There’s a reason that the phrase–“We’ll fix it in post,” exists. People who use this phrase probably don’t have a process for their video production project so they rely on an editor to gloss over any mistakes in social media video production. My husband, and business partner, who’s an Emmy-awarding winning Director/Editor, has many stories of footage arriving on his door with nothing more than a note saying, “Here’s what you’ve got. Make it great.” He has done it many times. However, people create better work when the organizational work is done on the front end.

So, as a marketing executive purchasing video production services, what do you need to know before you arrive on set for easier social media video production? Here are five tips you and the video production team should implement before you create a project, which will allow you to toast your project rather than reach for the Tylenol bottle. 

Every Project Needs a Creative Brief

The creative brief should outline many things, but the most important are:

  • The main message of the piece
  • What does your company want the piece to accomplish?
  • The tone that needs to be conveyed
  • Background about the brand and brand standards
  • Video examples that you like
  • Project mandatories AND
  • Additional creative assets you want created such as stills and thumbnails.

Later, you’ll know you’ve achieved success when you can map your project back to a fulfilled creative brief that clearly outlines your goals and specifics.

Are You Thinking about Your Social Media Production with the End in Mind?

We create what we call a “Job Start” sheet that gathers all of the details about the project. This is shared with the video production team and the client. This doc includes:

  • Distribution – What length versions are needed for the various social channels?
  • Conversion – What is the call to action and how is that executed? What are the conversion goals?
  • Sponsorship – Is the material sponsored and how is that sponsorship shown within the creative?
  • How does the video fit into the overall digital or broadcast campaign?
  • Are additional creative assets needed for the project such as stills to be taken during the shoot, or a specific voiceover type or person?

Is the Video Team Meeting As a Team? 

Why should the editor only get involved when a bunch of files show up on her computer? Make sure that the video team pre-production meeting not only includes the production crew, but the editor(s) as well. The Creative Brief and the Job Start sheet will drive the structure of the meeting to keep everyone on track.

Make Sure the Crew Has Experience 

I know that this one sounds obvious, but since we’re in the day and age when everyone thinks they can shoot and edit because they have an IPhone, be sure you are contracting with a skilled team that includes: an experienced audio person, a camera operator or operators and, importantly, a hair and make-up person. No one looks great on camera without hair and make-up, especially real people. Trust us.

Notes and Transcripts Will Speed Social Media Video Production

If you’re working from a script, you’ll have a version finalized before production, but if you’re working documentary-style, the producer needs to keep a working outline and take notes in the field. Once the shooting is done, those notes, outline and transcriptions of the interviews will help the producer create the video story more quickly.

I hope that these tips help you establish your own process for video production, or give you a roadmap of what to expect from a video production company. With video turned quicker than ever before, being buttoned up ahead of time will keep you from coming undone in the edit bay later.

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