Are you in need of media services such as corporate video, event coverage or explainer motion graphics? Is there too much to choose from and how would you really know which production company is right for your project? Would your choice be influenced by the production company’s size, experience, prices, equipment or maybe website design?
I’ve done some research and I would like to give you some tips and ideas on finding the right video producer for the job.
There are currently more than sixty production companies in and around Leeds. I used Google to search for a “production company is Leeds” and looked through over 30 pages of results containing the search word. Below is a list of all Leeds production companies I came across:
- The Production Company http://www.theproductioncompany.co.uk/
- True North http://www.truenorth.tv/
- Talking Lens http://talkinglens.co.uk/
- Rattle Media https://www.rattlemedia.co.uk/
- Motiv Productions http://www.motivproductions.co.uk/
- Stada Media http://www.stadamedia.co.uk/
- Bradley Media http://www.bradley.tv/
- Manto http://manto.tv/
- Left Eye Blind http://lefteyeblind.com/
- The Production Zone http://www.theproductionzone.co.uk/
- Feature Media http://www.featuremedia.co.uk/
- Medusa http://medusadigital.co.uk/
- Net Construct http://www.netconstruct.co.uk/
- Rejuvenate Productions https://www.rejuvenateproductions.com/
- Elastic Films http://www.elasticfilms.co.uk/
- Shiver http://www.shiver.tv/
- Wall Fly Media http://wallflymedia.co.uk/
- Bizniz TV http://www.bizniztv.com/
- Active Pictures http://www.activepictures.co.uk/
- White Rhino Productions http://www.whiterhinoproductions.com/
- Shot Blast Media http://www.shotblastmedia.co.uk/
- Pixel Definition (PXL DEF) http://www.pxldef.co.uk/
- Dark Horse Media http://www.darkhorsemedia.co.uk/
- Giant Leap Productions http://www.giantleapproductions.co.uk/
- Takagari http://www.takagari.co.uk/
- Daisybeck Studios http://www.daisybeckstudios.com/
- Quickfoot http://www.quickfoot.co.uk/
- Barksy Media http://www.barksy.tv/
- Pixel Factory http://pixelfactory.tv/
- Limehouse http://www.limehouse.tv/
- NFD Productions http://www.nfdproductions.com/
- StudioLax http://studiolax.co.uk/
- VTR North http://vtrnorth.co.uk/
- Rollem Productions http://www.rollemproductions.co.uk/
- Mothership http://www.mothershipuk.com/
- Lucas.Media http://www.lucas.media/
- Leeds Media Services http://www.leedsmediaservices.co.uk/
- The Other Planet http://theotherplanet.co.uk/
- TDF Media http://www.tdfmedia.co.uk/
- Make It Happen Agency http://mihagency.com/
- Bedlam TV http://www.bedlamtv.com/
- In The Can Productions http://inthecanproductions.co.uk/
- AFP Images http://www.afpimages.com/
- Motionix Video Production Agency http://www.motionix.co.uk/
- Fresh Cut Creative http://freshcutcreative.co.uk/
- Addictive Media http://www.addictive.media/
- Kinesomania http://www.kinesomania.com/
- Digifish http://www.digifish.tv/
- Kino Studios http://www.kino-studios.com/
- Business Web TV http://businessweb.tv/
- Blooming Branded http://www.bloomingbranded.co.uk/
- ADBS http://adbs.tv/
- The Mill Group http://www.themillgroup.co.uk/
- Reel Film http://www.reel-film.co.uk/
- Motus Media http://www.motus.tv/
- Total Video Productions http://www.totalvideoproductions.co.uk/
- Yellow Video Production http://www.yellowvideoproduction.com/
- Pixelwave Creative http://www.pixelwavecreative.co.uk/
- Impact Films http://www.impactfilms.co.uk/
- New Mill Productions http://www.newmillproductions.co.uk/
- Screen House http://www.screenhouse.co.uk/
- Revolution Viewing https://www.revolutionviewing.co.uk/
- Twenty Twenty Films http://www.twentytwentyfilms.com/
- Phoenix Multimedia http://phoenixmultimedia.co.uk/
- Sira Studio http://sirastudio.com/
I’m unsure whether these results are surprising. Leeds seems like an average-sized city to me but Wikipedia says it’s the third-largest city in the UK with an estimated population of nearly 760 000 as of 2011.
