Ten Secrets of Commissioning Great Video No:6

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Blog

Keep your sign-off group small

Here’s a story about too many cooks spoiling the broth. I delivered the first draft of one of our videos, and was there when the client watched it. She cried – in a good way! She was really moved by the video, and its message, and was really happy with it.

Then, she started asking for feedback from a large number of team members. She brought a long list of changes to the edit suite, and we happily changed everything on the list for her, after all, the client is central to everything we do, and our main aim is to give you the video you want.

Secrets of commissioning great video 3BUT, after she’d watched the final video, we were surprised when she asked us to put it all back the way it was at the beginning. She said that all the changes she had asked for had made the video weaker, not stronger, in her opinion, and it ended up not having the impact that it had on her originally.

The moral of this story is: by all means show people a video in progress, but keep the number small, and watch the video yourself first, and make up your own mind how you feel about it.

Because, if you ask people what they think, they’ll all say something different, and it will almost always be something critical, and may not be particularly helpful. Of course if there is something wrong, a mis-spelling, a shot that doesn’t reflect your company in the best light, a sound glitch, something wrong in the tone, the wrong sort of music, then we need to fix all those. But, if you love the video at first sight, don’t then go and show 30 other people, otherwise they will all have an opinion, and each one will confuse you a little more.

Luckily, our client had the strength of mind to realise that she’d preferred the video when she saw it first, and was confident enough to reject others’ views and trust our judgement on how best to tell her company’s story. The video was very well received when it was shown to a gathering of professionals, and once it was finished, the feedback was all positive. When there’s no question of input or change, people will quite happily say they like something, but if you offer someone the opportunity to change something, they will always offer a change, often off the top of their head and without really thinking about how it will affect the final product.

We are here to deliver you the video you want, but by the same token, we are professionals who understand how video works. We put a lot of thought into how we plan the shoot, how we structure the messages, how we use music, and how we edit everything together to tell a story.

And we need a lot of help from you – but before the shoot, rather than after. Put as much time as possible into briefing us to make sure we have your key messages – this is the point in the process where you should ask widely for opinions, as once we are in the edit suite it is too late if a message has been missed – we can’t put words into people’s mouths.

So, keep your sign-off group small, trust your judgement on the draft video, and by all means make changes, but be sure that each change improves the final product, and makes it clearer, more on-message and adds impact. And remember – if you liked it better at the beginning, don’t be scared to say so, we won’t judge!