Forbes recently published an article, “Best Practices For Picking An International Production Company“, that asks many of the questions that we at MTI get all the time. In the last year we have been doing a lot of work for international companies, with positive results. So if you are hiring a production company in the Washington D.C. area and you’re overseas, or you’re working on an international video production project, here is a checklist of considerations.
- Obvious but easily overlooked: always note the time difference with the client
- Quick responses are mandatory
- WhatsApp is an easy way to communicate with a long-distance client
- We always let clients know that our cameramen, audio engineers, and crew are fully vaccinated
- Be flexible: MTI recently did a job for an international client which was complicated because the parameters kept changing
- Be open to last-minute personnel additions or changes
The Specific Realities of Video Production in Washington, D.C.
- In Washington, D.C., it is very important to let clients know about traffic. Getting from point A to point B may look quick on Google Maps but can take double or triple the time in rush hour.
- Many times clients want to grab beauty shots in D.C., the monuments and such. But there are many restrictions, requirements, and permits covering all aspects of shooting, down to where—or if—you may put a tripod down.
- Don’t expect drone shoots. Airspace around the Capitol and White House is tightly controlled and such shots are virtually impossible to produce.
Working with Different Production Standards
Different parts of the globe require unique specifications. On a recent international job, the client was great about putting one of their engineers on the phone with MTI’s videographer to discuss NTSC vs. PAL specs, and frame rates—and with our audio engineer about how they wanted the audio routed to the multiple cameras. Many times on these shoots the international client doesn’t have the budget for a local field producer, so your lead videographer is crucial for effectively communicating with the client.
Getting Material and Files to the Client
- Whether transferring files via a hard drive or the cloud, the current standard for 4K video can create huge files, taking longer, sometimes even overnight to transfer.
- MTI always keeps a copy of the work we do until the client signs off.
MTI has significant experience with international clients. Video production crews should plan to be fixers on-site, because unexpected requests or needs will come up. If you have a project like this, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions!