Are You A First Mover In Your Market?

Pretty much all of the world’s biggest companies are first movers, to some degree. Microsoft built package software. Five Guys concentrated on a luxury fast food burger. Netflix ushered in the age of film and TV streaming. The definition of moving first is taking a chance on a service or product that hasn’t yet been introduced successfully to the sector you’re hoping to influence.

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HSQ Productions Is Going Global…

Done in a day, anywhere

We’ve built our reputation on our ‘done in a day’ philosophy – that of delivering a professionally filmed and edited video in as little as 24 hours. That’s not changing. In fact, we’re making that same pledge on a global scale. HSQ Productions is extending this service to a global client base, as well as UK-based companies wanting work completed overseas.  

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Our Philosophy Pt. 6: C Is For… Collaboration

Directors and marketers work together for a promotional plan that makes sense within their wider business goals – including who to target and which channels they should use. Salespeople focus on the commercial element. Graphics experts may have a say in how the brand looks. Without some or any of these qualities, your business might struggle. So why should a video crew work outside of them? After all, the ideal video is a perfect representation of the client – without tapping into your knowledge and experience, it can’t be a success.

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Our Philosophy Pt. 5: C Is For… Communication

Hectic schedules are very common – for both of us. Yet the video service must shape itself to your preferences, since it wouldn’t be much of a service otherwise.

The work is on your timescale. A production crew has to be conscious of when you’re busy, free, or conditionally tied up. What’s the point in saying “Alright, we’ll call at this point in the day” when your calendar never stays the same?

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Our Philosophy Pt. 3: C Is For… Creativity

A brand video can be surprising, artistic and enlightening all at once.

You might be trying to clarify what you sell, or show off your friendly team members and explain what they do. In the quest for a video that rivals the best in the business, the production crew have to achieve your objectives – but they should also do it creatively.

Why’s that important? Well, because an original and engaging video is one of the most valuable resources you can have, and it’s part of HSQ Production’s core principles. Let us explain what we mean:

The result is something people want to see

Think of a film or television show – one of your favourites. Why do you like it so much? Is it the writing, acting, lighting or direction? It’s probably a bit of everything: the most memorable visual stories treat all of those elements with the same care. We may not notice each of them as we watch, but they all add up to create an experience in which we feel a connection to what’s happening on screen.

Video marketing operates on the same principle. Sure, it’s a commercial product, yet there’s still a story to work out. Creative videographers have a big imagination; they see where they can make your brand’s personality flourish, within your preferred timescale and budget.

A sense of humour. Attention to detail. Great scriptwriting. A bit of creativity turns a standard video into one that you can’t take your eyes off.

Top-class technical ability

Video experts are restless, always looking for the next development in the industry. Creative people don’t like to be overtaken – innovation is in their blood.

The finest creative video teams will be ahead in terms of lenses, sound design and camera setup. They will always select the best tools for the job, from an arsenal that can deliver amazing returns on investment.

It’s not just a matter of sticking something in the frame and yelling ‘action!’. A top-class production team knows truly fantastic work requires a lot more than that. Within your concept and with your approval, they might even take a left-field approach to ensure your brand ends up leading the pack, instead of picking up crumbs from others in the industry.

Creativity makes up an essential, and significant, part of our own values. Once brought on-side, HSQ Productions will never take a laissez-faire stance when filming something spectacular for your brand or organisation. Talk to us or see what we’ve done in the past for proof.

Our Philosophy Pt. 2: C Is For… Cost-Effectiveness

Money isn’t everything. But it sure does play a role in how effective your video marketing will be as a business resource. Spend too much for a bad product, and you’ll be on the back foot for the rest of your financial year – as well as losing ground to your competitors.

HSQ Productions place ‘cost-effectiveness’ high on our list of the essential Cs: the values we uphold when making an offer to clients. It’s part of the six principles we abide by, and we firmly believe you should go for videos that make for a great return on investment, rather than ones that are cheap.

Here’s how we get the best results from video budgets:

Cutting the unnecessary stuff

Some production crews will push for big, bold additions to what should be (really) a simple video shoot. They’ll say they need to deliver complex graphics, props and camera angles – all of which absorb more time or funding. We aren’t saying there’s never a time and a place for such extras, but they shouldn’t be ‘do or die’. It’s possible to make a strong video that just uses the basics of scene, lighting, sound and a good script.

HSQ don’t sell you a package that’s weighed down with too many additions – at least, not if you don’t want them. A tight budget is fine, necessity breeds invention after all. Some of our most memorable projects have been simple, stripped-back videos that focused on little more than a place or an interesting subject.

Talking heads. Tracking shots. Quick, clever editing. Video agencies should be able to do great things with what they’re given, instead of making expensive requests that fill the gaps in their skill set.

You only pay for the final result

This is a subject we’ve discussed before the benefits of going for a video production service that charges for delivering on the brief as opposed to the hours they spend on achieving it.

