on March 25, 2015 Educational

Video Production: In-House vs. Outsource

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We know you’ve heard it a million times, but it cannot be stressed enough. “Every company is a media company.” Companies from food to retail to software have to produce high quality videos to stay relevant in today's media-centric times. Whether it be promotional or instructional, videos are vital in every business today. This trend raises the question, how will your company approach video production? Will you hire your own internal team? Or will you freelance sporadically? Which is better for you? 

Quality 

In-House

Pros: In-house quality can only be as good as you are willing to make it. Did you invest in the best possible equipment? Is your team capable of filming and editing at a high level? If the answer is yes, your videos will look and sound professional. 

Cons: If the answer is no, you may want to consider ditching in-house and outsourcing. Failing to hire a capable team and failing to buy adequate equipment will result in poorly produced content.  

Outsource

Pros: An experienced video production company has the resources necessary to create good video content and knows how to use them. They have a well-trained crew, own the best equipment, and are constantly looking to improve their portfolio. 

Cons: The quality of the video depends on the quality of the freelancer, and quality can be expensive. That being said, in video production as in life, you get what you pay for.

Convenience 

In-House

Pros: Once your team is hired and trained, and your equipment is purchased and set up, you have a production studio at your fingertips. Never again will you have to call or pay an external source to do your work for you. Walk into your video producer’s office, and tell him what you want to do. Make one video or a dozen videos a month, it’s your call. 

Cons: Building an in-house team can be tough. Will you hire professionals? What will make them want to join your company as oppose to freelancing? Will you select employees within the company and train them? Setting up and familiarizing a team with production equipment can be time-consuming and expensive.

Outsource

Pros: Freelancers are ready to roll ASAP. They have all their equipment and team in place, and can complete a job before the deadline. If you just need one job done before a certain time, outsourcing is your best bet. 

Cons: Say you want to produce marketing videos monthly, weekly, or even daily (I commend you). Not only would outsourcing become extremely expensive, but it would just be plain silly. Freelancers go from company to company on contracts. You might end up having to hire different freelancers every week! If you plan on continuously producing content, you need to hire an in-house team.

Cost

In-House

Pros: You are the boss. You choose how much to pay your team, and how much to put into each production. Your producers will most likely have a salary, which could save you a lot of money. 

Cons: Studio and editing costs can get expensive. And if you need to train your team it can cost you money AND time.

Outsource

Pros: With outsourcing, your payment covers every single aspect of the production process. The team is already assembled and trained. They’ll set up, film, direct, and edit for you. This will be significantly less worrisome and time-consuming. 

Cons: In our article, Why Production Value is Worth Paying for, we talk about how freelance videographers do charge a lot of money. It will be a large payment, but you get what you pay for. If you are willing to make the investment, you will get a professionally made, high quality video.

Brand

In-House

Pros: An in-house team represents your brand and image. Their jobs depend on producing the best videos for your company. Consequently, they are motivated to work hard. Also, freelancers will want to put their name or company on your video. By having your own team, the video is entirely your doing, and you get all of the credit and recognition.

Cons: The in-house team represents your brand and image. One slip up, and your reputation can be tainted. 

Outsource

Pros: Many video production companies are established in the media industry and well-respected. If potential partners/clients see that you are wise enough and can afford a reputable production brand, they may consider doing business with you.

Cons: Freelancers don’t know your culture. As much as you explain who you are and what your company stands for, they will never be on the inside. They will never truly understand your mission. The hope is that you can convey your message to them, and they can translate it into a well-produced video to the best of their ability.

Mission

In-House

Pros: One can never truly grasp how a company works unless they are an internal member. They can easily identify the mission of the company’s videos and be driven to carry it out. In-house team members are also integral parts of the decision-making process that help spark ideas, as opposed to freelancers who are given a task and must interpret it the best they can. 

Cons: The only rare downside to hiring a professional as your in-house videographer can be if the two of you have different creative visions. You have the final say in which direction to take the video, but let your videographer pitch his/her idea and try to reach a middle ground that will most benefit your company. 

Outsource

Pros: Freelancers are professionals. They are trained to learn, understand, and interpret what your company is and what you hope to portray to potential customers. The leading production companies will tell your story the right way. You wouldn't hire a freelancer without an impressive portfolio. That means they are trusted by other businesses just like yours, and have been able to produce results. 

Cons: You must provide enough insight for the freelancer to run with, so that he/she can execute the best possible game plan for your video. If you can’t convey your company’s message properly, they can’t produce a good marketing video. 

So there you have it. If you are serious about video and want to consistently produce content, hire an in-house team. If you only want to create a video every so often for a specific need or purpose, outsource. Either option is viable, but remember how important high quality video content is in this day and age. 

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Nick Shanman

Intern at large. Movie buff.