Once you are ready, scout the professionals you will need. A simple Google search will suffice (i.e. “Production Houses in NYC” or “Animators in Wisconsin”). Or use production companies that can match you to qualified, available vendors within minutes.
Read the Fine Print
When it comes to your production, there are a few things in the fine print to watch for.
1. Make sure they are insured. Protect your production—better to be on the safe side early on than regret it later.
2. Don’t pay in full upfront. It’s an acceptable industry standard to pay half at the start of project and half upon completion or by one-thirds (1/3 at start, 1/3 mid-project, 1/3 upon completion).
3. Have a deadline. Ensure it is mutually agreed upon, in writing and clearly outlined so everyone is on the same page. Make sure to add an addendum any time something is removed, added on or changed that may affect the cost of the production.
4. Secure all the pertinent text, verbiage, artwork, etc. You want to have all photos, b-roll, design elements, logos, updated contact info prior to starting so no one is waiting on you at any point in the production.
5. Set expectations early. You get what you pay for —don’t expect a Super Bowl commercial when you go with “Discount Dave.”
6. Take your work seriously—not yourself. Everybody has their weaknesses. If yours is being camera ready, then plan ahead to select a spokesperson or PR representative for your company that may do a better job.
7. Request raw files. Whether or not you plan on updating this video later on, make sure you request the raw files along with the final deliverable of the finished product. You may want to add elements to your site or future promotional materials down the line.
8. Own the rights. Make sure you own the rights to your video and that the vendor isn’t selling the content to other takers. There should be verbiage in contract stating this, but it’s always good to highlight this as a line item and make sure they only use the footage in their own promotional reels, not for other projects.
This should go without saying, but nonetheless, make sure you feel comfortable with the vendor and don’t settle for the first quote you see.
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