Many companies have started to hire internal video production teams. Unfortunately, most are not having a good experience. The number one reason this isn’t working for brands is because they are looking for Superman, one person who can do it all. A quick search for video production on a popular job site will pull up many ads, like the following one (yes, this is a real example of what one company was looking for. Note: I’ve added in my thoughts in italics within the job description):
Wanted: video editor. We are willing to pay you $18 per hour. You only need one year of experience. The following is what you need to know to get this job.
- Light, shoot, and edit – Those are 3 very different skills and should be 3 different jobs!
- Conceptualize and develop creative storyboard – Again, those are 2 more jobs. So, for those keeping track, we are now looking for one person that does 5 jobs for a tad over minimum wage…
- Organize, catalog, and archive footage. – While this one seems easy, you just asked for someone that is creative above. If said person is creative, there is a good chance they are very disorganized. The more creative they are, the worse this gets. It’s just the way most creatives are. Also, most production people learn organization through job experience. If they have only been working for one year, that probably hasn’t happened yet.
- Know how to take amazing photos – While these are similar skills, it’s a completely different art form. To get amazing photos, you need a professional photographer.
- Knowledge of social media. – Video marketing strategy is very complicated. This is another one or two jobs, maybe more depending on your company’s social media goals. Just because a person has the ability to post a video to YouTube, does not mean that that person has knowledge of social media.
- Please submit your excellent reel or portfolio – This is reasonable but they can’t expect much because the person that they say they want only needs to have 1 year of experience Not to mention that most good video portfolio items are created by a team, not just a single person.
- This person must know how to use Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects – Again, two different art forms that equal two different jobs.
- Ability to create photorealistic product 3d rendering and animation a plus –This takes team of people to do well.
- Must have the ability to multi-task. – Gee! You think so?! Given the fact that you’re looking for one person to do an 8-10 person job, that’s one heck of a multi-tasker!
The awful thing is this wasn’t the only ad like this. All of the ads that I found on a popular job search site were very similar to the one above. The only thing that seemed to change from ad to ad was the pay, and even that didn’t change by much. I wish I was exaggerating. I have been doing video production professionally since 2003 and I know a lot of people who are video production experts. I can’t think of one person who can do all the things above, let alone anyone who actually knows most of those things that would be willing to work for $18 bucks an hour. If your company is going to hire people to do video in house, you need to have a clear expectation of what is humanly possible.
Let’s break down this job posting. An internal video production team can only be expected to know so much before they hit the end of their skill set. I understand the draw of an internal team. You can pay someone, in this case, 34k per year although based on this job description they are worth over 100k per year or you can hire an agency that will cost you 100k or more for the same amount of finished video. However, that agency comes with years of experience and equipment. Did I mention that if you hire an internal team, you will also need to purchase equipment? I can show you companies who have stopped working with us and started using an internal person. Their video production quality went way down. This is because video production is a team sport. Viewers now expect quality when it comes to online video. Not only that but an internal team of 1 or 2 people can do a great job on a testimonial video or other simple styles of video but if you want big production value, you will need, at the very least, to hire freelancers to fill in some of these positions. It used to be that you had one skill, such as a camera operator. You didn’t know anything about audio or editing because you were a camera operator. This is still true in Hollywood production. I worked on a project where they made the mistake of hiring a Hollywood cinematographer to create trade show videos. He knew a lot about the camera that he was hired to operate but he didn’t know anything about the other stuff that the project required and he wasn’t interested in doing those things because he was a specialist.
Because of how easy it is to get a camera and editing software, there are more and more people who have learned how to shoot and edit. Unfortunately, they won’t be good at everything. It’s just not how it works. Fortunately, thanks to technology, it has never been easier to get a nice image out of a camera. That doesn’t mean you know anything about lighting and composition. If you can’t pay for a whole team of professionals, you will need to decide what is ‘good enough’ and how much you are willing to allow someone to learn on the job. Internal teams are often over loaded with requests for video. We have helped many internal teams by taking some of the work load off there plates. If you are thinking about hiring an internal video team, or have an internal team you are not happy with, contact us! We offer video consulting services to help you succeed with your internal team and video marketing strategy.