What to Look for When Hiring a Production Company

So you have finally made up your mind to go for that video project. You have put it off for so long that now you need to double up on your speed and effort. The next important step, after you made the decision, is to go and find the best video production company to help you out.

But that isn’t as easy as it sounds, what with the sheer number of video production outfits out there! You need to be able to select the production company that is perfect for your specific project. Since I’ve lived and worked in and around California, I’ll use San Francisco video production companies as an example of  what to look for.

Below are some tips to help you out and ease the process:

How To Find The Perfect Video Production Company

1) Learn About the Video Production Company

The first step in the process of hiring a video production company is learning their background. Have they been in business for a long time? Learning if they’ve been around for some time could at least give you the idea that people have trusted them to last that long. You would also like to learn about the kind of videos and project that take on. This would allow you to judge if they are a good fit for your project or if you need to look elsewhere.

2) Are They Enthusiastic About Working With You and Offer Some Nice Ideas?

video production companiesIt is important to know if the video production people are actually showing signs of really being excited and enthusiastic to work on your project. This is an indication that they are interested in the project and would put forth a nice effort in creating it. And it would certainly help if they offer some good ideas that are meant to improve the video and make it better.

Image provided by Darren E

3) Do You Have Good Chemistry?

Chemistry is very important in the production of a video. If it is not there, then the project is likely to reflect that and the production is going to suffer and will probably not reflect what you envisioned.

video production san francico This chemistry thing can be apparent right from the start, when you have that initial business meeting with them. If it is not there and there is no connection between you and the video production staff then you would be well advised to look for another company.

An example of good chemistry is Market Me Video Production, I worked with these guys on a product demo and the chemistry couldn’t have been better right from the start. The process from beginning to end was seamless. Love it!

4) How Prepared Were They for Your First Meeting and Is Their Price Range Okay?

You could tell by now that the first business meeting with them is pretty crucial. Aside from sizing up if you have good chemistry with them early on you should also take note of how prepared they were for that initial meeting. They should be on time, know your company’s background, and have every indication that they respect you and your time. It would also be nice to know if their price range for the specific type of project that are going to do fits right into your prepared budget.

4) Do They Bring New Ideas To The Table?

An important thing to find out is whether the video production company is able and willing to provide you with advise and ideas on how to multi-purpose your video project. Look at it as a way of getting back on your investment, because let’s be honest about the fact that video production is not cheap at all. It might be through optimizing the video for SEO or being uploaded to a video sharing site like You Tube, and any other way to get something back from your investment.

Don’t forget to check out my home page for more videography and post production tips.

How to create lens flares and light leaks on set

Lately I’ve been using a few different techniques to add an extra level of depth to my shots. One of the ways I’ve been doing this by adding my own lens flares to my footage.

flaresLens flares are a natural occurrence (and sometimes an annoyance) when film in any big light source. This is most common when you are pointing you camera in the direction of the sun. There are two results from this: you can either get visible artifacts – the light will create shapes on the lens. Or, you will see a haze like effect over certain parts of the image, this creates a washed out look on screen -reduces the contrast, adds light to darker regions and lowers the overall saturation.

light leaks

There are a few ways to achieve these effects. The first, as mentioned before, is to face the direction of the sun, slowly change your angle until you start to see a lens flare appear. If your lens does not have a lens-hood, you will start to see a lens flare quickly quickly as stray light will start to enter your image.

Another way to create a light leak is to detach the lens slightly from your camera. Basically you’re creating a tiny gap that will allow a small bit of light to hit your camera sensor, or film. These light leaks are quite strong and will boost the white areas of your film – it’s a distinct look but one that can really look good. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-made effects online from a variety of vendors. These effects have been made in a studio and you can quickly integrate them into your “clean” footage during post production. You can also view my post on my favorite after effects plugins here.

If you’re filming indoors and finding a strong light source is a bit hard to find. You can always try pointing a flashlight into your lens from just outside of frame. If your lens is detached the light will creep in nicely creating a light leak. If it’s not, you will still get a cool looking lens flare on the image.

Stay tuned for more tips on how you can create interesting looking images for almost no money.