content and short attention spans. If I see companies making one key mistake, it's taking too long over a single production: typically making it too long and going through endless approvals, whereas they could probably have produced several videos with the same material in half the time.