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Choosing a production company: specialist or diversified portfolio?

27 Oct 2017, Posted by robinhurricane@gmail.com in Art, Design, Life, Photoshoots, Private
Hurricane Images Inc. - Marketing

“A diversified portfolio is key to having the flexibility to meeting the unique goals of your business”

The most common advice new professionals hear in the video world is to pick your niche.  Super niche if possible—don’t just focus on non-profits, pick non-profit universities.  Product videography isn’t refined enough—specialize in tech products or sports gear.  But not both.  Clients, they often assume, have more confidence in specialists.  But do specialists make better, more attractive, more compelling videos?  Will a specialist be more effective at reaching your targets?

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If you’ve narrowed your production team options down to working with new professionals because they’re less expensive, then the answer is probably yes. Being skilled in multiple genre’s takes time and experience.  But among seasoned professionals—video production companies with proven track record for achieving client goals—the answer is emphatically, no.  And if you want the cost of producing a video to be an investment rather than an expense, a diversified portfolio is key to having the flexibility to meeting the unique goals of your business.

Many clients don’t fully appreciate how visual disciplines overlap.  A “talking head” video is also an environmental portrait; a more competent the environmental videographer will produce more persuasive the visual imagery.  Three point lighting, the staple of budget corporate videographers, isn’t enough; four and five point lighting sells the image.  Hurricane Images’ company profile video for Rocket Interview utilized four-point lighting with six lighting sources to achieve not just visual depth, but also a sense of professional competence.  The four-point lighting technique was one I learned first through 15 years as a light designer for the stage, followed by three years as a professional photographer shooting not just portraiture, but fashion, architecture, event, and weddings.

Similarly, a seasoned product videographer may choose to draw from a broader cinematic tradition.  Our campaign for Evo 2 for Amazon’s Echo Dot was inspired by the cinematic “single cut” Evo1 Piceffect made famous by filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and Alejandro Inarritu’s Birdman.  They used extended takes and masked cuts to bring immediacy and playfulness to their work.

So what does this mean for businesses that want to create video materials?  The bottom line is this:  your company’s success is built on having created a unique profile that is specifically designed to reach your customers.  Choosing a video production company that is competent only in a narrow and with a limited breadth of experience will, in many cases, lead to diluted brand identity and a generic “pitch” to your audience.  Even worse, your video may look almost identical to your competitors.

To create the most compelling, effective video, we recommend a three step approach:  identify the key elements of your brand and your message; research other videos that are similar to what you’d like to create for your business; and then adapt and refine your video concept to highlight your brand and goals, utilizing the best of the videos you’ve researched as well.  This can be a daunting process for some business, which is yet another reason why working with professionals with diversified portfolios is vital.

 

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