Updated: Nov 23, 2022
When you're looking to hire a Toronto video production company (or a video production company anywhere else), there are several factors that will influence your choice. Here are five things you should look at before hiring any company.
Tip #1 - Do They Have The Right Experience?
If you’re looking to hire a professional Toronto video company, you’ll first want to make sure they have experience in the genre and style of video production you’re looking to create. You can accomplish this easily by reviewing their website and portfolio. Check out a few companies and make a short list of the ones you like. It will ultimately be a tough decision as there are many talented and skilled video producers in and around Toronto.
You’ll find many different types of video production companies that cater to niche genres and styles, but you’ll also find many ‘generalists’ (companies that do everything). Ultimately it is up to you if you trust a generalist to produce a certain type of video for you. They might be able to accomplish many different styles, but keep in mind that anyone who spreads themselves too thin could be pretty good at all, but not necessarily great in any one style.
Video companies that cater to a certain style or outcome can sometimes be the best as they are experts in their niche. They have most likely nailed down a solid process for that type of video to create it quickly and expertly to deliver a superior video product. On the flip side, they may be stuck in a creative rut, churning out a similar product over and over again losing some creative spark. This is simply a possibility to look out for and you can easily review their work to see if the portfolio has a diverse range of creative ideas within the genre.
Make sure you like their work on an emotional level and not just on a visual level. Does their content speak to you, excite you and make you think ‘Yes! I want that for my product!’.
Tip #2 - Can They Achieve Your Desired End Result?
If you don’t know what you want to create in terms of style, then think about what you want to achieve with your video and start from there.
By ‘desired end result’ I mean on a business level. How do you want the video to affect your business as a whole? Do you want to use the video as a brand awareness campaign? Do you want to show the features and benefits of your product? Do you want an ad to drive traffic to your site or sales funnel? Only by answering this question do you know what kind of video you need to create.
A good creative video production company can help you answer this question. So when you’re shopping for Toronto video production companies it’s best to start by interviewing them. Most of them will hop on a sales call with you to explain their service in more detail. Some video companies are straight up production houses that can execute an already laid out plan, but they don’t do the strategy and creative at the front end. So you’ll most likely want a video company that has the following services:
Scriptwriting and storyboarding
Media buying (should you want to run ads)
Distribution (able to post to social media and run ads for you)
Tip #3 - Are They Affordable And Value Driven?
As you continue shopping for a Toronto video producer or production company you’ll probably start to notice a huge difference in pricing. There are a number of factors in this, but the first one I’ll communicate with an anecdote:
I’ll start with the lesson – give the same parameters to all prospects as best you can to make for an even bidding field.
I was bidding on a job one time, it was for a company a friend worked at so afterwards he told me the other bids that were submitted. He told me because he was confused at the wild difference in pricing. The lowest bid was somewhere around $1K and the highest bid was $17K! Talk about a massive difference! Of course, there’s always going to be some difference, but to me this sounded like we were all bidding on different jobs (FYI my bid was somewhere in the middle). After a bit more pushing he said that they didn’t have a standard treatment or concept they sent out, it was all very loose. Well there’s your answer – we were bidding on different jobs!
Without having solid details about the expectations of the video, we as producers will start to assume what you want (if we don’t ask the right questions back) using our prior experiences which can vary vastly.
All of those quotes might be completely reasonable depending on the video they were creating in their own minds. i.e. a film company might be expecting to show up with two cinema camera packages and a crew of ten while a new video company is just going to be one guy and his DSLR camera. Both are valid in certain situations, but we can’t quote properly if we don’t know exactly what you need or want.
So a good way to go is to draw some solid parameters for video companies to quote on to see how they compare. Then you’ll be able to find out what value they bring to the table. A few things to consider when looking at their pricing:
What kind of equipment are they bringing vs. cost?
What crew would they bring and why? Are they all necessary?
What other services are included in the price? i.e. ideation, scriptwriting, etc.
What is their post-production process? Is it unlimited revisions or only 1 revision?
Do they include basic text animations or anything else?
Compare past work with your needs and their pricing. Sometimes you want the $17K job because you know you’re going to get a film quality production. Other times it might be fine to go with the $1K solo shooter because it’s all you need for this job.
You just can’t compare them and their value if they’re quoting on ‘different’ jobs. Do the math, what are your projected returns on the video and is it worth it to spend that extra money? It very well could be!
Tip #4 - Are They Good Communicators?
You also need to make sure that the Toronto video production company can communicate well. I believe that can become pretty obvious pretty quickly in some basic exchanges.
If they can’t communicate well day to day, it’s pretty safe to say that they’re not great at communicating through video.
Some things to watch out for:
Slow to reply to emails
Convoluted ideas and sentences
Lack of transparency
Not able to convey video concepts clearly (in treatment or script form)
Just kind of a weird vibe
I like to go with my gut on this one usually. You know when you’re at a party and you meet someone new and they’re friendly and seemingly normal, but there’s just a weird vibe or a non-connection. Stay away from that. You want to work with people you vibe with (okay overuse of a word)... but seriously - they might be perfectly fine as people, but if you’re spending a whole lot of time back and forth and potentially on set with them, you want to have some sort of ease and connection to sail through the stressful parts.
A couple of phone conversations, zoom meetings or in-person meetings should give you a good idea of this pretty quickly.
At One Inch Punch Productions we give full reports and sign off at every stage of production before moving to the next. That way we always know you're happy every step of the way and we don't move to the next stage until you are.
Tip #5 - Will They Be Able To Meet Deadlines?
Another thing to consider is whether the Toronto video production company will be able to meet deadlines. This is especially true if you are looking at a short deadline. It's not uncommon for companies to miss deadlines because they aren't prepared.
It’s difficult to be 100% certain on this, but have them lay out the proposed schedule beforehand. Make sure each stage of production has its own mini-deadline built in. Does is look realistic?
If you’re unsure because it’s all new to you, it’s okay to ask questions. Ask how long each stage of production typically takes. If they’re trying to convince you that a super short deadline will work, but it doesn’t look right, you might want to move on. Production companies will typically be running a few jobs at the same time, so you’ll have to consider that a possibility.
A schedule might work laid out as is when it’s their only job, but if they have three other jobs running and suddenly they have to put out a fire on one job (maybe a bigger more lucrative job) yours might get left behind for a while.
So be upfront and ask them their success rate, check any reviews, and be sure to ask how they will hit the deadline.
So To Wrap Up,
there are many things to consider when hiring a Toronto video production company or any production company anywhere, the rules apply across the board. I hope these five tips get you headed in the right direction.
If you need help on your next production, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.
One Inch Punch Productions Inc.