video tips

How to create a video production brief for the best results

Whatever your business and whatever your sector, you’re bound to have a story to tell, and an audience that wants to hear (or see) it!

 

Video continues to grow in popularity as an online marketing tool, as an ever-growing number of brands wise up to the fact it provides an impactful approach to sharing stories and promoting key messages.

 

Because you already know your story inside and out, an external perspective is often needed to advise on the best way to communicate it to outside audiences. Fresh eyes have the advantage of offering an objective look which can help distil the key messages required to help your stakeholders understand what you need them to know.

 

When it comes to video, you’ll need an experienced video production team with technical expertise and that is well-versed in utilising the moving image to communicate a variety of story types, prompting a variety of different viewer responses.

 

Big-budget consumer marketing campaigns, corporate videos for internal use, and short, snappy videos for use on social media … whatever you’re producing, the first step towards realising your vision and ensuring the right outcomes is a well-defined brief. This will play a crucial role in ensuring the content produced tells your story in the most effective way for the audience you’re targeting.

 

Here’s our guide on the top considerations when putting together your brief …

 

Have a clear objective 

 

Before you start thinking about what your video content will look like, it’s important to consider your objective. Essentially, you need to think about how you want your audience to feel, and what you want them to do after watching. Knowing this should guide what type of video will be most effective. For instance, is it an instructional video to teach the audience something new, or is it a promotional endeavour to convince them to buy or sign up?

 

Pre-production considerations

 

Your brief will play an important role in determining all the different elements associated with the preliminary (or ‘pre-production’) phases of your video content creation. Essentially, this comprises all the different elements required to ensure your video shoot and/or edit runs smoothy, within budget and on-deadline, including:

 

  • project timelines
  • shot lists
  • call sheets
  • scheduling
  • crews
  • scriptwriting, including all key messages
  • talent sourcing
  • safety reports
  • style frames
  • storyboarding

 

Narrative style

 

Before the treatment (or ‘video outline’ for those unfamiliar with the industry terminology) can be developed, you’ll need to consider exactly how you want to create the narrative. It’s important to be mindful of your target audience at this stage, and consider what style of video is most likely to resonate with them in a positive way.

 

For instance, are you going to film scenarios for your video, or would animation be a more appropriate medium to tell the story? Will you make use of a scripted voiceover, recorded interview delivered as a ‘piece-to-camera’, or a combination of music and/or captions to complement the visuals?

 

Before you write the scripted elements, you’ll need to make sure you have defined key messages to inform this process. You’ll also need to outline in your brief who will be writing the script for your chosen spokesperson to deliver, or developing the questions for your interviewee to answer. If you have somebody with the right skillset in-house to, you might opt to manage this side of things yourself. If not, you may want to consider calling on the support of your experienced video production company.

 

Additionally, if your video is going to involve an interview or piece-to-camera, you’ll need to consider whether you need an experienced producer present during filming to ask the questions, or whether a member of your organisation has the skills and knowledge to perform this role.

 

Who will voice your video?

 

As alluded to in the section above, some sort of spokesperson is usually required to voice certain elements of a video, adding important extra context to the visuals. If that’s the case, you’ll need to decide who is the most appropriate person to deliver these messages on behalf of your brand, and add these details to your brief.

Maybe you’ll go straight to the top and appoint your MD or CEO for this task. Perhaps you’ll assign somebody who works on the ‘front line’ of your business, who can talk about their first-hand experiences. An academic expert might be the right choice if you’re looking to build credibility, or perhaps you’ll decide on a recognisable celebrity ambassador if you’re planning something a bit more fun and informal.

How long will the video be?

 

Duration is another important aspect to specify. You want to provide enough information, while also ensuring viewers don’t get bored and thus fail to make it all the way to the end.

 

How the video will be used will also factor into decisions around length. For instance, are you looking for something punchy and impactful that can be watched from start-to-finish as it pops up on social media feeds? Or do you need a longer-form video in order to tell a more complex story, or give more invested viewers additional information.

 

Offer examples of videos you like … and those you don’t!

 

You may have a clear vision in your head about the look and feel of your video, however this is not always easy to articulate. This is where offering visual references as part of your brief can come in handy.

 

If you’ve already seen something in a style you like and would be keen to see reflected in your own video, make sure to include this. Equally as important, if you’ve seen something you feel has been done badly that you definitely want to avoid emulating, include those examples too!

 

Key dates, timeframes and budgets

 

These may all sound like glaringly obvious things to include, but as a reminder, always make sure to spell out any key dates or deadlines that need to be factored into your video production timeline.

 

For instance, do you need to film some sort of physical event on a specific date that’s already in the calendar? Is your chosen spokesperson only available on a certain day? And, importantly, does your video need to be done and dusted, ready for presentation by a particular deadline?

 

Also include an idea of the budget you have set aside for the production of your video. This will act as a useful guide for your chosen production company, so they can make sure they factor in any financial constraints when making and crucial recommendations and decisions.

 

Other things to consider are the amount of time you expect you’ll need for the actual filming part, as well as filming locations, prop requirements, and whether you need the production company to source any external talent on your behalf, i.e. actors or voice over artists.

 

If you’re working on a brief and plan to use this to kick-start your video production with an experienced third-party, consider giving Full Frame Productions a call! We’ll talk through your needs and goals, and use this to offer guidance that will get you the results you need. We can even send you a video brief template to get you started!

 

A briefing document containing all the elements outlined above will help guide the direction of your video, and will enable the production team to ensure you have the support you need, exactly when and where you need it.

 

If you’re completely new to the world of video production and would like a little help in deciding some of the above, let us talk through your vision with you, and we’ll help fill in the gaps!