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The types of business video production company you’ll meet


As mentioned, video producers range widely.

At one end is the downtown marketing agency who’ll typically do all the initial creative for you and then put the rest of the work out to highly qualified contractors

-  who may in turn sub the work out to other contractors, depending on their workload.

At the other end of the spectrum is the solo editor or animator who’s full time employed by a video studio,

- but moonlights on People Per Hour, Upwork or to get extra work to pay the mortgage and so on.

So you need to be able to tell them apart, so you can decide what’s best for you, and your available budget.

Broadly there are three main types of video production company, which we’ll come to in a minute.

I’m not claiming this is a totally accurate summary of the market, or that there isn’t a lot of overlap between the different areas.

But it’ll give you some insight into the way the business video industry works.

What you’re initially trying to find out is 3 things:

> First how much of your work they’ll do for you, and how much of the work they’ll expect you to do yourself?

> then how much of the work they’ll put out to subcontractors, and subsequently mark-up?

> and 3rd, what tools are they using, ie, are they using an automated video production system like Powtoons or Lumen5, or a high end professional production system like Adobe CC, Avid or Final Cut Pro? Both types of system are good in their way.

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The reason for knowing this is that you’ll get a better idea of

> what’s expected of you

> how your money is being spent.

> and what percent of your video will be original, and how much will be library images, either from a stock library or the studio's own in-house library.

Knowing this in advance will help avoid unnecessary mistakes, like paying too much or too little

- or getting a video that looks the same as everyone else’s - because it is.

You need to have an idea of how much of your work they’re putting out and then marking up

- and how much will be done in-house with full time, paid employees.

Maybe they have their own in-house illustrator too?

Maybe a camera operator?

Maybe a film studio?

Maybe a character animator?

Or maybe not. It varies from company to company.

You mightn’t need all these specialists, but it’s still good to know.

Subbing out work doesn’t mean there’s a problem. Not at all.

A video production company will be proud of the way they work, and handle work, and there’s nothing wrong with this.

But still, how much of the work is done in-house, compared to how much of the work is subbed-out makes a big difference to you in 2 ways:

1: Subbing out work might cost more than getting the same work done in-house

2: If anything goes wrong, it’ll cost you more to fix it if subbies & markups are involved, than if they have the resources in-house. For example, quick fixes or late changes to a video can be carried out in-house and may well be free as goodwill, while external  contractors will charge by the minute

3: Using in-house people gives you more control, and they’ll be more interested in you too.

While some contractors are excellent, and are genuinely committed to your project, they definitely aren’t all like that.

Some only pay lip service and privately don't really care.

They feel they get ripped off all the time as they end up with such a small slice of the initial budget, while sulking that they do all the real work.

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