Pay-per-hour is bad for a number of reasons. Chief among them is the chance for wasted work, which you’re still being billed for. There’s absolutely no certainty that the time recorded is A) accurate, or B) adds any value. What if the production team is swamped with assignments? Might they be holding off on the deadline because they haven’t planned their schedule effectively? Promises like this are half-baked. Such payment plans are a sign that the agency doesn’t value your budget as much as you do.

By agreeing to a weekly or monthly delivery list, on the other hand, you have confidence that your funds are being used properly. If the video is late, that’s the problem of those behind the camera. Your aims are entwined. And the budget, by all accounts, will be healthier for it. You can see how the costs stack up against the benefits you’re set to get far in advance.

HSQ Productions will never fleece you for a subpar video. It’s against what we believe in, and our clients respect that. Contact us to make a booking or to discuss how we can create a cost-effective video for you. With HSQ, every penny spent will be right there, in the frame.

Our Philosophy: C Is For… Capability

Did you manage to read our introduction to the six Cs of HSQ Productions? If not, that’s fine; we’ll give you a refresher on what we mean.

When we began life as a video production agency, Adam Smith and the rest of the team thought about the intrinsic promises our clients could look forward to. The six Cs are the answer – a cluster of ideologies, all hewn towards the beliefs we share for what we can do and how a business may trust us.

Your marketing aims, for instance, will need a Capable service: the very first C on the list. Here’s a closer examination of what that entails…

Know the tricks of the trade

Not everyone can master videography, or even be particularly good at it. Shooting film takes years of training and practice to get right; particularly when the yardstick keeps moving higher, as more brands warm to the possibilities of video content.

Success breeds innovation. And innovation means that more people are trying new things. If a video production crew can’t capably film your story (i.e. produce it to a standard that walks over your competitors, who aren’t paying as much attention) they will fall flat, along with your promotional power. But they also can’t rely on the same old methods to do so. Angles, composition, lenses and camera choices are an evolving set of tools and techniques. A production hire must be aware of what’s hot on the video scene, otherwise you will appear stale, by extension.  

Your organisation wants to be the best. Therefore, it has to look the best, and that relies on a capable team that knows what it’s doing.

Never pile the workload too thickly

Aside from the nuts and bolts of contemporary video skills, it’s important to realise that the crew – by all accounts – can take on what you’ve asked. Saying “yes” to everything just isn’t feasible. It’ll distract from a focused assignment, which yields the results you want.

HSQ are very careful to measure out what we’re able to film, edit and package in the time we’ve agreed to. By sticking to a select few projects, there’s no risk of missing the mark when we prepare for something. You’re assured that we won’t spread ourselves thinly, or press the ‘hold’ button whilst other enquiries take precedence. That seems like the fair and logical standpoint… But we know that other agencies don’t do this. They will keep taking more work on, even when they are at 100% capacity.

An HSQ booking, however, equates to a secure, focused video service that doesn’t juggle you with other clientele. Can you see now why our Cs are so useful to pick up on? They are a working philosophy that hasn’t let us down so far. And really, they exemplify what our brand means for yours. Speak to Adam or his colleagues for more information; alternatively, head to our Greatest Hits page, where you’ll view bright spots in HSQ’s professional roster.

What To Consider Before You Sign Up For A Retainer

Recently we talked about the advantages of a retained service contract between you and a video production crew. Paying for a set number of videos, over a set amount of time, is likely to strengthen your campaign.

However there are certain factors that you – and the production team – need to account for before the agreement is given the green light. Let’s take a look:

How often do you want to repeat a concept?

Retainers demand a schedule. For video, a schedule might consist of a single explainer film a month, a two-day event recording, and/or six ‘Twitter bites’ built for social media. Regular uploads are part of what makes a promotional campaign run effectively.

But there’s also the possibility that those desires will change. Video content doesn’t have to stay static; indeed, it can build on previous successes, becoming more intensive as you witness its impact on the business.

Services such as ours can scale up when you’re ready. Just bear in mind that this will typically involve reviewing the retainer further down the line.

Where does each part of the retainer link together?

 Each proposition in a retainer should become a pillar of your marketing strategy. The structure has to make sense within the context of what you’re trying to achieve, and tie in with your efforts elsewhere.

Series-led content, for example, can continue a narrative across several weeks or months, breaking a story up into small chunks that can be shared on social. Do those ideas add up to something coherent? Will one lead naturally to another? How can social media snippets provide an appetiser for longer-form content?

These questions are imperative to a successful retainer.

Is it set on value, instead of hourly effort?

Let’s face it: there’s no sense paying for wasted time. HSQ have carved a reputation in the video services industry for our ‘done in a day’ guarantee, whereby we seek to deliver a video in 24 hours, if necessary.

Other companies, however, may ask to be paid for a certain number of hours in any given period. That isn’t good – for you or for them. Value is what matters. By submitting to a time-spent retainer, you get a weaker sense of the relationship’s profitability.

