7 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Video Partner

A short guide to help you choose the right video or animation supplier for your project

At Slinky we welcome good competition, and as you’re tasked with choosing between creative professional service companies – you’ll know it’s about as easy as comparing apples with oranges!

We’ve put together this little handy guide of 7 questions to ask all the suppliers you approach for quotes and proposals. This will help you make a better decision in finding the video partner that’s right for you.

 Our main advice is:-

  • Work out if you’re talking with a videographer or a video production company. There is often a large difference in the level of service and scope you receive.
  • Be cautious of the lowest bidder, and those who try to ‘race to the bottom’. Go for value rather than cost.
  • Above all, arm yourself with the questions below to help you compare like-for-like…

1.) Do you have a track record in my sector, and have you worked with similar clients?

Why Ask This?

This is self explanatory. It helps if they understand your sector and can prove they have delivered content for similar clients, or have produced similar types of videos.

The Slinky Way  (our ‘usual standard’… to help you compare)

Take a look at our client matrix. Alongside our 1,000+ videos produced over the past 10+ years, we’re confident we can provide great client/sector testimony examples and relevancy for you.

2.) Can you provide me with a line-by-line quote breakdown, along with a proposed written project spec?

Why Ask This?

Run a mile if anyone sends you a one-line production quote without a breakdown. You need to be sure exactly what you’re paying for, without any nasty surprises or disagreement downstream. Voiceover? Subtitles? Animated captions? … it should all be listed on the spec.

The Slinky Way

We never quote blindly. We always consult and have a chat with the client to establish what the project actually requires. The project spec is important for you comparing like-for-like. All of our quotes have a transparent line-by-line breakdown, and that’s what gets invoiced. No nasty surprises.

3.) How much input will you require from me?

Why Ask This?

As a general rule of thumb; the lower you pay for video production, the more handholding you are expected to do. How much do you value your time?

The Slinky Way

We use the analogy of “You shop for the ingredients and we’ll bake the cake”. In fact, we do all of the heavy lifting and carry your shopping bags all the way home for you!

4.) Do you use specialist production people?

Why Ask This?

You may be hiring video ‘generalists’. Somebody who is spread thin over the many different roles in production. Have you ever wondered why there are so many different names at the end of credits on TV programmes and films?

The Slinky Way

At Slinky, our Producers are Producers and our Editors are Editors. We don’t ask them to wear a dozen different hats. We believe in the specialist craft of their trained, experienced role.

5.) Will you sub-contract out my project?

Why Ask This?

Some video production companies are ‘black book’ operations. They simply phone up other third-party crew from their black book who then actually do the work.

The Slinky Way

All of our core production team are full-time staff members. We do this to bring flexibility, efficiency, awesome comms and consistency of quality to our clients. In fact, it’s the main reason why our clients stay with us for many years.

6.) What is your Quality Control process?

Why Ask This?

We all know that spelling mistakes can give you a bad rep and loose the confidence of your viewer… and that’s only the start of what could be wrong with a mastered video file…

The Slinky Way

Every single video at Slinky must pass 21 steps of QC checks. Everything from spelling and music license legal verification, through to technical checks on the video files themselves.

7.) How will you store and archive my footage?

Why Ask This?

If you’ve invested thousands of £’s in your video content, do you trust it to live on a single £40 consumer-grade hard drive?

The Secure Slinky Way

We use a robust on-site edit server with a redundant local backup AND 24/7 offsite backup to our USA server. Basically, your footage is always securely stored in 3 separate places at any given time.