How to find the right video production partner?

Improving your video throughput is really about finding and onboarding the right production partner. But as your video requirements get wider and deeper, so should your partner's capability.

If you are looking to get videos at scale and speed, you will need a right mix of video vendors and inhouse team. 

I have spent the last 8 years looking out for reliable and quality vendors and have come up with a checklist to shortlist and select the right vendors. 

The following checklist will help you get to the right vendors. 

  1. Do they provide a full range of services?  
  • Do they work on animated videos? - character based, infographic based, 3D etc. 
  • Do they work on stock footage based formats? 
  • Do they work on Live action formats like corporate shoots, testimonial shoots etc. 
  • Do they work on concept & script? 
  • Do they provide translation, dubbing, localization and adaptation services? 

  1. Things to look for in their portfolio 
  1. Clientele: 
  • Have they worked with clients in your sector and size? 
  • Are they heavily focused on one client or have quite a few active clients? 
  • How many clients have they worked with? 

  1. Quality: 
  • Would you rate their quality as “mind blowing”, “standard” or “below par”.
  • Do you see consistency in their quality or it varies from one client to another. 
  • Show them your quality benchmarks and ask for pricing for that. 

  1. Turnaround time: 
  • What are the different milestones for different video workflows that require approval?
  • How much time is usually spent on each stage? 
  • What are the deliverables at each stage? 
  • Ask questions on how do they ensure timely delivery along with quality?   

3) What is their pricing range and framework? 

  • Ask for a rate card for a single unit and also for regular requirements. 
  • What kind of discounts can they give if you have a regular requirement? 

4) Engagement  - 

  • Look at the founder profile and experience. 
  • Understand the teams involved and their size. 
  • Understand what type of work excites them and how do they like to partner? 
  • Understand their working terms. 

Now of course this is a lot of due diligence to find out that “one” partner, but its worth the effort. 

You can use the disqualification method to reduce the due diligence process and be able to focus on the few good ones. So here is a list of absolute must-to-haves: 

  1. Should have worked with minimum 5 tier-I clients. 
  2. Delivers at “Standard” quality. 
  3. Capability to work on multiple video formats - animation, stock footage, live action. 
  4. Unlimited/reasonable number of iterations on draft. 
  5. Consistent and predictable rate card.

And when you have a consideration list of vendors, here are a few good to haves: 

  1. Capacity to carry out multiple projects parallely. 
  2. Uses a digital platform for everything from pre production to post. 
  3. Dedicated client servicing and Creative director. 
  4. Accessible and consistent Point of contact. 
  5. Ability to generate multiple ideas and script options. 
  6. Experience with clients in similar sectors and sizes. 

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