Most companies will commission a video production agency to create a one-off promotional or explainer video, but if they regularly produce video content, it may save time and money to bring production in-house. However, many companies have no experience in video production, and it can be hard to know where to start.
With this in mind, here’s a guide to setting up an in-house video production team.
Who do you need to hire for your in-house video production team?
The starting point for most in-house video production teams is a producer (who can direct), and a camera operator who can also edit video.
The producer is responsible for managing everything from pre-production to post-production. They’ll come up with the initial concepts, schedule the shoot, organise the crew, and oversee every element of the production from start to finish.
A multipurpose camera operator and editor, as the title suggests, handles lighting, audio, filming, and editing. This job requires a varied skillset, and often individuals don’t have specialist post-production skills (such as being able to work with motion graphics or animation).
As your team grows, you should begin building out your video production team to include specialists in the different elements of production. Typical next steps are to hire an editor rather than relying on your cameraman to edit, and then hiring an animator. At TopLine Film, we recommend avoiding ‘videographers’, who are jacks of all trades and masters of none. They’re often spread too thin to be able to produce truly outstanding work.
Hiring in video is difficult, so we’d recommend delegating the job to a consultant. If your video experience is lacking, you may find it difficult to separate quality candidates from shoddy ones. The right hires can make or break a video team, and when it’s your brand at stake, it’s important you hire only the best.
Deciding whether to buy or hire equipment
Anybody in the video business will tell you that equipment can be eye-wateringly expensive. Early on, it’s normally easier and cheaper to hire the majority of the equipment that you need. However, as you grow, you can begin to buy the cameras, lighting equipment, and other gear that you use most.
Conduct a cost analysis every year to determine whether it’s better to buy or hire. Even though we own plenty of equipment (our cameraman Dan has quite the collection), we still hire when it’s more cost effective or when we need specialist kit.
In-house video production teams can become creatively burnt out. Some teams struggle to make original and creative videos because they find themselves producing the same content over and over again. Video production agencies, on the other hand, work with clients across a range of industries and video types every day, which means they can produce fresh and original video for your brand.
As good as your in-house team might be, you should still work with freelancers and video production agencies, particularly if you’re at full capacity, or for more complex projects where specialist skills are required.
If you want to discuss a video project, or if you want help setting up an in-house video production team, reach out to our MD Jamie.