7 Things All Video Professionals Should Share with Clients
Before you start your next corporate or commercial project, share these points (or this article) with your favorite clients.
Cover image via Monkey Business Images.
There are many things you might take for granted in the film and video industry. This might include things like filmmaking terms and lingo, intrinsic costs and values — even just a basic understanding of how long it takes to plan, shoot, and edit a video from start to finish.
However, for those outside the field (i.e. your video production clients), all the aspects and moving parts of video production can be confusing.
To streamline the relationships and expectations between both parties, here are seven helpful things video professionals can share with their favorite clients before jumping into a project.
1. The Importance of Contracts
Image via Gajus.
For clients unaccustomed to working with video professionals (or any creative services, really), the importance of contracts or “statements of work” can seem a little unnecessary. I mean, if you agree to a project, shouldn’t it be easy to see it through then simply invoice for it later?
Well, for film and video folks, it’s really not that simple. Often, there are expenses we have to pay upfront to even get started on a project. Whether that’s renting cameras or gear, modifying or performing upkeep to existing gear, hiring other shooters or crew members — it can add up quickly.
Film and video projects can also often be difficult to define in terms of scope of work. If your upfront agreement doesn’t take changes, delays, or setbacks into account, then you can end up with disparities between an agreed-upon price and the final amount of work.
Sitting down together and building out a solid contract for a project, which defines everything start to finish, benefits both parties. It eliminates unnecessary back-and-forth on revisions, and it provides stability for video professionals so they can make the necessary arrangements to dive right into the work.
2. Access to Drafts and Review Process
Image via GaudiLab.
Technology has truly revolutionized what used to be perhaps the most arduous part of any film or video project. Sharing drafts and revisions between clients and video professionals has never been easier — and it’s still just as important as ever.
Some clients like to keep tabs on projects throughout the entire process. This gets tricky, especially during editing. But if you use one of the collaborative sharing services below, clients can review drafts in real time.
3. Consolidate Revisions
Image via debasige.
However, reviewing in real time doesn’t completely streamlines the process. Unless your videographer or editor is on a retainer, running with revision requests off the top of your head can really hold up a project. Instead, many video professionals will push for a consolidated list of revisions to knock out in one batch edit. This is especially true when working with a middle man or agency. To save the most time (and the most unnecessary rendering time), the onus falls to the client to make sure all stakeholders have had a chance to view a draft before sending over consolidated revisions.
4. Download Final Videos (and Assets)
Image via GaudiLab.
Another concern that may seem obvious to video professionals is transferring videos and assets. While working with cloud services and video-hosting platforms may seem simple on the upload, for those unfamiliar with these services, knowing to download all the assets, view them properly, and then store them isn’t a given. For many in the profession, sites like Vimeo are standard for sharing videos (clients can download directly from the site), while sites like DropBox make sharing project folders with RAW files and assets easier (read about it here). It’s also worth noting that professional services like these are often monthly or annual expenses that video professionals have to cover just to ensure they can work with clients when projects arise.
5. Upload to Their Sites
Image via Leif Eliasson.
Similarly, when clients do successfully download their final video, it’s not always immediately clear what they should do with it. Ideally, the video’s purpose and distribution is something videographers and clients will discuss early on, so the crew can keep these things in mind during production. A video for a television broadcast requires a much different shoot than one intended for Facebook and Twitter. When a project is complete and delivered, the client might still need some hand-holding during the uploads to platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram.
Here are some resources for uploading best practices.
- Everything You Need to Know About Putting Your Videos Online
- How to Properly Export Video for Vimeo
- Everything You Need to Know Before Posting Your Videos on Reddit
6. The Cost of Archiving
Image via AH Images.
Once final videos are delivered, many clients assume that the videographer saves all RAW video files and assets forever. It’s not uncommon to get an email a year later from a client asking for the files for some other video project — or for an updated version. However, archiving footage and assets is no small task. When done correctly, archiving is an involved process that takes up both time and hard drive (or cloud) space. Discuss archiving with the client during the initial conversation about the scope of work, and then account for a few hours (or even a few days) to archive, back up, and store the project properly.
Here are some tips and tricks to refine the archiving process.
7. Maximizing Their Investment
Image via DisobeyArt.
Finally, once everything is said and done, clients need to feel confident that they’re doing everything they can to maximize their investment. It’s just as frustrating for video professionals to send something off and see it misused or underutilized as it is for clients to fail to see the return on the investment they’d hoped for. Social videos, for example, need optimization for the best return. If you discuss the nature of the project early (one-off or campaign?), you can deliver evergreen content rather than something that will really only perform well once. There’s a lot to read up on, but here are some good resources to keep in mind.