Hiring a video production company in NYC can be a daunting task. Yet it’s almost inevitable that you’ll need video services, if you’re going to make it as a business in the Big Apple. According to research from Statista, New York is the world’s media capital with $19.7 Billion spent on advertising. The next closest U.S. city is Los Angeles at $8.3 billion.
And in today’s world, if you don’t spend on advertising, you’re basically an unknown, non-existant business. So it behooves you as a business if you don’t get with the times and spend, spend, spend on advertising.
Moreover, if you had to spend on advertising, you’ll definitely need to spend on video production services to grab a viewers’s attention. Consider these stunning facts from Wordstream:
- Youtube has 1 billion users, more than 1/3 of ALL total world wide web surfers
- About half of the people spend an hour a week on video content on Facebook, Youtube or Vimeo
- More video cotent uploaded in a month than major U.S. television networks have made in the past 3 decades!
Finally, the most telling statistic if you’re a business owner is this magical fact:
- 90% of online marketers use video content!
Conclusion – if you’re not investing part of your marketing budget on video content, then you’ll be losing out on sales. You’ll be losing out clients. And you’ll be losing out to your competitors. So get with the times and invest in video production services by hiring the right film company, especially if you’re in a hyper competitive market like the Big Apple.
The biggest challenge to choosing a video production company in New York is who to choose? There’s a plethora of choices, when trying to choose a film company to do you’re video marketing. Here are some things to look for:
Check history and credentials
Do they have a website? Do they have any social profiles? If they do, then check out their content on Instagram or Facebook. You’ll get a sense of the quality of work they have produced in the past. Perhaps, you’re not into the 1960’s retro look. Then don’t hire a film company who specializes in the 1960’s retro look! The best thing about living in this age is everything’s out in the open. We can really assess the quality and specialization of any film company, just by visiting their websites, Youtube channels, Tumblr blogs and Facebook updates.
Do they have reviews on Yelp? Check all of these things to assess the quality and credibility of the video production company. What’s best about Yelp in New York is its ubiquity and frequent use. New Yorkers are a chatty bunch. If they love something, they’ll spread that love in social media and Yelp. If they hate something, then fuhgeddaboudit! They’ll roast that product or business faster than a ball hit off Aaron Judge’s bat! So definitely check the Internet presence of the film company and see what others think of their work. Use this info to make your own judgement call.
Get Multiple Offers
New York is a big town. When it comes to entertainment, you can say that New York is the number 2 player in the entertainment industry. Hence, there are TONS of film companies who would love to work with your business.
Having lived in Brooklyn, I can tell you that the poor, starving artist syndrome is alive and well in 2017, and will likely continue to plague Steven Spielberg wanna-be’s for many decades to come. This means that as a business, you have the power to choose, and you can have these starving artists bid for your business.
Place ads in Craigslist. Use Thumbtack. There are so many avenues to gauge the price of the market to help you choose the right production company for your project. Price will certainly be a factor when choosing the right production company. Fortunately for you as a business owner, you have the power to dictate price, if you know where and how to look for bids.
Price Isn’t The Most Important Factor
Having spent a section on price, it only makes sense to re-iterate that price should not be your number 1 factor in choosing which film company to work with. This is because marketing and creating video content is still an artform.
You can go to a nearby 7-11 and get some freckled faced teenager to make a stick figure cartoon drawing to promote your business for $5.25 an hour. It’s definitely cheap – much cheaper than paying some production companies $10,000 a day for a full day of film production. But will that $5.25 an hour get you clients? Highly unlikely.
Hence, always remember that price is only one factor when choosing the right NYC video cinematography company to run your marketing campaign. It’s a balance between price, skill and having the right vision to showcase your company’s services and products.
The Dotted Line
Every project must have the right terms in a contract. If a customer asks for cash or refuses to sign any paperwork, run away! They could be one of these Thumbtack scammers. Going back to checking history and verifying credentials, don’t ever trust a company unless they’re willing to sign a contract with clear terms of service and payment.
In the contract, definitely have the basics down:
- Rate of pay
- Dates and times of work
- Scope of work
- Payment terms (how to pay, meals, incidentals)
It’s important to have everything outlined in a paper. In New York, when things are done right, you’ll be glorified like Derek Jeter. But if you do something wrong, New Yorkers will not hesitate to turn against you and run you of town. They won’t hesitate to sue you and take everything from you. So it’s best to be safe than sorry and have everything written down in paper.
Be Mindful of Payment Terms
You don’t have to pay the production 100% of the fee upfront. In fact, if they insist on this, run away! Run away like Michael Strahan is about to bury your head down the turf. Don’t even pay your contractor 50 percent of the fee up front.
