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How to Avoid the Video Nasties

The briefing and the pre-production process should leave nothing to chance. Decisions need to be made not just on the film itself but how it is then distributed and to whom. Concrete plans will be made before the cameras start to roll and they will stop any surprises occurring for the big reveal (though it may take some of the excitement away in the process of course).

In this short piece we will offer some ideas about what you need to tell your production partner and what you should expect back from them. By working in partnership with your production team, you will get the video(s) you want and to the budget available.

Finding the right partner:-
As in all procurement processes you should get 3 quotes and ‘statements of works’ (i.e. what they will do for the budget). It is important to look at the websites of the companies on your shortlist. Have they experience in your area? Are the films they have produced similar to what you would like to achieve? Get them to explain their speciality. And ask them whether they can they manage the whole process or just part of it.

Video objective:-
What would you like the video to achieve? Are the films aimed at changing public perception? Passing on important information? Showcasing products and services? Set out some goals on who you are aiming this at. How many views would you like to achieve? Where will you be sharing this film (email, social, website promotion and more)? Will there be a call to action? How will people be able to view it (is it public such as Vimeo or YouTube) or have you invested in a video player for internal comms for example?

Style, tone, look and feel:-
This is the most subjective area and it’s good to get as much of the production company’s thoughts around this as you can. Offer some examples of films you admire. Do they have a graphic style they would suggest for intros, namestraps and other graphical points they would build? What is the tone? If you want to achieve maximum views then consider humour or emotion. However, if you are looking for credibility, then a professional business-like tone is required. Should you like to get a presenter or professional voiceover included – what type of person should they be? How long? Short isn’t always sweet, ask the production company for their thoughts.

Budget and timeline:-
It is best to be upfront with the budget available. Most production companies charge by time. Therefore the bigger the budget the more time you get from their production professionals. We have produced on projects from £2,000 (interview films) up to nearly £150,000 (6 months strategy and content work). Your budget will decide what’s available to you as will your requirement. When would you like the film? Ask the production company to produce a timeline with all of the major pre-production, production and post-production stages signposted. Give a firm date for required delivery.

The result:-
At the very beginning put in place your success metrics. Many production companies will have partnerships with media companies and video distribution partners. They can help. Get some ideas from your media buyers and involve your PR companies and marketing companies in looking at plans to reach your desired audience. Most business films are not about large numbers. Your video being seen by the right 500 people maybe more than enough. How are you going to gauge views? Most video players will tell you how many people have seen your film and for how long. Some players can give you more detail. Again ask your production partner about this. They should know, they live and breathe it.

We have very handily produced a video briefing document. Should you be looking to put a brief together for video content please get in touch and ask for a copy…