Let’s be realistic, finding the right collaborator can be as hard as finding a decent date online. It’s hard to tell if you’ll gel unless you work with them yourself, but these pros and cons can help narrow down the options.
DIY or Volunteer
Sometimes this is the best option because having some content is usually better than having none at all. If you’re doing it yourself, do some research. A couple tips and tricks can make all the difference. Ask people you know with video experience how they would make what you’re imagining. Ask them about the right gear to achieve your goal too. My tip: pay attention to sound. Viewers will forgive a low quality image if there’s good content but low quality sound is unbearable. Feel free to contact us if you need some tips, we’re happy to help!
Some students will be willing to volunteer their time for more experience, especially to a social cause or non-profit. But before you jump at the opportunity, do some leg work first. Ask them for a demo reel (samples of their work). If they don’t have any samples, talk with some references—they could still be a good fit for your team. In the end it will be a bit of a toss up. Students do have their limitations and a less refined style. The key is to find someone that works well with your team, who you feel comfortable communicating with, and who works at the same pace and with the same passion. If all those things are in line, you’ll likely be happy with what they create for you.
Fivrr or freelance websites
On websites like Fivrr and Freelancer.com you can post your project and a range of freelancers will place bids on it. Freelance websites can be a great option for smaller budgets, but don’t expect a lot of personalization. A better use of this talent pool is to buy elements of a video, like a graphic or a voice over. That way you’re in control that the whole video won’t be so formulaic.
Half DIY, Half Professional
Maybe you have enough money for someone to film your interview but not any additional footage. That’s ok, you can often blend the pro footage and DIY footage with good results. Or, sometimes you have a lot of footage but don’t know how to put it together. Getting a professional to edit your footage can have more perks than just saving time—they can often steady shaky shots, clean up the audio quality, and add color correction that will make your footage look more professional.
Working with professionals should be the easiest option to get just what you’re looking for. But every professional has a different style: some focus on flashy shots and some are especially story-driven. Wait, sorry, they all say they’re story driven. Some differentiator! It’s up to you to determine if you resonate with how they tell their stories and if their style will be right for your project. Trust your gut because the most expensive professional doesn’t necessarily mean they will deliver exactly what you want or that they will fit within your team.
Are they insured?
If being insured is important to you, don’t hire the film student. : ) You’ll want to make sure your videographer has General Liability Insurance and Professional Liability Insurance. General will cover you if a light falls over and breaks that priceless vintage office piece (or heaven forbid, an employee). Professional protects you from being sued for any mistake made, like copyright infringement. Sure, nothing will probably happen… but peace of mind is always an asset. Heads up—not all production companies or professionals are insured. It’s a good thing to ask.
Service vs Partnership
Decide how important it is to you to be involved in the video creation process because the level of collaboration differs from one professional to another. Do you want a lot of say, or do you want to wipe your hands of all responsibilities? Most companies won’t have a problem with you handing the project over to them, but some might think collaboration is key. Have this discussion with them before hiring to make sure that the relationship will thrive.
Finding Like-minded collaborators will make the process smoother and more enjoyable. Don’t just find “the best” people, find people you like. And then tell you story! Make some videos and spread your message—whatever it takes.
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