Part of an integrated campaign targeting sustainable and responsible businesses included a short promotional video for digital channels. Since the client was hosting a live workshop for members of Conscious Capitalism and B Corps, we decided to record the event and use it to create the marketing video. My client declined my offer to manage their chosen videographer and the final deliverables. She assigned an internal project coordinator.
When I was asked to weigh in on the first cut of the marketing video post-event (with comment, “Looks great”), it was clear that the coordinator didn’t possess the skills or experience in this medium. Showing up in the post-production stage, I would need to use problem-solving skills and diplomacy to achieve the best outcome.
In speaking with the client’s videographer, I learned that he had not received a creative brief and had received minimal direction apart from, “Keep the camera on the speaker,” at the live event.
A good brief functions as a playbook. It aligns project stakeholders around a purpose and vision. It also helps stakeholders understand their roles in the project and the criteria that the final deliverable must meet.
Content design and editing cycles have become increasingly informal in our digital world. Much can be amended on the fly. But, recording a live event and distilling it into about ninety seconds, requires up-front planning and some knowledge about video production. In this case, a contractor had been hired with a set price based on a discussion with the coordinator. The project could have veered off course and off-budget, and it could have easily created a working vibe that was off-putting.
The missing brief, an inexperienced project manager, and lack of on-site direction resulted in challenging editing constraints: no camera movement or B-roll, lighting fluctuation, and an unattractive subject background.
I created a style guide and storyboard with suggested cuts (in/outs) from the raw footage and provided better supporting visual assets. We worked through the edits together. We cut a longer piece that told a more compelling story about my client’s work and what makes their brand unique.
Long-term, the client gained knowledge to improve their internal process with future similar projects.