1. Choose a specialist not a generalist
Avoid choosing a one-size-fits-all production company, when you can work with a third sector specialist. Charity and non-profit organisations have a unique set of aims and challenges, and it can save a lot of time, energy and stress by working with a company who already understands this. This doesn’t just mean budget considerations, but also: the importance of helping include and appease corporate partners who helps fund projects like these; the importance of showcasing the membership, survivors, patients and those you help the most, and the importance of a mindful filming process that takes into account sensitive contributors and relationship-building NOT just the end product. It’s always good to start off by singing off the same song sheet!
2. Scale up not down
What’s the the size of the production company in question? A production company with a high number of permanent staff or employees can mean high base costs, as they’ll need to be covering business-as-usual overheads. While a large team may be appropriate for your ‘hero’ campaign videos as they are able to crew-up big shoots with little outsourcing, when it comes to smaller hub and hygiene video content (like social media snippets or email newsletters videos) try looking to smaller-sized companies. With fewer overheads and little business-as-usual costs, a production company comprised of just one, two or three people can be a great option. And if your project does end up needing additional human resource, you can scale up from their roster of freelancers - and this will be an additional cost and NOT as standard. The added benefit of a small company is the personal touch, and fewer people on set, which can be really reassuring for sensitive contributors and small, intimate memberships where relationships count!
3. Too cheap can come at a cost
Remember, while budgets can be tight, too cheap can come at a cost later down the line. Only cowboys charge questionably cheap rates, and it can mean higher costs down the line if you need to pay for a re-shoot or re-edit from another reputable freelancer or company. An overly cheap quote at the outset can also mean there’s a catch later down the line. Some questions to ask at the outset could be: Is the quote a flat fee or an estimate? Does it cover amendments to the video and, if so, how many round of amendments does it include? Do you know how much it will cost to tweak a video thereafter? Does the quote include all aspects of production (including music licensing, addition of graphics etc.) and all deliverables (including any ‘snippets’ you’ll need for social media later-on?) A good production company will be fairly-priced. If the cost is questionably cheap, it may be too good to be true – or you have a cowboy on your hands!
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