Writing your video production brief

Writing your video production brief

In our previous post we talked about how a recent commissioning client had ‘fessed up’ and acknowledged that they knew nothing about the processes involved when commissioning a video production company, and how subsequently, that refreshing admission led to us deciding to write these series of posts on the production process.

So for today’s, we’re looking at the first stage of any commission… what to do before you even get an agency involved.

The first things to ask yourself

When commissioning a video production company (or any creative service for that matter), there is a temptation to jump right in and start with the aesthetics; how it’s going to look, ideas on filming style, possible music tracks, edit style, etc.

Of course, this isn’t to be dismissed. It’s great to have those ideas, and we can say first-hand how useful it is to have clients who are actively excited and engaged in these areas, but conceptualization and design is actually a fair way into the process. So before you get too far ahead, it’s worth taking a few steps back to understand why you might need a video.

For your project to be successful it needs to have defined objectives.
What problem are you trying to solve?
What are you trying to say?

And within the film itself, you need to identify clear and specific messages that you want to communicate. For example…
‘Our institute is the best at doing XYZ, because of ABC’

Then you need to think about who is your target audience?
Who are they? What’s their background?

Then think about where they’ll most likely be viewing your video.
Mobile? Desktop? Classroom?

Goals, messaging and objectives

Next, (and this is vital for video) you need to consider what you want them to do at the end of the video. Creative video production is great at creating an emotional reaction and engaging with your audience, but ultimately, you need to get the viewer to do something once the video has finished, so it’s vital that you define what a ‘successful’ film means to you, and what it should make your viewer do.

Once you’re clear on what your goals and messages are, put this into a briefing document. The more detail the better. If you’re unsure on what to write or where to start, here’s a few questions you can ask yourself, that we find makes a great start.


Objective and Messaging

  • What is the intended objective of the video?
  • Are there any problems you wish to solve with the video?
  • How and where do you see this being used?
  • What’s the deadline?

Target Audience

  • Who is your audience?
  • How are they watching?
  • How do they feel before they watch your video?
  • How do you want them to feel afterwards?
  • What do you want them to do next?

And finally, it helps to remember that video isn’t being put to best-use when all you want to do is cram in loads of detail… so avoid getting your video production company to cram in lists of facilities, resources, specific info and dates. That’s what the website is for!

In our next post we’ll talk about what’s involved (and what’s useful to know) in the first meeting with your chosen video production company.

We’d love to hear from you

Thinking about using video or animation production in your next project?
Or just want to chat through a video idea you may have…

Get in touch today.