This is an example of running interference in ballet slippers on a muddy field. Client service skills required. No one’s feelings were hurt and the post-mortem focused on a future process, not finger pointing. Service providers should support and uphold the best interest of their mutual client.
This was a precarious situation whereby the client wanted to use their service provider and declined my offer to create a brief and direct the shoot. When I saw the first cut with the feedback, “Looks great,” I realized that I didn’t know…that they didn’t know…what they didn’t know. Because this was a content component of our integrated campaign and I deeply value the work of my client, I diplomatically stepped in to improve the final outcome.
In speaking with their videographer, I discerned that he had little-to-no brief or direction from the client apart from, “Keep the camera on the speaker.”I am a stickler for a good brief – but it seems to be increasingly overlooked. People are busy, editing cycles have become informal, and sometimes clients don’t understand the how or why of creative briefing. Video involving a shoot is a prime example of why a good brief is essential. In this case, it resulted in no camera movement, no B-roll, inconsistent lighting, a bad background, and no visual assets to explain the context or purpose of the video.
I started by providing a style guide to the videographer with suggested cuts (marking in/outs for a slightly longer piece with better graphics), and worked closely with him to achieve the client’s, “voice and vision” with the available material. Unfortunately, not having a director for the shoot ultimately compromised the quality of the final piece. In situations where separate providers serve one client, there are holes in communication, the goal is always to do the best for the client and provide actionable recommendations for the future.