Wander around the underwear section of any department store and you'll be confronted with a whole selection of ‘briefs'. From thin skimpy briefs (that barely cover the important bits) to elaborate flowery briefs (that have more style than substance). What we all really want to find are the cool, sensible briefs – practical yet exciting; something that covers the essentials but also leaves something to the imagination!
The same approach can be applied to the brief you prepare for your video production company.
Don't write something loose and woolly – that tries to cover everything. On the other hand don't go for an excessively tight brief that leaves no room for manoeuvre and just saps creative energy.
If you work with a video production company that has proven marketing experience you will get help with refining the brief – this is the first step in the video production process.
Step 1. Ask the Right Questions
Some questions you must consider asking your video production company:
- Who is the audience, who is your message talking to, what demographic do they fit into, what films, books, magazines, blogs are they likely to engage with.
- What problem or opportunity do you wish to communicate with this project? This needs to be refined to a single message per film (and therefore a series of communications may actually be required).
- How do you want the audience to do or feel after they have watched your film? Think about the reactions that come from both the heart and the head.
- Do you have a style guide or brand guidelines that needs to be adhered to?
- What kind of budget have you allocated to this project?
- What timescales do you have for the project?
- Have you thought about whether you need a voiceover or a presenter? Do you have staff who will be happy in-front of a camera?
- Music can play a massive part in depicting the mood of a film, you can take the same footage and create two completely different films by having two different types of music.
- Have you thought about locations, this can make a big difference to the required budget of a film if you need it in more than one location.
- Finally think about how you are going to distribute your film. Will it be shown online, an intranet, on tablets or hand-held devices? A good production company will be able to supply you in multiple formats and ensure it can be viewed properly across all platforms.
Time to get behind the camera and bring the brief to life!
Step 4: Post-production
Editing stage – using the brief as a checklist to ensure everything is included, in the right order, in the right format etc. We recommend using Apple Final Cut Pro for video editing; it's powerful and well worth the price!
Step 5. Distribution
Although the final stage of the video production process, this needs to addressed as part of the initial brief development. Where will you include the video on your website? Do you have a branded YouTube channel (or do you need to set one up)? How will you promote it? (Internally and / or externally?)
As you can see there is much more to a professionally produced film than just picking up a video camera! This is what you are investing in when you choose a professional production company. And by creating a cool, sensible brief you can ensure a production that will achieve your definition of success.