When meeting with potential new clients, we always ask the decision maker about prior experiences with video production companies and what went well and what didn’t. During our past three meetings, we’ve heard some consistencies worth sharing which align with our philosophies on professional video production projects. With that, we present to you our top three most over-looked steps in video production:
Number One-the producer. At first glance, this appears fairly self-serving, since (full disclosure) yours truly is a producer/reporter by trade. But remember, this is feedback we’ve heard from potential clients. In their words, “we often feel like projects are rushed from the shoot to the edit, without any thoughts on paper as to what our video might look like before the edit.” That is an actual quote from a potential large corporate client which has a long history of vendor based video productions. I think it’s a great point. There are a lot of really talented DP’s here in the Phoenix market. A lot. But how many are teamed with an equally talented producer? Based on our experiences, not many. Now I am not suggesting that all video production projects need a producer. Many simple B-Roll or natural sound pieces do not. But certainly, any videos with interviews and more complex story-lines needs a qualified producer to effectively tell a good story. And no, a DP/Producer is not a solution which has the best interests of the client in mind. No more so than a Producer/DP.
With that in mind, at number two, the transcribing-scripting process. It’s quick and easy, after a shoot, to start dropping decent clips onto an edit timeline. But is the client really getting the best shots and the most compelling soundbites? Doubtful. Rewind to my TV news reporting days, and I always made a habit of fully transcribing/logging all of my material, even under extreme deadline. I knew. that by investing the time, my chances of telling a great story improved immensely. That same news strategy applies to the private and government video production markets. How can you truly tell a great story if you don’t have notes on all of your raw material? And to my point above, how can any client get a feel for what their video may look like without a script in-hand? Each one of our clients always gets a transcript and video script before we begin any edit and I think that effort goes a long ways in providing stellar customer service.
Number Three-the client review process. Your first edit is complete and now you need to show your video to your client. How do you do it? Drop Box? We have that too but that requires our busy client to sign up for Drop Box and download a video. Maybe you send them a private link to Vimeo? We also did that for years, but the system is flawed. While the client can easily type in a password and view their video, revisions often get lost in an email. Where exactly did you want the shot changed? Where exactly was the audio distorted? We have started using a Vimeo-based software program called Wipster and so far, we are very pleased with the product. Wipster allows the client to review their video and make comments directly on the video. No more confusion as to where the change goes. A very simple and fun client review platform and for the record, we are not being paid by Wipster to blog this. Just sharing our experience.
The ability to tell a great story through video is usually a team effort. Whether you are a client or video production company, these steps will ensure the best video possible.