Perfectly tender

We are often invited to competitively tender for work. A typical scenario is that an organisation gets in touch with an outline brief for the work they want doing, and a loose scoring system whereby cost, experience and quality will be the criteria. 

The problem for us comes if no-one says what the weighting will be in each category, the brief is very brief and we have no idea of the budget.

So what does the client want? An amazing creative treatment, beautifully shot over a number of days, with original music, graphics and a celebrity voiceover. Or a fast and friendly, done and dusted in a day, off the peg music and quick turnaround? We can do both, and do them well.

So where do you begin?

It’s difficult to know. We make films that vary in budget from perhaps £500 for a personal profile or quick case study for online, to £20,000 for something with a developed concept and script and some ambitious planning, shooting and post-production.

So if the client doesn’t give us a ballpark figure on the budget, how do we know whether they’re hoping for Shackleton’s Original High Seat Chairs or the latest Adidas.

Do you want the most creative response (which might cost more) or do you want the simple, straightforward, professional job that comes within a tight budget? 

In order to know what film you want, we really want to talk to you about your budget and learn a little more about what you want to achieve.

Understandably, putting work out to tender is often regarded as the easiest way of making sure you’re getting the best value. Get three similar companies in and check out their ideas and costs.

But it’s often far too complicated.

So here’s what we think is the best way for you make that process straightforward:

  1. Explain what you want to achieve, but if you want a creative response ask the companies how they would treat the film if money were no object. (That way our imaginations can run riot.)

AND/OR

  1. If you want to keep it tight, ask the company to provide the most budget conscious and cost-efficient response to the brief. (That way you’ll get the simple version.)

THEN

  1. Ask how long the company would spend on each of these separate treatments. How long will it take to shoot and edit?
  1. Ask for the company’s standard day rates for shooting and for post-production. 
  1. Ask to see examples of previous work.
  1. Ask for 2 references from clients.
  1. Ask for a company CV.

We’d say don’t ask for a detailed quote. You’ve got the main rates, you’ve got the ideas, you’ve got the references and examples. That should give you enough to score on quality and cost. The nitty-gritty can come after you appoint. And then, when you’ve decided on which company, expect the treatment and approach to change a little – that’s when you can tell us your budget and we can help you decide on the best approach.

That’s it.

Overall, what the above approach does is provide a clear and level playing field for all of the production companies you approach. 

Other than that, our advice is don’t bother tendering. We know that in this region we’ve made the best films, we’ve got the best CV, our clients will happily give us references and we’ll always work within your budget.

But then we would say that, wouldn’t we? Haha. 

Anyway, why bother talking to anyone else? We’re really good and very nice. Please talk to us – it doesn’t cost anything to talk. You can ring us on 07961 253676.