February 27, 2012 \ Geoff Birmingham
The devil is in the details – that’s no different for video production

Japanese devil priest

Rachel was talking a few days ago with a marketer who mentioned to her that he often finds himself having to explain his work process to clients to help them understand that, regardless of how straightforward a particular project might seem, there’s usually a good deal of effort required to deliver an outstanding final product.

This resonated with us because it’s a situation we often find ourselves in as well.  It’s not uncommon for a prospect or client to ask us if we can help produce a short, simple video, and the expectation, not surprisingly, is that it can be done at low cost.

“Low cost” can mean different things to different people, but video production budgets is a whole different conversation that I won’t delve into here.  But perhaps it would be useful, in the spirit of education, to share a few scenarios in which even the most basic of videos can require a bit of honing to get right.

All the examples of client requests that I list below are ones that we have received.  But it’s important to emphasize that all of them are completely reasonable.  The only purpose in sharing them is to help illustrate how a well-crafted video is usually not something that can be dashed together without a bit of effort on the part of the producer.

  • The video is finalized…until the top dog has a chance to review it. “Geoff, we thought there wouldn’t be any further changes, but the VP took a look at it and she wants just a few more things tweaked.”
  • The video needs enhancing. “Geoff, we were wondering if there was a way you could saturate the colors on so-and-so’s interview.”
  • The graphic design needs to be changed. “Geoff, we like the fonts you use for titling, but could you look for another one that has more of a ‘artsy’ look to it?”
  • The music needs to be changed. “Geoff, we need a different feel with the music.  We don’t know exactly what would be better, but maybe you could find something that’s a little more peppy?”
  • What looks good on paper doesn’t look so good on video. “Geoff, the initial sound bites from Mr. Employee you incorporated into the script looked promising, but we don’t think he delivers the messages with enough enthusiasm.  Can we find someone else to say the same thing?”

You get the idea: until a client and producer immerse themselves in a project, it’s not obvious that additional work like this will be needed.  As with most detail work, none of the individual details by themselves demands a huge investment of time, but getting all of them right cannot be accomplished without a bit of effort.

P.S. Isn’t the image of the devil priest excellent?  Japanese woodcuts are always great fun.  Thanks to Gary Ashley for use of his photo.