6 Quick Tips for Smooth Sailing on Your Next Video Project – From the Inside Out

What’s better than receiving a completed B2B video that hits all the right notes? How about a creative and collaborative video production experience that runs smoothly, from start to finish.

The difference between an okay and outstanding video production experience almost always starts with an internal team that’s aligned and prepared – well before you bring in your video agency. Here’s a list of common friction points we’ve witnessed over the years and the best ways to avoid them becoming a “thing.”

Friction Point:  Too many cooks in the kitchen.
Smooth Sailing:  Assign an internal “team captain”.

As the project manager for your internal team, this person will be the main contact with your video agency, and so much more:

  • Ensures the internal team is aligned in terms of the video’s goals and how you’ll measure success by developing a Creative Brief.  The brief should include critical info like project goals, your audience, deadlines, and ideal budget. (Check out the pre-production checklist we designed to help you navigate the pre-production process and ensure your video project is set up for success.)
  • For scripts, storyboards, edits, and other approvals, the team captain collects all feedback from stakeholders then organizes, clarifies and prioritizes it – to include resolving internal conflicting feedback –before sharing it with the video agency.

Friction Point:  Approvals are needed by EOD but your stakeholders are OOO.
Smooth Sailing: Check calendars and schedule approval dates NOW.

Executives are ALWAYS busy. Since you’re probably going to need them to sign off on various stages throughout the project – like the script, storyboard, and first and final cuts of the video – be aware of stakeholders’ schedules before agreeing to a timeline/deadline. You don’t want a well-intentioned project to face delays that could have been flagged from the get-go.

Friction Point:  Legal can’t review the script until next week.
Smooth Sailing: Include your legal department in upfront scheduling and planning.

Most companies’ legal departments need to “bless” any video before it can be used externally. Communicate with legal WELL in advance so they know the general theme of the video and when they’ll need to review it. We’ve seen videos get totally sidelined because legal just couldn’t fit a review into their schedule. We’ve also seen entire projects get squashed in the eleventh hour because a theme or script was never going to fly – a problem that could have been avoided entirely if legal was in the loop early on.

Friction Point:  Death by committee.
Smooth Sailing:  A team leader who has the last word.

Nothing drags down a video like too much compromise. That’s why it’s so important to have a team lead who’s empowered to make final decisions. Otherwise, trying to get everyone to agree almost always results in a watered-down message and vanilla creativity.

Friction Point:  Too many people seeing the sausage being made.
Smooth Sailing:  Keep your creative circle small.

Don’t socialize your video in its early stages! Really, just don’t. Most people won’t be able to make the mental leap from seeing the roughness of the “rough cut” to envisioning what the glossy final will look and feel like, so much of the feedback could be negative, confusing or downright unhelpful. Trust us on this one.

Friction Point:  You planned your deadline for the event, not the rehearsal.
Smooth Sailing:  Identify video lead times well in advance.

If your video will be aired at a conference or event, the staging company is going to want some time to set up the video and make sure it works with their equipment. So, in addition to asking what format the video file will need to be, find out when they need it!  You can bet it won’t be the day of the conference — more like a few days to a week prior.

Reduce Resistance, Avoid Re-Work 

Stuff will always come up, but by minimizing friction, your energy can go towards developing a truly unique and impactful product, rather than being distracted by delays and conflicting points of view. Besides, a smoother project almost always saves time and money, because it creates a more efficient process and minimizes unnecessary re-work.

Being prepared saves time, money, and a whole lot of headaches. But, if you’re experiencing any sort of deadlock or dilemma, don’t hesitate to ask our team at Blue Marble for advice when you need experienced counsel. We’ve been there, done that, and will probably be able to quickly gauge a predicament and suggest a way forward.

Reach out anytime. We’re here to create great videos while making the process positive and painless.


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