An important consideration when looking to create a video is how much of your time it will consume. Even though you're hiring a team of dedicated and professional filmmakers to get the job done, you'll need to have some involvement along the way.
It's safe to say that the best videos and happiest clients come out of working relationships where it's understood that your input is very helpful in crafting the video you want. While this applies to any client/vendor relationship, at BiteSite we pride ourselves on having a clearly defined process that ensures your voice is heard.
In a recent post, we talked about time in terms of 'duration'. Here, we're looking more closely at time and how much effort you (the client) can expect to put into your video's production. While it may be understood that some effort on your part is needed, it's not always obvious what that entails and what you can expect to be focusing on during the life of the production.
We'll break it down by the overarching stages of any video's process: pre-production, production, and post-production. Note that "production" translates to "shooting"; when the cameras are rolling, we're in production!
The pre-production phase takes care of all the tasks that need to be completed before a video can be shot (or illustrated, if it is an animated video). This stage is where most of your time is spent as a client. Laying a solid foundation in terms of a creative concept as well as figuring out logistics is necessary to move forward successfully. Let's take a look at where you can expect to be involved in pre-production.
Domain Research consists of the video team (us) learning about you (the client). On your end, it consists of typically just one meeting.
Having a solid knowledge base about your company and industry allows us to plan a video that communicates your message effectively and on brand. As a video production company, we are constantly working with new clients in industries we have never before tapped into. Even within the same industry, such as health care for example, there are always new things to learn as we focus on a particular client's needs.
We should note that domain research becomes either more or less important depending on the video type. Event videos can get by with little knowledge of your industry, or even your company! On the other hand, an animated explainer video requires a lot of knowledge to allow us to flex our creative muscles and turn that understanding into beautiful and effective visuals.
Coming up with a creative concept for a video is something that you would likely want to have a say in. While it's our job to formulate and refine the concept, your input at the outset sets us off in the right direction. Your involvement may be quite minimal or quite involved, depending on what kind of video it is. Compared to scripted videos, event coverage videos and testimonial videos are usually less varied in terms of their creative application. Scripted videos on the other hand usually involve a whiteboarding session between you and us.
Generally, the creative concept can be nailed down over the course of one meeting, but it's important to consider the time leading up to that meeting where you are spending time thinking about your vision for the video.
Here, we will look at 'scripting' as it applies to writing, storyboards, and interview questions.
Naturally, the script writing stage only applies to videos where lines are delivered by an actor or voice-over performer, and/or the sequence of visuals is determined ahead of time. However, when considering videos that involve interviews, there is still 'scripting' aspect in terms of writing questions and ideal answers.
The most common procedure for developing a script consists of us writing the first draft, getting your critique, and then finalizing it on our end. Basically, we take this on ourselves and your time is determined by how much input you want to give ahead of time as well as how many changes you want made after we write it.
This process of creation and critique applies in just the same way to storyboards and coming up with questions for an interview.
For scripted videos, we will also take on the process of selecting suitable actors or voice-over performers, depending on which is required. We take it upon ourselves to determine who makes the shortlist and get your approval before moving forward with the final selection. While this can be a quick check-in, we're listing it here as it is an area where your involvement is important.
Location here refers to the shooting location of a video. Depending on the type of video, the location can play a big or small roll in the video's overall look and message. Your effort and time spent here largely consists of either approving or disapproving locations that we provide as options. Sometimes this requires little to no time if it is predetermined (eg. shooting a testimonial video at the offices of the interviewee). Other times, we may spend time with you discussing or brainstorming different location options and how they suit our shared vision for the video.
Your time is only spent on logistical tasks (organizing and scheduling locations, talent, and days to shoot) when it makes sense to do so. Sometimes it's easier for you to communicate with someone involved in the video or when you have a network connection to a certain location for example. This is usually only the case in testimonial videos where you're already in communication with one of your clients who is meant to be delivering the testimonial.
At no point in the production phase (shooting days) are you 'required' to spend time.
That being said, your involvement in production can be valuable if we are conducting a testimonial interview. If you're there listening, you may come up with new questions you want us to ask. You can also listen to the answers and ask for things to be rephrased. The other aspect is that your presence may make the interview subjects more comfortable and give a sense of professionlism. It's important to realize that shooting days only happen once, and so your presence here should be considered time well spent.
For all other types of videos, you generally don't need to be involved. Of course, every project is unique, and if you feel you want to be on the video set that is always okay!
Most of the time you spend during the post-production phase can be classified as "feedback" or "revisions". We'll send you cuts of the video for your review. We then make any necessary tweaks based on your revision notes. Besides that, you would also be involved in approving any music selections we make.
Overall, you act as the kickstarter to your video; you help to set us off in the right direction, and finally as the approver; you request changes to the video once the first cut has been delivered. Video productions are rarely "set and forget" projects. Your involvement at key stages along the way really helps to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck! While it's our job to provide the overall expertise, technical skill, and creative vision, your voice is important in ensuring that the end product is one that you are thrilled with.
What we've discussed here can be applied to many video production firms, but if you're interested in BiteSite's specific process, be sure to download our Playbook Package at https://www.bitesite.ca/download.
If you have any questions or input, please feel free to comment on this post! For now, that's a wrap.