I often receive emails from marketers wanting to work with us on their video marketing project. Sometimes, those marketers have a video production company they want to work with, and are just looking for competitive bids to make sure the price is in the right ballpark. Sometimes, the marketers really like the work on our site, and want to produce a video project that falls into some of our strengths (authenticity, documentary-style, big emphasis on storytelling and the human angle over visual polish). And sometimes, they just knew somebody who has worked with us successfully in the past.
Whatever the circumstance is, we’re happy to develop a proposal for our potential clients’ project, or even brainstorm some creative ideas together. In a proposal, we include an overview of the project, some ideas on creative approaches, a budget (or several budgets), a detailed timeline for the project, and info about our company and our team. But the one thing I always tell marketers who have asked for a proposal is, make sure you consider other options. After all, we may not be the best fit for your video project, and there are a few other video production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area that do really great work.
Here’s a list of my favorite production companies in the Bay Area and, based on my observations, the type of work I think they’re best at:
These guys make really brilliant, cinematic branded content and customer testimonials. They have an amazing knack for creating something that feels more like an advertisement, or a film in the movie theater, but is actually a documentary-style story for a brand. This is something Slow Clap is also quite good at, however, our approach is a lot more focused on authenticity in storytelling and capturing authentic moments, whereas their approach is heavily curated and clearly storyboarded frame-by-frame. I especially admire their series for BMW and E-surance about motorcycle lovers:
This video production firm has something that most others in the Bay Area don’t: a true voice. Their work is unique, different, and feels very much like it is part of the same body of work, similar to how all of a director’s films might share similar traits, themes, or motifs. While Avocados and Coconuts’ quirky, edgy, and hip aesthetics and storytelling might not be the right fit for every company, when there is a proper fit, the results are lovely:
Corduroy’s visuals are excellent, but they also have strong storytelling skills. They’re a great firm to go to if you want help with both creative storytelling and a high level of visual polish. The work that I’ve seen them really excel at has been scripted and storyboarded. They’re almost more of a creative agency than a production company, in the sense that they do everything top-to-bottom and put a huge emphasis on creative. If you’re looking for someone to produce a scripted project and have a big budget, I recommend considering Corduroy. Carl, the founder, is warm, smart, and creative. Here’s a video of theirs that I love:
This team of high-end filmmakers make some of the most polished, highly produced visual stories in the Bay Area. They partner with a lot of advertising agencies on big budget stuff, but also work directly with brands to tell stories that look as slick as a traditional broadcast spot. If your budget has no upward limit, I suggest reaching out to Jordan and the folks at Heist. This is my favorite video from their portfolio:
Did I miss any great video production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area? Let me know, as I’m always interested in connecting with peers, and watching some great work.
CEO & Creative Director
Slow Clap Productions