Usually, a contractor will ask for a deposit upfront. 10% is usually a decent starting point. Then create periodic payments as the film company completes specific milestones in the project. If it’s a simple one day shoot, then pay the up front fee and they pay the remaining balance after the project is cut and edited.
If it’s a complicated project, put in how many revisions are required in the contract. Again write everything and be specific in your contractual agreement!
If the project will likely take several film shoots, then only pay them incremental sums at the end of each shooting day. But definitely don’t pay them 100% up front. Nobody does this and you should not as well.
After you've selected a videographer you want to work with for your project, you will need to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options. Scheduling the consultation with a video production company will give you a chance to learn more about the videographer's experience, review samples and see the finished product of the video project.
Here's a step by step guide to working with a videographer in the initial stages of the film production process:
Step 1: Call or E-mail the Video Production House for a Consultation
Consultations with a videographer can take up to an hour or more, and you will have the opportunity to learn more about the company, see samples and find out if you like the videographer's overall style. You’ll likely have done your research prior to calling up with this contractor by checking out their Youtube channels, their website, their blogs or by word of mouth. However, it’s still good to have an open relationship with your business partner and cinematographer so you are both aligned on what needs to get done.
At this stage, you can ask see not only demo reels, but also see a complete video of a corporate film they have filmed in the past. The complete video will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect from the final product.
At this stage, try to ask them questions about their vision, their style of work and how they plan to execute your project. This is a way to get to know your cinematographers to see if they’re good guys and/or gals to work with. If they come across as unprofessional, well then you know what to do.
Step 2: Discuss Rates for Film Services
You can get an estimate for the total cost of your corporate project from the videographer when scheduling your first appointment and consultation. This will ensure that you are staying within your budget, and also give you the chance to negotiate fees if needed.
Definitely, iron out the details here. Will you be required to pay for lunches and meals (most likely yes)? Do they have liability insurance to operate at the film venues you intend to shoot? If not, they’ll likely get short term insurance and pass on the price to you (means higher fee!). Ask how many people involved, and what will be the cost (if any) for the models and actors in the commercial video.
Step 3: Review the Videographer's Policies and Contract Guidelines
Every video production company will have different terms and policies regarding their work. Find out what these are when scheduling your appointment so you are fully aware of any stipulations and conditions when working with them.
This is an opportunity again to ensure that you are in agreement with payment terms and timing. Do they want Pay Pal? Are they okay with a check? Are they comfortable in receiving payment as they fulfill specific milestones? Get an agreement on terms and conditions before committing them on paper.
Step 4: Find Out What Video Format the Videographer Uses
Different videographers may work with VHS, DVD and DV formats, so you need to work with someone who can deliver the final product in your preferred format. Make sure you understand what the different price ranges are for each format so you can stay within your commercial video budget.
Perhaps, you need someone to just upload the video to a website. See if they can do this for you or at least have their tech people talk to your tech people to make sure the finished video can be used by your website.
Step 6: Be Clear About Your Goals
Define what you hope to accomplish with your commercial films. Discuss the key moments that you wish to capture, the total amount of film time you expect to record for the commercial video and other key details. This will make it easier to decide if the videographer you have selected is the right match for you.
Do you need music? If so, ask if the videographer can compose the music. If it’s copyrighted music, then the videographer will likely ask you to pay for the rights.
Is this a quick video to be shared on Facebook? Or is this video meant to be a 30 second ad on the Super Bowl. Both instances have different purposes. Both videos have different goals. Iron out these details and make sure that you and your video production company are in agreement in terms of execution.
Step 7: Ask for Referrals or References
Yelp, Google and Facebook are good ways to screen videographers. However, nothing beats a full thumbs up from a former client.
References and referrals will give you a better idea about the quality of the videographer's work, and make it easier for you to decide if they will be a good match for you. Follow up with any contacts so you know what to expect.
It's also important to make sure that the filming venues that you plan to tape at allows videographers. In some cases, the film location will not allow photography or videography or any kind, so you need to plan ahead!
Work through these steps as you make the preliminary plans for your wedding so you can make the most informed decisions when working with a video production company. Ask for shoot dates and shooting schedules to ensure everyone is on the same page.
What You Need to Know About NYC Film Production Companies
Although there are many of us, every company in New York are eager to provide quality video production services for your business or corporation. Like 2Bridges, we all have the proper cameras and equipment to shoot a Super Bowl commercial for you.
As a business, it’s up to you to make the right choice of what makes sense in terms of what you’d like to accomplish and how much you’re willing to pay for a NYC video production house.