April 21, 2020

Master the craft of video production with 6 important thoughts

Chris Merrifield
Director of Video and Multimedia

Video production is a key element of any event, live or virtual, bringing life to the ideas presenters share, creating a layer of engagement for the audience, building energy and sustaining it throughout the event, and so much more. 

As a company, video production has long been a focus for us, giving our clients a media-rich outlet to celebrate achievements, announce initiatives, launch products and express creativity.

Here are some of the things we think about when it comes to developing outstanding video media:

Build a successful agency-to-client relationship

In order to bring the client’s vision to life on screen, it’s incredibly important to establish a relationship built on mutual trust with the client. Being on the same page and understanding their needs will help in the initial creative process, most importantly for videos that will rely on emotion. It’s that well developed client/agency relationship that will bring the level of confidence needed into the early stages of development prior to calling, “Action!” 

Transparency and responsiveness are also key in relationship-building with both new and long-standing clients. Often, video work requires multiple teams on a project and with that comes threads of information that span far and wide.

Take time to regularly check in with your clients, not just on a weekly call, but unexpectedly. Real-time updates help them keep their organizations updated and no one is left wondering about the progress of their project.

Share in the spirit

Sharing in the spirit of a project with your client only serves to benefit the both of you. Equal passion for the project helps to bring everyone together as a team with common goals.

If it’s an informational video you’re working on, go further, really wander,  and explore  the research to become knowledgeable about the topic you're being asked to give creative energy to. Engage with employees that are involved in the project on a daily process and talk to those that are living the work to really put yourself in their shoes.

What’s the idea?

Everything starts with an idea. And fully understanding that idea is the only way to know what you are doing, and what you should be doing.  

Thoughts find words, then they ignite sounds and images, and sculpt stories that inspire audiences to learn, laugh, cry, think and feel. But ideas aren’t normally just hanging around.  You have to hunt for them. Finding the right idea is like fishing—there’s a reason they don’t call it catching—some days are better than others. You need a hat full of patience and persistence.

A good day starts by listening to the client, understanding their expectations and their audience.  What story or message do they want to communicate?  What do they want the viewers to feel, comprehend,  and believe? 

We are storytellers. It is our job to tell the client’s stories in an original and authentic way.  The challenge is to tell these stories in ways that people have not seen or heard before.  

Take a different point of view. Look at each project from different angles. Take it all apart and put it back.  Avoid cliches and stereotypes. Cultivate a healthy disregard for the norm.   Toss assumptions out the window. Don’t aim to satisfy anyone; captivate them, shock them, knock them out, leave a mark. 

Create emotion with pictures.  When you do that, you know you have caught the right creative idea. The ground is waiting to be broken.

The process—it’s personal

Sooner or later in the process, video and media production becomes a collaborative art form. After you proudly persuade your client that you can deliver a project from concept to completion, you have to surround yourself with like-minded, talented and dedicated people who have a vision and excel at their craft. 

Because you don’t have to be the best at everything, but your collective team can not suck at anything.

Ideation, scriptwriting, storyboarding, art design, motion graphics, lighting, photography, sound, performing, directing, editing, project management, producing; these are all the ingredients that must be refined and accounted for in a triumphant recipe.  

Honor those skills, and the people who contribute them.  When a crew feels respected and valued, they will invest themselves personally into the project. The story being told must not only be personal for the client, and affect the audience in a personal way, but it must be personal for us, too. Our name will be on the final product.  

We have earned our client’s trust to tell their story and hold their hand through showcasing them and their work in unique, distinctive, and unexpected ways, while staying true to their character and brand. We now owe it to them, to our crew, and to ourselves to take it personally. 

Develop a signature style and wear it proudly.  

Mastering techniques

How a story is told is paramount to creating lasting impressions.  Our clients deserve and demand great looking visuals and amazing sound in our videos.  Attention to detail is the luxury amenity.  Understanding and mastering our craft and our tools is not optional. 

Choose words carefully, because words are powerful.  Film, edit, and design with passion and imagination, using the most innovative technology within reach.  

The art of technique requires a wild heart. Seek to master everything you do. 

Make it matter

But it all comes back to the idea.

And if everyone agrees that an idea is great, it probably isn’t very clever or original.  

“Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy,” is still a valid philosophy.

Being relentlessly creative is a challenge but it’s a fight worth taking on. Do it right and you’ll be rewarded with confidence and experience.  

Stand apart.  Listen to everyone, then do what you want.  Develop a singular voice that will differentiate you from the crowd, and your clients from their competition.  Integrity is everything for both of you.

Through the medium of video, we have the power to change minds. The road we take to get there can bend and break, but we can’t lose focus of where we are heading.  

Success, form and function. Simple and significant. Style and substance

Let’s build a video together

If you’re in need of an experienced partner to help with your next video project, get in touch with Hartmann Studios. Our video team can help you create moments and moods, stimulate the senses, discover meaning and motivation, and illuminate endless opportunities. 

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