Anyway, there are currently 65 production companies in and around Leeds only. Not to mention the list isn’t definitive because new ones are joining the creative scene as we speak, take First Frame Productions (www.firstframeproductions.com) as an example. Box Media (www.boxmedia.tv), founded in 2001 and based in Leeds Roundhay area, didn’t even appear in my search.
The production companies on top of the list appeared on the first page of my search but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the best ones to work with. So how do you choose the right company for your media needs? From the start I would recommend you to ignore factors such as company size, equipment and website design in selecting the right candidate.
First, a production company’s size isn’t an accurate indicator of how successful or creative the company is. There are companies who employ multiple people of the same role (2x Video Editors, 3x Camera Operators, etc), and there are ones that are run by a single managing director who hires skilled professionals per project. Yet, both types of media companies produce great work.
Second, a production company’s equipment list (the technology used to produce video, such as cameras and accessories) has little to do with how good the company is. A simple explanation for this is that although high quality equipment is very expensive to buy, everyone (including independent media professionals and freelancers) can afford to hire the latest camcorder or Digital SLR for the shoot. So, don’t get excited when a production company claims to own the latest state-of-the-art camera gear. Technology has developed so quickly over the years that even £300-pound Canon 600D can produce amazing footage in a properly lit environment. Quality is no longer an issue for web video in my opinion. It’s certainly an asset but what really makes a difference in the long run is the creative person behind the camera or the editor cutting the footage and how well they can capture and tell your story even if they are to use a mobile phone.
Thirdly, I would like you to think about web design in a different way. A modern-looking, simplistic and well-organized web design is a tremendous pleasure to click on and navigate around. If the eyes are a window to the human soul, then a website must be a doorway to a company’s heart, right? Not necessarily. Good web design is crucial and expensive and not all production companies can afford to freshen their online appearance. Innovative web design, regardless of how much creativity flows out of it, remains generally a marketing tool and clients must be aware not to falsely attribute that creativity to a company’s media services. I speculate that great websites are usually designed by talented web developers and web designers rather than talented film-makers and media businesses who could only brief their ideas on. Web design is crucial for how you perceive the company but it’s only the surface.
To an extent, we can legitimately link a company’s capabilities and creativity to its experience. I must clarify though that not all media companies state how many years of experience they’ve got. This may be because a company is either two young to say, or it employs professionals with varied experience. Below is a categorization of all Leeds production based on their level of experience.
1+ YEAR: Rattle Media
5+ YEARS: Business Web TV, Impact Films, Sira Studio, Crowns and Owls, Bradley TV, PXL DEF
10+ YEARS: VTR North, Rollem, Mothership, Barksy, Daisybeck Studios
20+ YEARS: ADBS, The Mill Group, Screenhouse
30+ YEARS: Bedlam, Leeds Media Services, NFD Productions
UNKNOWN: Kino Studios, Blooming Branded, Reel Film, Motus, Total Video Productions, pixelwave Creative, New Mill Productions, Revolution Viewing, Twenty Twenty Films, Kinesomania, Addictive Media, AFP Images, Motionix, Fresh Cut Creative, The Other Planet, TDF Media, Make It Happen Agency, In The Can Productions, Studio LAX, Lucas Media, Pixel Factory, Limehouse, The Production Company, True North, Talking Lens, Motiv, Stada Media, Manto, Feature Media, Medusa, Net Construct, Elastic Films, Shiver, Wall Fly Media, White Rhino Productions, Shot Blast Media, Dark Horse Media, Giant Leap Productions, Takagari, Quickfoot
It will clearly be an error to hire solely based on years of experience because experience associates with practice not creativity and innovation. Technology is developing, and so is design. Hence, many emerging media businesses stand out for their fresh ideas and insights over the more experienced companies rooted in old-fashioned methods.
