You want to make a video for your company – or even just for yourself – but you need to find a company or team to help you actually produce it. How can you make sure that you get your ideas and requirements across clearly?
There’s an art to writing an effective brief for a production team, and we’ve seen good ones, great ones, and awful ones. So here are our 6 top points to make sure you end up with the video that you want.
Be clear about why you want a video.
It’s important that whoever you are going to work with understands your end goals. The clearer you are about why it is that you or your company are producing the video, the easier it is for the production company to create something that suits you. Keep your goals in a short, clear format (you should be able to summarise them in short, clear bullet points). You may think it is better to try to explain a ‘concept’ to a company and let them work with it, but honestly, it’s better to keep it simple with clear goals and targets.
Decide on your audience
Again, you must know this before you meet up with a production company. Who is it that will be watching your video? It may be tempting to say “anyone” but in briefing terms, that’s no use at all. Try to think in more detail. If the production company knows your audience, it is easier for them to produce something that will be appealing to that particular group of people, and that will ultimately be more successful in the long run.
Decide on one (key) message
What message do you want your viewers to take away? If you bombard an audience with a huge array of information, the chances are they won’t retain much or indeed any of it, since it will just be too difficult to take it all in. Deciding on one clear message and repeating it, will make sure there is no confusion and that they will remember it long after they’ve stopped watching.
Have a budget in mind
This might not seem important at first, but it is crucial that the production company knows how much money you are willing to spend. It can be tempting to keep your cards close to your chest, but if you don’t make it clear at the beginning of discussions, then the company may waste time creating an idea that is too expensive for you. Being clear with a budget saves time and effort, allows the company to be realistic with you and makes sure that everyone is on the same page.
It’s especially important on competitive pitches, because each company will need to know the benchmark. That way you can confidently compare their treatments based on what they will each give you for the same figure.
Give examples of a style that you like
It’s a good idea to include some examples of films that you have seen before that you think might be suitable for your own production. This allows any production company to quickly hone in on a style and approach that feels right and may be able to share some reference of their own that you love just as much.
Decide on a platform
How you are actually going to show your video is very important. A lot of companies simply make a video and throw it straight on YouTube, but this is not enough. You should specifically pick which platforms will be best to host your video since this will allow the production company to create something that is better suited to those channels. Every site has its own benefits and downsides. And to get the most out of your work, it needs to be tailored to suit the needs of each site. A video hosted on Facebook, for example, should be short, so as to keep attention, and should be able to be viewed silently, as many videos play automatically on the Facebook news feed as viewers scroll down.
If you can follow these six basic steps, then you have the bare bones of a good production brief. Remember, that the more detail you can provide in your brief, the better! But, just make sure that whatever is put in there is clear enough to understand. That way you’ll make it as easy as possible for the production company to do the best job possible for you.
Posted on 14th July 2021