There are a huge number of factors to worry about when it comes to video production. Budget, shooting locations, equipment, scheduling, production offices, catering, to name a few. But before any of this becomes a concern, the very first thing you must determine is how to align your team (and client’s team!) for success.
You may be wondering, what does that mean? ‘Align my team for success’? How is it possible to align creative direction for a video project that can go so many different ways? We will discuss several strategies to get you and your team started in the right way.
Setting up a like-minded team is a crucial aspect not only for the production team to determine, but also for the client. The worst thing that can happen in pre-production is for the client to come back to the production team and tell them they have changed their mind about the shoot, and they will get back later. Not only is this inconvenient for everyone involved, it has also cost the production team hours that have been put into preparation for an idea that has changed.
Whether it is the client or production team coming up with ideas, it is crucial to have everyone’s thinking aligned before starting the project. For example, the client must determine expectations internally before passing anything on to the production company. If the marketing team wants to use the video to sell products, and the HR department want to use the video to train new employees, and the Managing Director wants a corporate documentary, this discussion needs to take place before contacting the video team. Nothing will be accomplished if the video production team is receiving three different sets of information.
Gather Together a Collaborative Team
This may seem like a no-brainer. Once the client has determined the purpose of the video, the production team comes in. It is the production company’s responsibility to put together staff that have a like-mindedoutlook. The last thing you need is two different creative directions coming from the department heads. Some video projects can be taken care of by a micro-crew, video production has a way of pulling in people you may not expect. The most important thing to do is find department heads that can agree on the same creative direction. Keep the decision-makers to three or four people. If decisions have to go through ten-plus people, nothing will ever get accomplished.
Make Sure to Define Your Objective
Once you have your core team, have a pre-production meeting. If you’re a production company, this can be as simple as having everyone together for a client conference call. Find out what the number one priority is from the client. Ask for a brief! The more specific, the better. Video examples can help significantly, as well. At the end of the day, you are producing someone else’s vision, so make sure you know what that is.
Be careful that you aren’t trying to accomplish too many things with a single piece. This is why it’s important that the client has their expectations set. Too many ideas in one video can lead to a watered-down or confusing message.
Determine ‘Do’ and ‘Do-Not’ List
This list should coincide with your core objective. Your ‘Do’ list is things beyond the main goal that should be in the video. This could be a video style (such as first-person or animation), a brand keyphrase, or a call-to-action. You should also compile a ‘Do-Not’ list. Are there industry stereotypes you wish to avoid, or an advertisement that came out recently for a competing company?
These two lists together will help the production team design the video. It also leaves some space open for being creative.
Establish a Chain-of-Command
No matter how much preparation you put into aligning your client and your production team, conflicts or confusion may happen. This is why it is important to appoint someone to have the final-say. This person can go back to the imperative objective and make a decision. This can save you time in the long run, and keep things moving.
These are our top suggestions for aligning your video team for success. It is a process that is incredibly helpful for both the client and the production team to undertake. At the end of the day (and this is something we mention in most of our articles like this), communication is key. Make sure everyone is on the same page with all the information they need to accomplish their roles.