During my first commission as a Producer I unexpectedly burnt a house down. Fortunately, the client understood and 30 years on, we're still happily talking.
But how can you avoid less dramatic pitfalls? The furrowed response of your team, the 7 out of 10's from the MD, or the middling results from all your efforts?
There's no excuse, but it does happen – we take a look at why that can happen and how to avoid it.
Unless you're doing something quick and simple for your social media producing a film or video in your company’s name shouldn't be taken lightly.
And whatever your ambitions, it's likely that you're creating it to solve a specific business issue or to promote an opportunity, so it's important not to lose sight of that along the way:
About what you want the video to achieve and who your audience is. This will help you to not only determine its content, but also how your will distribute it or where it will be shown.
And write it in such a way your Production Company can add their own ideas. While they’re not experts in your field, they should have relevant experience and be willing to add ideas and value you may not have considered.
If you can share relevant creatives of what you like - it can be really helpful in agreeing the look, feel and sound that you feel is best for you. Resources like The Matboard and Canva can be handy for ideas.
People learn in different ways and have limited attention spans. So don’t cram in more than one main and two secondary messages – it's better to break down topics into bite size chunks.
Even with the simplest video the output is only as good as the plan. Success will rest in the detail - so whether you're commissioning a 30 second sound-bite or 30 minute webinar, approach your production with the same level of planning each time.
If filming at your business, allow the crew enough time to do a good job. They’ll need enough time to get set up, and do multiple takes of whatever it is they’re shooting. Oh - and get them somewhere to park and a place to put their ‘stuff’ (normally thousands of pounds of advanced technical equipment) securely.
Never make colleagues take part – even in a 'walk on' role. Involve them in what’s going on and explain what it is you are trying to achieve and why, it should always be a really positive experience. And ensure they get to see it when it's complete.
Choose any speaking contributors carefully. A nervous interviewee or presenter will undoubtedly feel awkward which can translate into looking slightly 'shifty' - giving the impression that s/he is not to be trusted. Not ideal! So if there’s a script, get it agreed beforehand and ensure your presenter is familiar with it. And tell them to avoid bright reds, stripes and checks in any wardrobe - they don't look great on camera.
Bad sound jars as much as compromised images. So when recording audio, think about the environment – could you arrange to put the phones through elsewhere and turn down that noisy air conditioner? You'd be amazed at what ambient sounds the mics can pick up.
Push your production team for their ideas on music – don’t fall into the trap of using the cheapest 'plinkety-plonk' tracks. Today there is such a fantastic choice, and it pays to pay for it.
With a good brief, a clear plan and great content, what you’ve commissioned should be even better than what you originally looked for. If you’d like any more advice just give us a call or drop us a line here.
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They listen to our needs and tailor their service to us making it a very personal experience. Nothing has been too much trouble as they prove very flexible in all situations to find the right solution for us.
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