So you’ve taken the first step and decided that you want to create a video. You’ve reached out to a reputable video production company and are ready to get started. Now what?
Managing your first video project can be both exciting and terrifying, exhilarating and confusing. In order to minimize the terrifying and confusing aspects, I will discuss my three top tips for preparing for your first video project. My hope is that by listening to these tips, you will enter your first video project feeling prepared and confident and will be able to work proactively, rather than reactively, throughout the video lifecycle, in order to help obtain optimal results.
You should ideally be able to identify these ‘5 W’s prior to the official kick-off meeting. Even though every kick-off meeting is different, based on the client and the type of project, below are some common topics that you should be prepared to discuss:
Think about videos you’ve seen recently — commercials on TV, viral videos on Facebook, movie trailers, anything — and ask yourself what specifically you liked (or didn’t like) about them. Did you like the tone of the music? Was the pacing too slow? Were there graphics that you found informative and engaging? Did you like the combination of still photography and video?
Most people know whether they like or don’t like a video, but few people are able to describe why. When preparing for your first video project, I recommend searching for various videos and then performing the same exercise as above. Be prepared to share a few different video examples and highlight features you’d like to see in your video. To get started, take a look at some of 522’s work on our website.
After the kick-off meeting, I typically explain that the next step in the process is for the 522 team to discuss the information that we learned and use it to develop the Production Package. A common I hear from clients at this step is, “What can I do to help in the meantime?”
My advice is to 1) Communicate kick-off meeting notes to your team’s key stakeholders so that all involved parties are on the same page; and 2) Send as much information as possible that pertains to your company and the goal of your video — everything from your company’s brand guidelines/logos and background information on potential interviewees, to photos of potential filming locations and upcoming dates on which you’ll be out of town. To me, the pre-production phase is the most important because, as they say, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”; the more time we spend communicating in pre-production, the more efficiently everyone will be able to work during production and post-production. Seriously — the more information we have, the better.