— Authentically written. Not generated by AI.
It's no secret that there are thousands of production companies out there all ready and willing to produce your next big project. They have the technical expertise and experience and a portfolio of recognizable brands giving you the social proof you need to select them for your next project. But one element in the decision-making process that often gets missed is location.
Location! That is a word often repeated three times in sequence in jest, referencing a ventriloquist who had been playing on the importance of your coordinates. There may be thousands of production companies, but unless you are in a major city with letters sitting on a mountainside spelling out Hollywood, you will more likely end up finding a half-dozen companies to look over.
It is these local companies that you will find a level of service and attention that you just cannot get from a national company.
First and foremost is communication. By working with a local company, you have access to in-person meetings, team location scouting, and hands-on preparation on your video projects. Rather than meet via Zoom, meet a team member in person at a cafe that you both know.
And you know what? The shared knowledge of that cafe brings us to the second benefit of choosing a local production company over an out-of-state one. You know the area. They do, too. They have a level of location expertise that a national company can only gain from trial and error. I'm talking about understanding the geography, the weather, the various regulations and permits, the roads, and the restaurants. A local team will more-often-than-not select their favorite deli for lunch on a production whereas a national team will opt for the classic Panera platter pickup. Do you want Panera for the thirteenth time? The crew sure doesn't.
This location expertise also includes stronger ties to crew networks and equipment resources. The local company will be able to bring people on set who have already met and established a camaraderie of sorts that leads to greater production value. In other words, Bob doesn't have to ask Jen what she meant by asking to “make that light spicier.” He knows it means she wants to increase the intensity, and he only knows that because they’ve worked together. With a national company, you may not know who you are getting until they fly in the day prior.
The thought of flying brings up the topic of cost. Production companies from out of state must fly in their crew. This adds to cost. In some cases, with the addition of production insurance and long-distance equipment rentals, travel can double the cost of a production. Out-of-state companies may also raise their internal markups to account for the increased risk of sending out a crew. Hiring locally avoids these travel costs.
The last point I'll put down here for why to hire a local production company is that you're supporting your local economy. Keeping it local keeps the money in the state and contributes to the growth of the community.
Now, if you were to ask me about hiring locally in Seattle, Washington, I'd say go for it! The city is sprawling and there are many video production houses here in its many neighborhoods all providing various flavors of production. Watch their portfolio content. See if their content aligns with the style of your brand. And, of course, reach out to more than just one to get multiple estimates. Not only will you have a better idea of cost when you have several estimates to look over, you'll also gain valuable knowledge on the ways in which different production companies operate.
Of the many ways to find a production company, I would check out a few review aggregators like UpCity or Clutch.Co. On both sites, reviews are vetted more thoroughly than on Google. I have included a few links to these sites below.