It’s all about the end result – if that fails, then the retainer sinks into the mud of a bad agreement.

Trust is essential when embarking on a retainer agreement – something that we hold in high regard at HSQ Productions. Come to us for a great example of how planning really does pay off. We love working with clients on a long-term basis. Contact us to learn more about our forward-thinking video services.

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Posted by Adam Smith.

HSQ Pledges £12,000 Worth Of Video & Photography To North West Charities

From the 15th January, HSQ Productions are offering North West charity organisations the chance to win professional marketing material valued at £12,000. The giveaway is set to help up to a dozen worthy causes broadcast their message, attract new donors, and reward those who are already supporting them.

Any charity can enter – they simply have to be based in the region. Entries are free and require a brief description of the organisation’s role in supporting a chosen ideology, in addition to any ideas surrounding video/photo needs. The production team will then select 12 winners and commit to delivering high-quality visuals over 2018.

Bringing stories to the fore

Content may take any form desired within HSQ’s set of services. Examples include interviews, event highlights, web photography and short explainer films. Overall, these projects will broaden the exposure and narrative techniques of whoever takes the top prize, making it easier for the charity to engage with prospective and existing donors.

Adam Smith, founder of HSQ Productions, is adamant on the beneficial influence of video marketing for non-profit groups: “. Our aim is to cast light on stories that need a vivid image to expand their audience and, likewise, their economic resources. Empathic tales of triumph over adversity are very hard to ignore.”

“Under the skin of any charitable organisation, there is strife, joy, hard work, and an emotional gravity that can make would-be donors consider what they have – as well as what others are lacking – providing these values are well-communicated.”

The value of visual content

We believe that powerful visuals can display the real, human value of whoever or whatever receives a donation. Videos are excellent at bringing viewers into the reality of a situation. They can form a nexus of your website, fortify the strength of an email campaign, or bring followers up to speed on social media. High-resolution photographs, meanwhile, are a testament to the lives and communities changed through charitable work.

A perfect example can be found in the content that HSQ produced for the RNLI’s (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) Yellow Wellies campaign in 2017. Adam counts this as one of his most rewarding projects so far: “We took great care with our composition, and everyone involved was fantastic. There were 9-year-olds and octogenarians in, quite literally, the same boat in terms of what they believed in. It was a heart-warming experience.”

Charities can register for the competition here from the 15th January. For more information or press enquiries, email

Planning Your Event Calendar For 2018? Don’t Forget Video

Whatever business you’re in, there’s always an excuse to bring clients, peers and Joe Public together for a showcase event. Some of you may run several of these over the year. Plans may already be in motion for 2018, either as an exhibitor or the company pulling the strings.

If so, have you added video marketing to that agenda? Recording the day – and cementing your place in it – will provide a trove of amazing material that can be brought to bear on all sorts of promotional work.

Here, we explain why video is an essential contribution to the success of your events…

Put viewers ‘in the moment’

The first and most obvious benefit of video is its immediacy. Even after a short clip, people can fall into the mood, sounds and vibrancy of whatever you’ve organised. The best events are milieu of images; delegates grinning from ear to ear whilst demonstrations happen on the sidelines, or an amazing speech is backlit in a conference hall. Why not capture them? It makes all that hard work worthwhile.

By watching your film material, it’s impossible to deny that the event does what it says on the tin i.e. presents ideas, provides a great backdrop for discussion, and (potentially) entertains the crowd with music or live acts.

Depict the scale of your accomplishments

Scene to scene, a marketing video can flit around every face of the event, immortalising its diversity. Time lapse videos, for instance, may start with an empty space that’s quickly filled with stands, furniture, people and buffet trays. The viewer can gaze at all of this momentum, which comes to life in a matter of seconds, and admire what you’re able to do.

Beyond time lapse photography, a production team can take snippets from each section of your event schedule, editing them to perfection. Want to focus on a networking session? Done. How about random interviews with attendees, getting their on-the-spot opinion? They’re easily stitched together. Whatever your plans, we can showcase them.

Re-use quality footage

Drumming up demand for another event, later in the year, can seem like climbing a mountain again… But video is the strongest primer for what’s to come, based on what you’ve already filmed.

Once more, we’d like to stress the power of visual stimuli for selling your concept. Attendees, performers and exhibitors will be eager to sign on for whatever else you’re cooking up, if they can observe how the previous event went down. This makes video an excellent tool to add to any campaign. Emails will get better click-through rates; your web pages will score higher on search engines; a homepage show reel, in all honesty, is just the thing that some people need for validation.

There are so many methods of using event video footage – we’d love to talk to you about them. HSQ Productions can be an accompanying light for that 2018 event strategy. We’ll show you how video marketing is a solid, beautiful extension of your promotional tactics. Get in touch for a conversation.

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Posted by Adam Smith.