And sometimes, as a client, it can be hard to get across any ideas you have, or the review team is so extensive that it’s slow going. So, what starts as a fun project and a clear message that will target your audience gets bogged down, leaving both the video production company and the client a bit fed up. It’s not the finale you want, especially if extensive amends end up costing you more money.
Here are our top tips for a smooth stress free project with fewer amends, that are easy to address, starting from planning and through the various stages of production.
Choose the right video company for you
Firstly, ensure that the video company you bought from lives up to expectations in general. Do you like their design and animation style? Do they tell a good story? Is the filming or animation quality what you’re after? If you are choosy in the first place, this will reduce any potential friction and make you a better fit for that video production company.
If you’re asking them to do animation, but they don’t show much in their portfolio, that may also be a bit of a red flag. Animation and explainer videos are more specialised, so you’d want to see a strong portfolio.
It’s also important to get a few quotes, if one is much cheaper than the rest, you may find they don’t live up to expectations and are very limited when it comes to making changes.
Look at their Video production methodology
Pick a video production with a good strong methodology. Does the company involve you throughout the project? Sometimes for speed, video companies will literally go from script to showing you the final piece. This may work for some people, but generally, it can be very amend-heavy and a bit of a shock to see a final video with no proper input.
Our video production process involves several steps in which we involve the client, from script to written treatment, voiceover, design, and animation. The client gives feedback and is involved in all of these stages, so by the end of the project, there are very few surprises, and we deliver the final video without a hitch.
A script change early on is no big deal, but a script change at the end could mean redesigning scenes, recording voiceover and causing unnecessary delays with an increased budget. The key is to catch these snags early on.
You should be able to get a sense of a video or animation company’s production style before you agree to start the project.
Plan well with Art Direction
Good planning will help you with amends later on, so do send over any videos or designs you like. A proper creative studio will never copy, but it gives the designer a clear idea of your tastes and what you know the audience resonates with.
The video studio can also share mood boards with you, which can help steer the right vibe. In our working methodology, we also share style frames, 2-3 images indicative of the final style, before launching into a complete storyboard design.
Having these discussions at the start will reduce the amends later on.
How to give feedback at each stage
Prioritise your feedback
During a project, there are a few tips to keep it running smoothly without getting bogged down in multiple iterations at each stage. This is advice from my dad, who was also a video producer, I don’t know if he made it up, but he always told me Pick what is “Nice to have” and what is a “must-have.”
Using this little question for each amendment will help prioritise and gives the studio a clear direction. If the deadline is tight or the schedule starts running over, it can reduce the workload. And the editor or animator knows they will get onto the ‘Nice to Have’ list if there is time. Or upon prover review internally you may decide you don’t really need the nice to haves, it’s not a deal breaker.
Keep your team small
When you’ve been sent a video for review or a stage of the process, sending it to everyone you know easily happens. Please don’t! And don’t share with friends and family. Keep your professional project team small and informed throughout the video production process. More and more opinions can cloud the objective and slow the project right down. It can definitely be a case of too many chefs.
Another thing that can happen is that the project is going smoothly, a small team are reviewing the video stages well, and communication is clear. Then right at the end, you need to show the CEO. They have different ideas and tear up major parts of the video. This can feel a bit gutting! It’s tricky to involve the CEO throughout as they’re very busy people. If you think they need to see it, then you do need to show 1 or 2 earlier stages, to get some early buy-in of the concept.
Questions to ask yourself when reviewing a video
Is it factually correct?
Is this a personal preference?
Is it Nice to have or Must have?
Is the tone right?
Will our target audience resonate with it?
Does it communicate clearly?
Is there a clear call to action?
When providing feedback, it can be easy to be vague and say “I’m not sure about this or remove this…” Being as specific as possible will help the amendment process to go smoothly. One key thing is providing a timecode/number with your comments, so it’s always easy to see what you’re referencing. If possible, if you’re not keen on something, try to articulate why or give an alternative idea – we’re not mind readers sorry!
Be prepared to change your mind
Someone in a bold video studio may actually say no to the amendment. It sounds like a shock, but they will have a very good reason for this! It may cause a huge delay, really impact the budget, or what you’re asking for may actually degrade the video quality. Hopefully, they will explain themselves very clearly, so that you can understand the reasoning behind it and come to your own conclusion with this extra content whether or not it’s necessary to go ahead.
Hopefully, you found this helpful. We’ve provided tips for a smooth and stress-free video production experience with fewer amends. We advise choosing a video production company with a good methodology and art direction, providing feedback at each stage, prioritising feedback, being specific, and asking key questions to make the process easier. Additionally, we caution against involving too many people in the project and emphasise the importance of involving the CEO at key stages.
If you’d like a video production that is more stress free, just send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.