“Common” is a loaded word. The one great thing about this business is, there’s something new every day. The one bad thing about this business is, there’s something new every day. Because we don’t give you cooke-cutter services, we don’t have cookie-cutter problems. But there are a few common themes that crop up more often.
Lack of Communication
We really need the client to be an active part of the process. Active also means timely If we deliver a series of videos, and we get feedback from you after a couple of days about changes that you need, but then there’s radio silence for two weeks, we assume that everything you wanted fixed has been attended to. It really doesn’t help for you to call us three weeks later and say “Oh, and I want to change this, this and this.” We value your time, and we expect the same courtesy from our clients. So if you’re going to give feedback, make sure it’s all of the feedback, or at least give us a head’s up that you may need more time to go over the videos more thoroughly.
From the client’s standpoint, common problems can include: scheduling delays (sometimes due to unforeseen problems like equipment failure or a staffing crisis, other times due to unavoidable problems like bad weather for outdoor shoots or sudden inaccessibility to a shoot location), disagreement on crucial elements like graphics and animation or the mode of editing, extensive script rewrites, and a final product that looks good on its own, but doesn’t fit in properly with a larger business plan or social media campaign.
Except for the problems involved with scheduling, all of the above issues can typically be dealt with through thorough communication with the video production company. It’s rare that clients and a production company are so in tune with each other that everything is a flawless mesh from the start. Patience is rewarded.
Another problem is budgetary constraints. You have to be up front with the company during pre-production about what you can and can’t afford to do. The company, in turn, needs to be clear about what it can and can’t accomplish on your budget. Make sure you get a firm agreement, in writing, about what your budget entitles you to, such as the number of revisions for any given step, post-production delivery services, and the extent of services like scripting, location scouting, makeup, and editing.
We find that almost all problems that come up during a project could have been avoided with more concise communication. Make sure you’re thoroughly clear about what you want, how much you can spend, and what you expect, and you can count on most problems fading away smoothly, like a sunset on a sultry summer evening punctuated by the haunting call of cicadas and the sporadic bursts of joy from lightning bugs. (Sorry, we’re based in Atlanta. Colorful Southern euphemisms crop up every now and then.)