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7 Things Creative Directors Should Know Before Hiring a Production Company — lighting and other film equipment
7 Things Creative Directors Should Know Before Hiring a Production Company — lighting and other film equipment
Alex Mcomie 107x107
Apr 16, 2024

7 Things Creative Directors Should Know Before Hiring a Production Company

Choosing a production company is one of the most important responsibilities of a creative director.

The business you partner with will impact virtually every element of your project, so it’s critical to make a thoughtful and informed decision.

Production companies are typically involved in various aspects of development including video editing and audio post-production.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most important factors for creative directors to consider when comparing different production companies.

While every situation is different, these tips should help you find a partner that aligns with your needs and budget.


1. Project Scale

First, consider how big you expect the project to be.

You don’t need to have every detail ironed out, but you should at least come in with a rough idea of the scale.

On one hand, you need to partner with a production company that has the resources necessary to support your project.

On the other, working with a smaller company can help you save money while establishing a more intimate partnership.

With a smaller partner, you’ll be able to stay in close communication and adjust your approach as needed.

For example, if you have an idea of the background music and the voice over artist you want to use, it would be easier to do.

It’s important to be realistic about the scope of your project and estimate the time, money, expertise, and other resources you’ll need.


2. Specializations

Larger production companies tend to offer a wider range of services, while most smaller businesses serve a specific niche.

As a creative director, you should look for a partner who has the relevant knowledge and experience for your project.

A production company that focuses on animated content, for example, probably isn’t a good fit for a live-action film or TV show.

Failing to perform this research in advance will only lead to headaches down the road.

Having trouble deciding between multiple options?

Don’t be afraid to contact each company and discuss your concerns directly.

Once they understand what you’re looking for, they can help you decide whether the partnership would be a good fit.


3. Portfolio

If you want to know what a production company can do, start by looking at what they’ve already done.

Most production companies provide thorough portfolios to illustrate their most successful projects in different fields.

You should never hire a production company without first looking at their portfolio.

Additionally, remember to check case studies, testimonials, and other information about their history.

A good case study includes details about the client’s goals, project scope, and how they collaborated to create the finished product.

Once you’ve looked through these documents, you’ll have a better idea of what they’re capable of and how they might fit with your business.

Of course, the portfolio is just one of many factors to consider during your search.


4. Responsiveness

Skills and resources are fundamental, but a good production company also takes its client relationships seriously.

Your early communications with a prospective partner will provide insight into the way they typically treat their customers.

If their rep takes three days to reply to your initial message, you can expect more of the same once you start working together.

You shouldn’t have to wait more than about one business day to hear back after contacting a production company.


5. Fit

Even if a company is generally responsive and helpful, they may not be the right cultural or creative fit for your team.

A creative production is different from other professional collaborations.

You can’t afford to work with partners who don’t share your motivation or investment in the project.

In your first messages, ask each company what they think of your ideas and what makes them a good fit.

The right partner will give you a detailed, enthusiastic response — not just a boilerplate sales macro.

As a creative professional, you want partners who are just as invested in your success as you are.


6. Price

Before moving forward, you should be sure that you can afford a production company’s services.

You can’t always predict the entire project in advance, but potential partners should still give you an idea of what they’ll charge.

Of course, this estimate will be more accurate if you come in with a clear idea of what you’ll need.

From there, they’ll provide a more accurate quote and flag potential issues that could end up raising the price.

It’s important to get multiple estimates in order to avoid overspending on services you don’t need.

Don’t be afraid to bring other offers back to your top choice and try to negotiate for a lower rate.


7. Timeline

If you’re working with deadlines, you should confirm your timeline with the production company before getting started.

It’s a good idea to estimate time ranges for each successive step.

That way, you’ll be able to tell if you’re on schedule as the project progresses.

Logistical issues can become serious problems in a creative project, especially when you’re working back and forth with another team.

If you aren’t careful, you could end up delaying the entire project or creating a rushed product that doesn’t live up to its potential.


Final Thoughts

Every production is different, but these basic elements apply to almost any project.

From price and timeline to resources and a shared creative vision, it’s critical to find a partner that aligns with your team in as many ways as possible.

These seven considerations should give you a starting point as you search for a new production company.

Take a look at our voice over services to learn more about creative voice over production and hire a voice actor for your upcoming project.

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