For some of our clients here at Sparksight, meeting a video production deadline for their marketing campaigns can be challenging. Sometimes there are hard dates for a conference where the video production deadline absolutely has to be hit. Other times, a video production deadline is a moving target attached to a product rollout that has a lot of moving parts. If you keep the following tips in mind when working on a marketing campaign or a video project, this process is guaranteed to be much smoother for you and your team, helping you meet each and every video production deadline.
Hire Some Help
Producing content for you and your team is what dedicated video production and content creation companies do, all day, every day. Working with a company that is dedicated to your video project means your needs are priority number one, allowing you to rest easy knowing you’ll get a product of the highest quality and that you’ll get it on time. Even if you have some resources in-house who normally help create simple sales demos or short social media videos, they might not be able to hit a rushed deadline, especially if your campaign calls for video(s) of a higher production value than normal. This is where a professional team could really come in handy to make sure you deliver something great, and to free you up to handle other campaign challenges that come your way. To find the right company to help with your campaign, do your research and try to find a company that will serve as an extension of your own team.
Understand the Process
Even if you hire an outside team, it’s important to understand the process of how you will meet your video production deadline. There are few points along the way where turning back could be a surefire way to fall behind schedule so, you’ll want to be sure to stick to decisions that have been made. This process could vary depending on what type of video you are doing (example: animation vs. live action) but, this is a pretty standard process that you should be able to follow for most videos.
- Discovery – determine goals of the video(s)
- Create and lock script
- Create and lock storyboards
- Secure locations and talent
- Secure crew and equipment
- Production – Live action video shoot or voice over recording
- Post-Production – editing live action footage or animation
- First cut delivered
- Fine cut delivered
- Final cut delivered
Once a piece of the process is locked and you move on to the next stage of production, going backwards could be expensive and time-consuming. If this is understood from the beginning, sticking to the original timeline will be a breeze.
Show Your Team Early
Team feedback is extremely important for any company project. However, it is also extremely important for everyone on the team to know when that feedback will be collected. For us, there are two key decisions we like the whole team to be in on.
The first decision is locking the scripts and storyboards. Everyone needs to be on the same page from the start to make sure progress is being made toward the correct product.The script will determine a lot of other factors such as location, talent, etc., so if you change the script after is has been locked, you might have to redo any other pre-production work that has been done.
The second decision is the review of the fine cut of the video/animation. The first cut and the conversations about how it reflects your product should be between you and your Sparksight editor. By the time you see a fine cut, the broader strokes have been refined, which leaves the rest of the project to polishing.
What you really want to avoid is waiting to show the boss a cut until it’s marked as final. A final cut is just that: final. The delivery date you’ve been working toward assumes that this cut will make it into your hands on time, but without much wiggle room. If you or a higher up decides you’ve missed a mark after 3 cuts have been made, you’ve wasted valuable production time and are now looking at a much later delivery date and likely more costs.
Consolidate your Feedback
See how these are starting to build on each other? Any video production company is going to love when your team has feedback! Feedback means everyone is excited about the product and trying their best to ensure its greatness and success. The best feedback is well organized and consolidated into one list. Sticking to the video production process whenever possible allows your production team to move quickly alongside your timeline. Digging through two or three emails in a chain to find everyone’s notes hinders efficiency, and it becomes more and more likely that something small will be overlooked. Of course, changes can be made at any point (most likely for a price), but if you’re trying to hit that video production deadline, consolidating your feedback will get you one step closer.
Keep In Touch
This is the most important and also the easiest rule to follow! If you give your team a video production deadline at the start of a project, it is likely you will be able to meet said deadline. We, and most production teams, are happy to take on the heavy lifting of a project but, there are times when your input will be necessary. When this happens, timely responses are often required on your part. It shouldn’t be a problem if it will take you a few days to grab a coworker who is out of the office, as long as you effectively communicate this with your production team. It’s understandable if you cannot get feedback immediately but, the more you communicate with your production team, the easier it will be for them to help you meet your goals and deadlines in the end. The longer you remain silent, the more booked your team’s production calendar becomes, which means there will be more projects for them to focus on and less time to plan changes. Always in the instance of a video production deadline (or any deadline), get back to your team as soon as possible. If something comes up, remember to clearly communicate that with your team so that timelines can be adjusted.
Follow these steps and you will find yourself breathing easy, not just at the conclusion, but during each step involved in meeting your video production deadline! Do you have other tips that have helped you meet your video production deadlines? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section!