The Production Process:
Successful projects, whether a video, a website, brochure, or event, do not happen by chance. There’s a process. And from my 50 years of production, I’ve developed a checklist that guides me and my clients to a more rewarding relationship and efficient outcome for the time and money they’re investing.
From one of the first projects with AT&T in the ’70s I learned the concept: “There is no substitute for advance planning.” It’s as true today and it was then and saves a client time, worry and money.
1. Who is your audience?
You have to define your true audience because age, geographic area, need, income levels, etc. matter. You must make sure your customer/client needs your service or product; can they get it where they’re located; can they afford it, and do they already have one or a competitor’s version? Without an understanding of the basics of your audience, you’re selling great, juicy steaks to vegans.
2. What are you doing to your audience?
You need to decide what are you trying to accomplish with your project? Are you selling a product or service? Do you want to inform about an event or sale? Are you trying to educate about a new product? You must know what you’re trying to do or you’ll never do it.
3. What do you want your audience to do?
Do you want people to buy something? You’d better have a call to action to get them involved. Do you want them to respond via a phone call or email? You need to make it easy for them. Do you want them to interact with others to achieve your goals? You must know your objectives.
4. Budget accurately.
When you’re planning your project, take into account the cost of working with real professionals, not young people working cheap to get into the industry. Any responsible production group should never be required, or able, to throw out quick estimates – it’s not possible. One asks “How much to build a house?” A lot of moving parts. How big, how many floors, carpet or tile, gold fixtures or chrome, block or frame. A true professional group will ask a lot of questions to find out what you’re expecting. I DO NOT budget low to get a project nor do I budget high to cover myself. It’s not the way I do business.
5. Work closely and wisely.
You’re hiring a professional. Let them do their job. I know to ask a lot of questions – sometimes more than anyone – as I need to know you, your business, your industry, your expectations. I want to communicate all the way through, working closely with the decision-makers. HOWEVER, remember that a “camel is a horse designed by a committee.” Assign one person as the lead on your project who can give good input and make quick, correct decisions.
There are times in life when work becomes a passion, and I’ve enjoyed my time with such great clients and terrific crews around this country. From San Diego, L.A., San Francisco to Minneapolis, Hartford, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami: It’s a thrill to create great, client pleasing productions.
From a single camera to high-speed shoots at 17,000 frames per second; to multi-camera live events and broadcasting surgeries – the projects have been varied.
Besides videos, it’s great to work on websites for some unique groups like UnitedHealth, an Alaskan resort, and an Italian development company. Add to these the many print, translation, and multimedia opportunities and it’s been fun.
I’d love to work with you on your special project and see what successes we can accomplish together.