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Pre-Production – Page 2 – 522 Productions
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522 Video Questions – No. 2 – When Do I Come Up with the Concept for My Video?

First let’s establish what a concept is. According to Chad Vossen, Chief Creative Officer at 522, “Basically, it’s the big idea. What are we doing? How are we going to do it and most importantly, why are we going to do it? It’s the framework for your video, it provides a general direction for the project and it’s meant to get everybody on the team rowing in the same direction.”

There are two different avenues to use when coming up with a concept and one that you should avoid. Let’s start with when you SHOULD come up with a concept:

Come Up with Concepts Before Reaching Out to Video Production Companies

A great time to come up with your concept is within your own team before you ever go out on the market to find a video partner. I’m not saying you have to do storyboards and figure it out from an achievability standpoint, but a high level idea for what you want to do (i.e. interview style vs. voiceover/b-roll style) can be very helpful when selecting a company.

Come up with what you want to do and then select your partner based on who does good work within the realm of your high-level concept. You can evaluate these companies based on sample work they send you, their experience in your space, and obviously the price to accomplish your initiative.


Come Up with Concepts After You Select a Video Partner

Pick the company you like. Look at sample work, find videos you enjoy that are similar to your brand, negotiate a price, and choose the company you think is best. Leave the concepting for after they get to know you, your brand and your message. At that point, a good video partner will be able to come up with some compelling concepts.

Spend time in pre-production and discovery so that your partner can really pick your brain and learn about you before they advise on what you should do for your video. It’s at that point where you’ll get the best concepts. The concepts aren’t based on preconceived notions or things that the video company likes to do, but rather based on you and your organization specifically.

That leads me to when you SHOULD NOT come up with concepts:

Do Not Have Your Potential Video Partners Come Up with Concepts During Evaluation

So many times on a first call with a new potential client I get asked, “What do you think we should do?”

Here’s a quote I love – “Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice”

If I give you a concept on what you should do in your video after a 30-minute to one hour call and some time spent on your website, I’m doing you a disservice.

I need a team, a Producer and a Creative Director, to diagnose what your goals are. They need to spend time doing research on you, your brand, your messaging, and the goals of this video before we can advise on what your concept should be. A team of professionals need to evaluate your assets and what you’ve done in the past. It’s important to find out what your company’s initiatives are, before I can tell you what should be in your concept.

My advice is this – come up with your concept before or after you choose your partner. And choose your partner based on the video company’s previous work and the communication you have during the evaluation process, because that is your first window into the way they operate.

Questions to Consider When Starting a Video Project

Starting a video project can seem like a big task – there are a lot of moving parts and many things to consider. The first (and perhaps the most important) step is to get organized and focused during your planning stage so you can create a great video that accomplishes your goals. In order for your company’s message to be delivered to the right people at the right time, there are a few questions you should consider: Continue reading “Questions to Consider When Starting a Video Project”

A Crew to Get the Job Done

Over the past few years i’ve had the opportunity to be on a number of video shoots, some complex ones with people filling a laundry list of jobs, and others where I was the only one on set. But, more often than not the majority of productions I’ve been apart of have been 3-5 person corporate variety. What I have gathered, is that when I am acting as a DP, or gaffer, or Camera operator, is that having a Production Assistant dealing with the gear and a producer dealing with the client frees me to focus on the work, and produce a better product. Continue reading “A Crew to Get the Job Done”

How to Choose Your Crew

Recently a friend of mine approached me to direct a passion project documentary about a guy who is 5’5’’ and can dunk. I was immediately interested in the project and decided to jump on board as the director of the documentary. A lot of questions flooded into my head around dates, locations, equipment and budgets. But the biggest question was the crew. After all, the director is only as good as the people in his or her crew. Continue reading “How to Choose Your Crew”

Why It’s Important to Have a Transcript of Your Video

Whether you’re watching television or pop a DVD into your home movie system, Hollywood has made it easier than ever to understand what is being said on the screen. Subtitles allow the hearing impaired to enjoy video content just as much as the rest of us – and hardcore fanatics ensure that they never miss a word of their favorite programming. But did you know that subtitles aren’t exclusive to major Hollywood productions? Continue reading “Why It’s Important to Have a Transcript of Your Video”

Find Your Inspiration: Everywhere

Finding inspiration is a constant battle. It’s not always easy to find nor to know where to look. What works one day might not work next time. For creatives, this is something we must always fight. So what can you do to help find inspiration? If you are walking down the street or riding the train while reading this, stop. There might be something inspiring right in front of you.  Continue reading “Find Your Inspiration: Everywhere”

LOCATING YOUR LOCATION: 5 Tips to Finding Your Location on the Fly

Every video needs a location. Whether it’s in the Oval Office of the White House or your grandfather’s basement, your location is the stage for your video; it gives your story context. Finding the right location to set your story can be just as crucial as casting the right actors to tell it. This can prove to be challenging, especially with smaller budget projects with tight deadlines (my favorite!). Continue reading “LOCATING YOUR LOCATION: 5 Tips to Finding Your Location on the Fly”

Open Minds = A Better Final Product

There’s a lot that plays into creating a great final video. Having the right team members is the most important piece of the puzzle. One of the best qualities you can find in an artist is an open mind. This is especially true when dealing with video production. Why? Continue reading “Open Minds = A Better Final Product”

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