When it comes to commissioning a video many clients can be uncertain about how much information they need to give the production company. Some take the view that we’re the creative experts so we should know what’s needed. Creative experts we are, clairvoyants we’re not!
A good video brief serves two purposes. The main purpose is that it is the foundation that allows us to start the creative process of taking the information provided by you the client and coming up with a concept for the video. But maybe more importantly, the brief’s other purpose is that it allows the client to get clear in their mind what they want the video to achieve.
Key questions to ask your self when writing a brief is:
Why do you need a video?
What purpose will it serve or problem will it solve?
What key messages does it need to contain?
Who is your audience?
What response do you want from the audience?
What budget do you have?
The last question of budget is a controversial one. Often, when I ask the question to clients, they laugh suspiciously and answer, “I’m not going to tell you that!” The assumption being that if the client has £10,000 to spend, we’ll quote £9,999. But the reality is that we don’t ask this question to try and catch you out. We ask the budget question to gauge what sort of a production we can create for you.
If you were buying a house, with £250,000 to spend, looking at £500,000 houses would be a waste of your time. And the same is true with video. We wouldn’t present you with a £10,000 concept when you only have £5,000 to spend.
In our experience the projects that bring the best results are the ones where client and production company work hand in hand, each bringing their own areas of expertise to the party.
So next time you have been tasked with writing a video brief, don’t be afraid to ring a production company and ask for some advice.