Part of an integrated campaign targeting sustainable and responsible businesses included a short promotional video for digital channels. As 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. However, the client declined my offer to oversee the project, and assigned an internal resource to manage it with their chosen videographer.
When I was asked to weigh in on the first cut of the marketing video post-event (with a comment, “Looks great!”), I asked some questions and offered to step in for the final cut, letting purpose and outcome guide a diplomatic conversation.
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. And, it helps everyone understand her/his/they role in the project, as well as the criteria that the final deliverable must meet.
Content design and edit cycles have become increasingly informal in our digital world. Much gets amended on the fly. But, recording a live event and distilling it into about ninety seconds, requires up-front planning, a lot of communication, and knowledge about video production. In this case, a contractor had been hired and quoted a price based on a discussion with the internal pm.
The missing brief, an inexperienced project manager, and lack of event-day coordination resulted in challenging editing constraints: no camera movement or B-roll, lighting fluctuation, and unattractive subject background. Showing up late was tricky for many reasons.
I created a style guide and storyboard with suggested cuts (in/outs) from the raw footage and provided better supporting visual assets. The videographer and I talked through it together, listening to each other’s perspectives, until we reached an agreement. The final piece was slightly longer and tells a more compelling story about this client’s work and expertise.
Long-term, the client gained knowledge to improve their internal process with future similar projects.