4-Week Video Production Company Commission

The 4-Week Video Production Commission


The 4-Week Video Production Company Commission


As a video production company that does a lot of work for higher education marketing campaigns, we understand that video commissions and project briefs from universities tend to follow a fairly cyclical pattern, tied very closely to the academic year. So we will see commissions around the time of Open Days and Clearing; it’ll be busy at Christmas and Easter, and then it’ll perhaps be a little quieter over the summer.


But not this year. This year has had project briefs coming in continuously since April and they just haven’t stopped. Everybody is after video or animation at the minute (and of course, as a video production company, we are not complaining!). It seems that the need for video content is coming thick and fast, and our clients are having to be much more reactive themselves, commissioning video projects with such short notice, or with very tight deadlines. We’re getting enquiries where, quite often, the first question we are asked is, ‘’is this actually doable in the timescales we have?’’. 


That’s not to say we’ve never been asked for a quicker turnaround on a project (like many other video production companies, we usually work on a two-month delivery schedule)… it’s just that it’s now becoming more and more prevalent. It’s even got us here at Slate and Mortar, essentially wondering whether a two-month project turnaround is no longer the norm. If that is the case, and a project has to be turned around quickly, here are a few tips on how you can optimise available time with your chosen video production company, giving yourself more time to develop the project to its full potential.



#1 – Identify what you want in advance


Seems fairly obvious right? Yet sometimes, a video production company is commissioned even when some of the key variables are still up in the air… 


Where is the video going to be played? Who is the audience? What are the key messages? Anything you can do beforehand to avoid batting the brief back to your own team will enable us to use the available production days as effectively as possible.



#2 – Have a shooting schedule and contributors ready


Identify who you want to be involved within the video and get them confirmed as early as possible. This will usually mean interview contributors but it could also include potential voice-over artists, especially if you have someone specific in mind such as a well-known alumnus. 


Probably the most asked question on these tight turn-arounds is “Will we have time to actually film?”. And the answer is for the most part, yes, but get some possible dates pencilled into the schedule as early as possible. We suggest you will need at the absolute bare minimum, two weeks from project kick-off before you can film, and if there is more than one day of filming, schedule it back-to-back as a block, as this will save you money, and make the project much more feasible for the video production company to complete.



#3 – Have an idea of what you want, with creative examples


It’s extremely useful for the video production company to see what you like and what you don’t like, well in advance of any creative pitches. It channels the creative conceptualisation down the right path and gives the production company the basis for which to build early project logistics. Search on YouTube for examples you like… look at past videos you had made… look at competitors’ videos… and comment on each and every video you see. Explain what you like (or dislike) about each video, as this kind of feedback at the inception of a project is incredibly useful!



#4 – Manage the feedback process


This is a very important one, as an unstructured amendment cycle can really slow down the delivery of any video project. It might be that you have a number of colleagues that want to contribute to the feedback, but this needs to be managed very carefully to avoid any delays. We highly advise having just one point of contact from your team who liaises with the video production company. We also suggest ensuring that all relevant feedback contributors are involved from the early stages of the process so that they do not offer feedback that takes the editing process backwards a number of stages.



#5 – Trust your video production company to deliver on their promise


There is a reason you picked that particular video production company, so trust them and let them lead you through the creative and production stages. They’ll have their own methods and processes, and if you let them guide you, rather than trying to run it yourself, it’ll mean more efficiency and additional time-saved in the long run.


So that’s it for this week, hopefully, there are some tips in here that will reassure you that a video commission can be turned around in just four weeks. It’s certainly not ideal, and not the best option if more time is available, but it is ‘doable’. In our next article, we’ll be looking at what’s involved in commissioning animation, motion graphics and explainer videos, and how the process can differ from traditional video production.

If you have a project or idea you would like to chat to us about, get in touch with our team at info@slateandmortar.com

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