Have you ever worked on the perfect video project where everyone is on the same page and the dreamlike final result is exactly as what was originally planned on paper . . ?

No? Me neither.

We all want to achieve that perfect film but unless you’re from the planet Zogg that little thing called being human is always going to be the defining factor that brings us all crashing back down to earth. Let’s face it . .

video content creation = mental torture

So whether you’re an ethusiastic client, freelance videographer or full blown production company read on to see what in our opinion are the 5 most common video production killers to avoid when creating video content worth seeing.

1. Poor communication

No communication = No project.

Being unclear on your needs as a client or as a video company will leave your video production project dead in the water.

On the part of the client, you really need to set out enough useful information in the initial brief and if you’re a professional video company it’s your obligation to give clients a clear sense of your approach to the production

Video producers can only produce what is set out in a client’s brief and we understand that for many clients, you have never written one before and writing a video production brief can be a daunting task.

So try to be as specific as possible with key details such as:

Background to the project, message, target audience, tone, on-screen talent (presenters, interviewees, cast), shoot locations, film duration.

This will help your video production company get a good sense of what your aims are and draft up a realistic Creative Treatment of proposed work.

2. Too many cooks . .

By not having clear leadership throughout the life of the project i.e. project manager or producer, you’re single handedly giving up on having a successful project immediately. People not sticking to their own role will create confusion and it doesn’t get any easier from there, it’s important to know who’s responsible for what. Think, who has the creative vision for the project?  Is it the director from the production company or the client? This needs to be established right from the start and can be shared but just as long as the key people are making these creative decisions.

3. Being too ambitious

Overpromising on budget and resources will lead to underdelivering. How many times have you heard the phrase it’s going to be amazing, from people who are not qualified to make such statements? If you don’t have the track record to prove your ability to deliver on big promises then it’s best not saying anything at all.

Projects often fall flat when production companies fail to hire a skilled crew that can realise your vision. It also helps if the client has done enough research to understand what is possible in the areas of video content creation. So, this is not to expect a film that looks like a Hollywood blockbuster on the budget for a Facebook live video.

Ulimately a client needs to research a production company’s Portfolio to see whether they have the relevant specific experience and capabilities to deliver what you are looking for. Chances are, if what you’re looking for isn’t there, then they’re probably not the right company for you.

4. Poor Planning

In video & film production its generally accepted that you spend 80% planning and only 20% execution. Most clients underestimate the time and labour involved in the planning of a video project and jump to the sexier activities such as the shoot. From ideas development, storyboarding, scripting, scheduling, shoot and editing the amount of planning is the make or break with video production. A robust project plan incorporating a strategy for pre-production, production and postproduction has to be in place for things to run smoothly, there are no shortcuts when it comes to approaching this. If one stage isn’t executed correctly then the rest of your planning will fall short and would create bigger problems for the project down the line.

5. Not having a clear creative vision

We thought we’d save the best till last and share what in our opinion is the quickest way to kill a video production project.

Not having a clear creative vision is the bane of all clients and companies and can be a direct result of all of the above. If people involved in the project cannot conceptualise what the end result will look like then client expectations will never be fulfilled.

If you are the creative lead in the project then you can help others see your vision by having an arsenal of visual aids at your disposal. From mood boards, sizzle reels, teasers to sharing your own existing videos as creative references that might be similar to what you’re aiming to achieve.

Anything will work as long as people are able to ‘See’ your vision.

To summarise, nothing is going to be perfect but give yourself the best chance to create perfection by avoiding all of the above video production killers. Doing so will not only save you time, it will save your sanity.

You’ve heard our thoughts on this topic, now we’d like to hear yours.

Whether you’re the client or the video producer, leave a reply in the comments below and let us know . .

What in your opinion is a sure fire way to kill a video project?

Robyn Owens

Author Robyn Owens

More posts by Robyn Owens

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