A great place to get a glimpse into capabilities of a production company is its portfolio work. By portfolio work I’m not referring to a company’s showreel (a short and engaging video collecting the best moving images from previously completed projects) but the individual videos featured on a web page usually called “WORK”. Showreel is another essential marketing tool and though a creative one it often allows for cheating by omitting the whole picture. I suggest clients view as much portfolio works as possible.
Next step is to consider the company’s specialization based on its portfolio work. What kind of work has the company produced the most and is it relevant to the services you need? Again, this isn’t a decisive factor because most nowadays production companies are multi-skilled and they can produce great videos even if it isn’t their speciality. Below is a subjective categorization of Leeds production companies based on their specialization and portfolio work.
Corporate videos – Kino Studios, Reel Film, Pixelwave Creative, Impact Films, New Mill Productions, Screenhouse, TDF Media, Limehouse, NFD Productions, The Production Company, Bradley TV, The Production Zone, Feature Media, Rejuvenate Productions, Bizniz TV, Shot Blast Media, PXL DEF, Giant Leap Productions, Quickfoot
Web Videos – Business Web TV, Blooming Branded, Reel Film, Motus, Total Video Productions, Impact Films, Twenty Twenty Films, Sira Studio, DigiFish, Addictive Media, AFP Images, Motionix, Fresh Cut Creative, Make It Happen Agency, Bedlam, In The Can Productions, Mothership, Leeds Media Services, Barksy, Pixel Factory, Limehouse, NFD Productions, The Production Company, Rattle Media, Motiv Productions, Stada Media, Bradley TV, Manto, The Production Zone, Feature Media, Medusa, Rejuvenate Productions, Elastic Films, Wall Fly Media, Bizniz TV, White Rhino Productions, Shot Blast Media, PXL DEF, Giant Leap Productions, Takagari, Quickfoot
Broadcast and TV Commercials – Motus, Sreenhouse, DigiFish, Mothership, Lucas Media, Barksy, The Production Company, True North, Left Eye Blind, Elastic Films, Active Pictures, Dark Horse Media, Giant Leap Productions, Daisybeck Studios, Quickfoot.
TV Drama – Rollem, True North, Talking Lens, Left Eye Blind, Shiver, Daisybeck Studios
Films – Studio LAX, True North, Talking Lens, Left Eye Blind, Elastic Films, Shiver, Giant Leap Productions, Takagari, Daisybeck Studios
Motion Graphics – Motus, Kinesomania, Pixel Factory, Motiv Productions, Stada Media, Bradley TV, Feature Media, Net Construct, Wall Fly Media, Bizniz TV, Shot Blast Media, PXL DEF
3D Animation – Revolution Viewing, Kinesomania, Pixel Factory
Aerial Videography – Blooming Branded, Motionix, Bradley TV
Post Production / Editing House – ADBS, The Other Planet, VTR North
To reiterate, this isn’t a definitive services list and should be used for reference only. I simply evaluated how much of the same type of work (corporate video, motion graphics, etc.) as seen showcased in its portfolio a given production company has produced the most.
What if there are more than one company that match your media needs based on their portfolio work and services specification? The next step would be to learn more about the people behind the trade. The “Meet Our Team” page would contain valuable information, images and possibly videos revealing the personality of skilled team members and managers. Social media and blogging can also help potential clients feel a production company on a more personal level.
Lastly, I believe that one of the most decisive factors in choosing your media services provider is something that applies to every single successful professional in the world. Passion. A positive enthusiastic attitude is a the best sign that a media content creator will truly enjoy doing what they do. Passion leads to continuous self-development and tendency for hard work. Passion cannot be measured but it can be felt emanating from a production company’s website, especially meet-the-team or about-us page, portfolio work, social media and blogs, and eventually in the attitudes of the professionals working on set.
Videographer // Editor // Motion Designer