Asking for a quote
What should you include when asking for a quotation

hands typing on a laptop

The first approach we often get is someone asking for a quote. Now how should one ask a media production house for a quote? Just today we received a quote asking for two videos of between 15 and 20 minutes, just that. When we or any production house receive a similar request we are at a loss. It might be that whoever is asking for such a quote has a very clear idea of what she or he has in mind, but if they do not write at least a brief down, nobody else can know what they actually want.

A 15-minute video could cost anything between €200 and even €2 million. Mind you, it’s not that we ever charged €2 million for a video, very far from that, but you never know. So we start thinking, what could they need, what do they want, how shall we start quoting. We would, of course, try to ask them back for more specifications, a better description of what they have in mind. If it is just one person in one location, talking to a camera without any specific lighting needs, it can cost as little as €200 but if the 15 minutes contain several scenes in various locations with professional actors and say, lots of explosions, the costs start building up.

The process, to even quote, will get long and will probably lead to problems for both the production house and the client. Imagine asking for a quote for a 3 day holiday. Where do you even start, is it a holiday in a local farmhouse or in Tibet, will you need transfers, do you require a hostel or five-star lodging, how about food, will you cook your own or do you require full board, what about excursions, any way you get the picture. Imagine you were this poor travel agent trying to quote for this mysterious holiday. Amazingly, we find ourselves in this situation often.

film crew in a dark tunnel

Unfortunately, the cheapest quote often gets the job. Now the system is totally flawed, the cheapest price will very rarely, if ever, get you the desired results, there is usually a very good reason why something is much cheaper than the other. So when quoting for this system, competitors will cut corners in order to keep the price low and of course cutting corners isn't exactly conducive to the best results. Quoting for video production is very different from quoting for say a toothbrush, a chair or a product with definite technical specifications, no matter what some accountants might think.

So, what makes a good request for a quotation? Whenever possible it is a good idea to have a chat with us so that we can arrive at a feasible solution. If it is a competitive process, it is best to describe exactly what you have in mind. A similar example from youtube, for example, might help. If you are at a loss for an idea, or unsure what you need, just describe your goal. Do you want to attract new customers, do you want to establish your brand? Is it an informational video? How long do you think it should be, where do you intend to show it, for how long? Do you want to have professional actors or do you maybe have a brand ambassador?

It does not have to be definitive. As with any project, such an undertaking will develop throughout the process, it evolves and matures to better meet your expectations. If you are still at a loss on where to start, just give us a call or send an email. We will gladly help out at no cost or commitment.

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