Great news… You’ve decided to commission some video content for your business which means you are about to make your company stand out from all your competitors. Bad news… You now need to find a supplier.
You start to get those cold sweats brought on by the thought of scouring the internet for the best video production company, having lots of exploratory phone calls, gathering quotes and then wading through the different proposals to work out which company is the best fit. It can be a minefield. Particularly if you haven’t done it before.
If your business is based outside of London, then you will inevitably be faced with a choice. Should you work with a video agency that’s local to your area or should you cast your net further afield and include the nation’s capital in your search? What are the advantages of working with a London video production company over a local one? To help you navigate this quandary, below I’ve included some top things to consider when making your choice. I must caveat that the situation is far from black and white. Each video agency you look at will be vastly different and not fit with the “standard” rule of thumb I’ve included below. So make sure you ask as many questions from your supplier as you can and interrogate their track record.
Video Production Talent
London is a huge city that has an irresistible pull for video production creatives who want to forge a career. There’s a lot more opportunities for employment than other parts of the UK. This means there is a vast pool of highly qualified individuals which leads to some of the best creative work.
Rest of the UK
Whilst talent may not be as readily available in some parts of the country – particularly rural areas, if you are close to cities like Bristol or Manchester, you will find a thriving creative community who are creating high quality work. Local companies may rely less on freelancers and employ in-house staff instead. This leads to great training and loyalty.
Video Production Resources
One big advantage to London is the wide availability of various resources needed for video production from filming locations and studios to equipment rental houses, prop hire companies, actors and specialist crew. The wide availability of freelance talent also means that capacity is rarely an issue. Jobs can always be taken on and can be done very quickly if the need arises.
Rest of the UK
Depending on the area your video production company is from, they may be in easy reach of some breath-taking filming locations that don’t cost an arm and a leg. For instance a video production company in Brighton will have access to town as well as beaches and the Sussex downs. Not only that but often, in-house resources for things like travel, aerial filming and editing mean that they can respond quickly and competitively.
Video Production Experience
We are a video production company in London so it’s going to sound disingenuous of me to say that London agencies have the most experience. It’s definitely not as black and white as that. Yes, many of the most sought-after video production companies are based here in London. That’s because many of the biggest brands are also based in the city, leading to some of the best opportunities. But alongside the good companies there are also hundreds of video production companies who are trying to get started and may not be as good quality. Be careful to fully assess the company’s track record before you book them.
Rest of the UK
There are some phenomenal companies outside of London and they aren’t hard to find, if you put your mind to it. Take a good look at their past work and the sorts of clients they’ve worked with. It will be obvious that they are working nationally or even globally with some great businesses. For smaller, local companies, you may find that they have a more generalist background, working with small, local businesses and so don’t need to compete on a national level for work. The advantage is that they have worked with many local companies just like yours. The disadvantage may be that their experience may be limited to local production.
Video Production Skills
There are various skills associated with video production from the filming crew to editors and animators. For many productions a single videographer who can film and edit will suffice where others may need set design, directors, specialist cameras, motion graphics and colour correction. Any company has the ability to source the right specialist for virtually any video production skill, regardless of location in the UK. However, these skills are very easily sourced in London.
Rest of the UK
As I’ve said, any company can bring tremendous levels of skill to the table and specialist video production knowledge. However a company that is outside of the capital may find it harder to find the right freelancer for the more specialist skill. If you are commissioning an ambitious filming project that will require a lot of specialist skills, make sure your supplier knows how to find the right specialists to make it happen.
Yes, London video production companies can (but not always) be more expensive than working with a local video production company. This is because there is a cost associated with travel outside of the capital including hotels and mileage. Overheads may also be higher because of London rent, wages and other factors. However, where a London video agency may charge more, they can typically work nationwide and respond extremely quickly to briefs.
Rest of the UK
Video production companies based in cities like Norwich, Plymouth, Bristol, Manchester or Glasgow can often be just as expensive as a London agency if they have pedigree and are highly sought-after. However, video production companies situated in more rural locations are likely to be much more affordable due to lower overheads. If price is a significant factor in choosing your supplier and your budget is tight then going local may be the way forward.
As per my note about there being good and bad companies, customer experience can vary tremendously across different video production agencies. However, because of the huge freelance economy in the capital, video production crew tend to be very seasoned. They’ve cut their teeth with scores of clients in a myriad of different environments which means they’re less likely to get flummoxed by any issues or make mistakes. This can lead to a less stressful experience for the customer.
Rest of the UK
Again, customer experience varies across companies all over the country. However, one advantage of local companies who have in-house staff to do the work rather than relying on freelancers, is that they are well trained in “how the company does things”. So there’s likely to be more consistency across their work. It’s worth noting that some London companies have predominantly in-house staff and some companies outside of London work almost entirely with freelancers, so tread carefully when making any assumptions about customer experience.
London and the Rest of the UK
When choosing to work with a video production company, trust is arguably one of the biggest factors in picking your supplier. It’s why most people will rely on referrals when picking a business. London based businesses are much more likely to work with a London video production company because they will have been referred and can easily get to know, like and trust them. The same goes for local video production companies. If your business is based in Taunton, Oxford or Birmingham, it’s more than likely you’ll have been referred to a local company and had an opportunity to meet them in person. There’s a greater trust that they will do a good job. However, I would challenge you to base your choice of supplier not just on the safe option of feeling like you trust them. Look for the company that will do the best job for your business, then let them build trust with you through sharing their work, testimonials with past customers, references and conversations to establish a relationship. When you do that, you’ll find that on the whole, most companies will do everything they can to create the best possible work for you and can be trusted to do a good job.