So you’re ready to make a video for your brand, product or service. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your desire to reach and engage your audience in a meaningful way. Video creation is a rewarding experience, yet, it also comes with it’s own set of complications. Identifying what talent or company to hire is generally the first step so let’s start there.
A lot of confusion stems around industry terms and lingo. The video industry is made up of artists so it’s only natural that terminology gets a little creative at times . One common misunderstanding is the difference between a videographer and a production company.
While these may seem like interchangeable titles nothing could be further from the truth.
Let’s break down their core differences.
A videographer is by definition “a person that makes video films”. So that’s singular. The majority of event videos like weddings are shot by a videographer. A videographer in basic terms is a camera operator.
A video production company on the other hand is made up of a team or staff that offer a large variety of services. Every production company has a videographer on staff. It’s one role in a production company. In addition to videographers video production companies have defined experts that are hyper focused on specific tasks. Like script writing, location scouting, hiring actors, etc.
Let’s look at the food industry. A videographer would be the chef and a video production company a catering company. While they are both capable of creating stunning meals a catering company will have more resources at their disposal. They are typically able to handle larger demands and can meet more needs as their style isn’t as limited.
Now that we’re all hungry let’s get back to video.
There are 3 main stages in video creation. Pre-Production (Planning Phase), Production (Shooting Phase) and Post Production (editing and special sauce). Production companies have the resources and staff to help you with all 3 of these stages. Videographers only have the capacity / bandwidth to help with one or two of these stages.
While it may seem like a no brainer to hire a Production Company there are advantages to hiring a videographer. One advantage is budget. When you pay a videographer you’re paying one person’s wage opposed to supporting an entire team of professionals. So if you have a small budget and a simple clear plan you would may want a videographer. If you need a team of professionals to handle every stage of your production then a production company is the clear winner here.
Whether you’re looking to hire a videographer or a full service production company make sure to do your research. Ask to see a portfolio and for references. Speak with them over the phone or in person before handing over your credit card. Remember to always trust your gut. Being stuck with someone that doesn’t understand your vision and can’t execute regardless of their credentials is not a fun place to be.