You’ve committed to making a video, estimated the cost of your production, and posted a request for proposals. Within the hour a handful appear in your Inbox… the question is... how to choose? You may like the videos that the company produces, but you still need to know the cost. The numbers seem... squishy.
Unfortunately, there’s no standard format for production proposals; quotes can come in different forms and formats. All of them have strengths and weaknesses, but some are riskier than others. A good video proposal should give you either a precise cost or a specific range of costs based on preferences you control, as well as information that describes the video in a way that's consistent with your vision.
There are three main types of production proposals:
The first is a Rate Card. Rate cards provide the hourly rate for an activity, sometimes with an estimate of how long the activity will take. Unfortunately, they’re often a poor estimate of the final cost, and they present the greatest financial risk to the client. Worse, they can signal that the production company doesn’t stand by the quality of their work. Not only are time overruns frequent on every project, but edits and changes based on your feedback will come at a price. However, there are times when a rate proposal is the best choice. If both you and the vendor agree that there will be a lot of back and forth on the project, than an hourly rate may be the most reasonable approach.
In most cases, though, I recommend one of the two other proposal types. For the skinny on these, jump on over to our main blog at Hurricane Images Inc. and read our guide to evaluating proposals.