Creating a Video Production Brief: How and Why

Just like with every marketing initiative, a video production brief is a trusty ally that can make your video process even easier. No matter what division of marketing, from advertising, social media, content, SEO, and even SEM campaigns, you need a brief. Because without the brief there’s no clear set of guidelines you need to follow to achieve the final goal. And, if you recall the words of our post-production extraordinaire, Ainhoa, the first two of her post-production tips are precisely why you should make a production brief. Here’s a refresher:

  1. Have everything as clear as possible in every phase of the process: Clients often come back with sudden changes after they’ve seen the final product many times. Making those changes so late into the process means that the timing will slow down because it will require more hours to make those changes. And the more hours spent making changes means that you’ll fall behind on your video production schedule. And, as we mentioned before, we who work in production are your friends. If you don’t have everything clear, you can ask us to help you out by sending us references and helping you work through your ideas. Here’s what you need to think about for a successful process: what you’re making the video for, where it will be used/distributed (because it will be different if you share it on social media or a big screen), and the markets you’re going to be showing the video.These details are all different, and the circumstances say a lot about how the process will go.
  2. Know how many videos you want: While we are aware that many TV commercials have different versions (the full spot at 1 minute and maybe smaller 20 or 30-second versions), this doesn’t mean that it’s as easy as making versions of the same file. In fact, each version is a separate video (and is charged as such). That means that you’ll want to know at the beginning of the process how many you want.

These two points, having it all down on paper from the beginning, and the number of desired videos in a project are key for a successful video project. And creating your own production brief is easier than you think!
So, for the rest of this blogpost, we’re going to give you an overview of the categories of the production brief and leave you with our very own template you can download and use for future projects with us at Stark Crew.
First things first, we need info about you and your company
Multi-location shoots that involve lots of different stakeholders in dispersed points around the world are our specialty. To make sure we can provide you with the best content possible, we’re going to need answers to all these questions. This area will be divided into two parts:

  • Contact information: Here you’ll want to leave us the name of your company, who is our main contact person , and if there are other stakeholders we need to keep into the loop, we’ll want that too. This is especially true if there is one person coordinating a group of 15 people who will be the final decision-makers. It is much easier to have everyone who is making a decision as involved throughout as much of the process as possible.
  • Project locations: This information for us is fundamental so we can get the members of our video crew network who work in your market(s) and will be the best fit for the project.
  • Description of the company: For any new client, we like to have as much information as possible to understand the competitive landscape, especially how the client performs in a sector. If we know that your company is Number 3 in the Israeli market and you want to gain market share, we can use the information and benchmarking from your competitors to see how a video can help you achieve your goals.

Next, the goals for your project and the measures you’re going to use to measure success
Video marketing has loads of possibilities, and since it can fit anywhere in your lead-generation funnel, you want to know what type of video you are looking for. This is because a video to generate brand activation has different dimensions than a corporate branding video. And, as every company has different KPIs depending on the project, we’ll need to know those too.
Next question: how much output are we talking about?
This brings us back to Ainhoa’s second post-production tip: know how many videos you want. Every iteration of a video is treated, and billed, as a completely separate video. It’s much more effective to know how many videos and versions we need so we can shoot more than enough content that we can go back and repurpose for you! We personally recommend you plan out multiple videos in one shoot because you’ll be able to be more efficient in terms of production and technical costs.
Who are you up against and what inspires you?
As you’ve noticed from our work, we’ve been fortunate to collaborate with companies in a wide variety of sectors, and since we work across such a cross-section of clients, it’s important for us to understand what your competitors are doing. Even if your competitors happen to be using video but for a purpose that’s different than how you want to use it, fill in that information!
Next, we’re always happy to get any references you can supply as with. We know that a video that has what you’re looking for can be an easier way to get your point across than you trying to describe it. We leave you plenty of space in the template to put everything you want us to look at and evaluate with you in our consultations at the beginning of the production process.
Your target: who are we aiming at? And what’s the message?
The target audience is an important consideration is we create the aesthetic, format, and of course the distribution in a multi-channel strategy. Some distribution channels are more appropriate for some targets and not for others. Plus, we want to know what is the expected actions you want your target to take after watching the video. The same goes for the overall message we are supposed to convey in the video.
And finally, deadlines and budgets
We need to know how much money you’re willing to spend and, of course, know much time we have to get it all done.
What happens if I don’t know everything in the brief?
There are options. We can give you a free consultation and work out any kinks you may have at the beginning. And if you really don’t have any idea where to start, we offer Strategy Services to meet your whole host of needs. This way we can help you get the production brief with the most information possible to make your video strategies a breeze.
Now, are your ready to download?
Get your free template here! (We hope you like Arrested Development, the inspiration for our sample client).

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