3 Tips For Creatives

1) Put The Video on a Review Page – A review page is much like how it sounds. It’s a private page where the video can be uploaded and reviewed privately by your clients. It allows for the client and their team to click on certain time codes, leave notes, and point out details. All of this can be done in real time and in one place. Once a client finishes a round of iterations you can go on the review page to leave comments and replies. You can also check off the iterations one by one as you complete them, which makes tracking iterations a breeze. The platform we use for our review page is Vimeo. Which provides a private, effective, and easy to use service for our clients. 

2) Establish a Process (and stick to it) – It’s important to establish an iteration process with your client. Every video we produce includes 3 rounds of iterations, which is worked into a flat rate at the start of the project. What this means is that after the first cut is delivered to a client, they can go back and forth with changes on the video up to 3 times with the 4th delivered version being the presumed final. Any iteration requests after the 4th version is delivered is billed hourly. We introduce this process early on in the sales process and we stick to it throughout production. We find that it brings clients comfort knowing that we have a process in place that guarantees they will have a say in how their final video will come out. It also gives the clients an opportunity to figure out their internal iteration process and the necessary people involved at each stage. More on this later… 

3) Help Your Client Help You – Iterations require a certain type of language to be effective. The more descriptive that language is, the better. Imagine there’s a clip in a video you created that your client wants replaced. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know WHY they want that clip replaced? For example, “let’s replace this clip – I don’t really like the expression on Karen’s face” is a whole lot better than “let’s replace this clip”. When a client gives iterations remotely they don’t always understand what you’re working with. For example, you might have 3 other similar clips where Karen’s face looks just fine. You might lose an opportunity to use a perfectly relevant piece of b-roll by not fully understanding why your client is requesting certain changes.  Long story short, open ended and non-definitive comments are a thorn in the side of the iteration process. It not only slows down the process by needing to get more clarification, but it also puts the project at risk of exceeding iteration rounds while you try to figure out what your client is looking for. We always find that discussing review language with your client prior to iteration rounds makes this process much more efficient. 

3 Tips For Clients

1) Structure Your People Effectively – Receiving the first cut of a video from the production team can be very exciting. Often times your first instinct will be to show it off to everybody within your organization. While it can be difficult to contain the excitement and send out a mass email, we strongly recommend keeping the first cut among the eyes and inboxes of a select few. The first cut of the video should be seen and critiqued by the main point of contact and people that were closely involved in the project from the beginning. This will ensure that the video is heading down the path that both the creative and the client intended from the start. Introducing individuals who are not familiar with the goals and objectives of the video early on in the process can derail the vision and make for some irrational insights. This can be quite frustrating for both the client and the creative. After the first round of iterations is complete and fulfilled by the creative team, we believe it’s appropriate to introduce the succeeding versions to key decision makers and executives. For larger organizations, an ideal iteration structure might look something like this.

Round 1: (main points of contact): Anybody who has been closely involved in the process from the beginning, ie. marketing director and entry-mid level marketing team

Round 2: (main & secondary points of contact): Main points of contact and any marketing team member that has a high level understanding of the project goals and objectives

Round 3: (execs and stakeholders): CMO, CEO, Investors

Final: Whole team review

2) Avoid The Fluff – We’ve all been guilty of trying to look busy for our boss, so we understand why we have to mention this. We get it, if your boss comes to you and says, “hey, give me your feedback on this” naturally your instinct will be to give some sort of feedback… right? We’re not telling you to avoid giving feedback, we are just telling you to be thoughtful about it. Really think about what you can suggest to make this video better, and try to avoid making a comment for the sole purpose of looking like you’re doing a job. Also, realize that it’s possible to give feedback without giving a critique. If there truly is nothing you can think of to add/change then you can always explain why you think the video is working, or identify a part of the video that positively reflects the goals/objectives of the video. Avoid the fluff!

3) Put Time Aside – This pretty much speaks for itself. Grab a conference room, gather your team, and put some time on your calendar to really dive in and give your video content some thought. Putting time aside for a video project may seem like an unnecessary sacrifice to make, but we guarantee that it will boost the quality of your content. Video has quickly emerged as the single most attention grabbing medium of the digital world, and that, we believe requires your attention. 


Written By: Andrew Klein, Co-Founder/Executive Producer, Fog Coast Productions