When you think of video production, you probably envision camera and lighting crews, actors, hair and makeup, and possibly some production assistants running to get coffee for everyone on set. While this picture can be pretty accurate, a lot of the heavy lifting of creating a video actually happens before everyone is on set. Although it’s not as glamorous, hashing out every minute detail of what your video will look, feel, and sound like before anything else is imperative to fulfilling the overall vision. You won’t know what kind of actors you’ll need, the kind of clothing and location desired—or even what they’ll say—if you don’t have a fully developed video creative brief.
Although what all companies are after is the final product, a lot of the work to create that shiny new video happens in the beginning, before any shooting occurs or post-production editing works its magic. Having a video production agency involved in your production process from inception will ensure your video production brief is fully developed and thoroughly encompassing of all it will take to produce it. This will help your project stay on time, on budget, and align with your final vision is. Below are some of the pre-production steps that go into developing almost any video creative brief.
Choose Your Target Audience
Most companies already have an idea of what their target audience is, but if yours doesn’t, this is an essential first step to developing a great video creative brief. A key thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be trying to reach everyone with your video. People are different and what will resonate with them will vary greatly. By knowing your target audience, you can start figuring out what kind of video will help reach them the most effectively.
A good way to start deciding on your target audience is to look at your existing customer base. Are you looking to attract similar people, or a new kind of customer persona? Who are your competitors targeting and do you want to go after those same people?
Another way to narrow down your target audience is by choosing the gender, age, and location of who you want to reach. The more specific you can get your audience, the more tailored you can make your video, ultimately making it resonate with them more.
Decide on Your Channel of Communication
Where you’ll be showing your video will have a great influence over how you develop your video creative brief. If you’re wanting to showcase it on Instagram, you’ll probably create a shorter, more eye-catching video to attract people scrolling through their feeds. If your platform is YouTube, a longer video would probably be appropriate since viewers there gravitate towards lengthier content. These platforms are always changing their delivery methods, so knowing and working within their parameters is paramount to have your video shown to as many people as possible.
Another channel of communication to consider is targeted ads. If you’re going down this route, are you planning on shooting location-specific videos, or using the same video across multiple locations? This is major aspect to decide early on in your development process as it can greatly affect your budget or how ambitious you’ll be with your target ads. By taking these different platforms and delivery methods into consideration when you’re developing your video creative brief, you’ll ensure your video has as long of a shelf life as possible, maximizing the investment you make into a high-quality video.
Discover Your Video’s Message
What are you hoping to communicate to your target audience? Having your message whittled down into something that is clear and concise will help determine what kind of video will best communicate it. Is it a company branding video where you showcase what makes your company different? An event promo video that you’re hoping to attract attendees with? Are you looking for a how-to product video to increase sales and customer satisfaction? The list can go on an on, but asking yourself these questions will help you develop your message and parse it down into an understandable video that will resonate with your targeted audience.
Set Your Video Production Budget
There’s a minimum cost that almost every video will incur, which is usually fleshed out when you develop your video creative brief. Since most, if not all, of the video’s needs will be accounted for in this pre-production step, it’s easier to determine what the overall budget will amount to in order to achieve the desired final product. If you have a more conservative range you’d like to stay in, it will also help determine what’s possible and what’s not to stay within your budget.
Being realistic with your finances and what elements your video can afford to include is obviously important, but it’s equally important to not get hung up on one specific number. If you’re looking to decrease your budget by $500 through cutting a few hours of shooting out of the plan, you could be sacrificing more than you’d be saving. Those extra few hours could give you timeless universal shots that you can use on your website, re-purpose for other content, or contribute to a library of stock footage for your company. An experienced video production agency will have the skill and expertise to scale your video creative brief accordingly based on the budget while maximizing quality and production value.
Video Script Writing, Casting, and Video Location Scouting
Depending on what you have in mind for your video creative brief, some of these elements may not be applicable. Not all videos require a script, but if yours does, hiring the expertise of a script writing agency will pay off tenfold when it comes to your final product. We all know those cringe-worthy commercials where the script and actors feel unnatural and cheesy. Hiring an expert script writer during your video creative brief, as well as experienced actors, will help to avoid that uncomfortable final product and ensure your video feels authentic in its message.
We have a whole article dedicated to the importance of film location scouting, so we’ll be brief here. Location scouting takes a lot more effort than just pulling up GoogleMaps on your phone and finding some locations that might work. From permitting and cost, to logistics and alignment with your message, it’s harder than it looks and usually requires the skill of an expert. The most important thing to consider when developing your video creative brief is aligning your message with your location. If the two feel disconnected, it will result in a confusing and unremarkable video.
Create a Storyboard for Your Video
Creating a storyboard is a major step in turning your verbal and written ideas into a visual and tangible product. But isn’t it enough to just have a rough idea of what you want and let the day of the shoot fully develop it? Taking this route can easily spiral out of control and run you into trouble. Although it’s tempting to forgo this step, or only do it halfway, there’s great value in making it as accurate as possible. This is when you can determine the kind of camera angles, shots, lighting, clothing, and sequence of scenes will be most effective in telling your story.
By creating a storyboard with visuals of exactly what you want to capture and how, you will streamline your shooting day process and give everyone on set guidance as to what’s expected. That’s not to say you can’t try different angles, lighting techniques, and ideas while you’re shooting, but having a fully developed idea of what you want beforehand will ensure you get those most-desired shots and keep your whole crew focused.
Produce a Production Schedule and Firm Up Delivery Dates
The final delivery date of the video is what most people care about, but how you successfully achieve that final date is reliant on more incremental due dates along the way. While you develop your video creative brief, your video production agency will help you determine realistic schedules and delivery dates based on what they know to be feasible. These dates will help the whole team stay accountable, know whats needed of them and when, which ultimately helps your budget stay on track as well.
Video Production Creative Brief and Beyond
Having a video production agency with you from the very first steps of your video creative brief will ensure your project is thoroughly developed from beginning to end. By encompassing everything your video will need in this phase of production, the entire video production process has the best chance of running smoothly. Conversely, lack of preparation in this area can result in unforeseen costs and complications on shoot day and during post-production.
If you’d like to start developing your video creative brief, contact MarzMotion. We’ll help develop your creative and ensure the rest of your video production process will result in your envisioned final product.