Scene: It’s Friday the 13th, just two weeks into a new year. The sun is shining. The air is crisp. The smell of hot coffee permeates the air. And, a black cat crosses the path. What do we do?
Well, we reshoot the scene because that black cat wasn’t supposed to be in the frame.
Whatever your thoughts on superstitions, there are more important things to avoid than stepping on a crack or walking under an open ladder (hello, safety violation).
Here’s 7 things to avoid on a video production project.
1. BIG COMMITTEES
“Death by committee” is an expression that refers to the slow, creative demise of a project that is nitpicked and molded by too many people in a large group. When possible, minimizing the number of cooks in the kitchen helps creativity to flow and productivity to rule the day.
2. DOING IT ALL BY YOURSELF
The opposite extreme of “death by committee” is trying to do everything by yourself, armed with an iPhone, a ring light, and a couple of editing apps. This strategy will simply not allow you to replicate the quality, intention, and creativity of a team of video production professionals. From the script to the set design to the lighting, a video production studio provides the expertise to create a high-caliber video that meets your goals and ultimately saves you time.
3. ENDLESS EMAIL CHAINS
Email is for logistics: setting up meeting times, limited creative feedback, and clarifying small details. Email is not a filing system. Email cannot replace a creative discovery meeting. Email chains foster confusion and promote miscommunication. Inevitably, there will be an unwanted reply all or a failure to appropriately CC. Instead, focus this energy on the documents that matter, like your creative brief, script, and shot list.
4. NOT DOING A CREATIVE BRIEF
A creative brief is a short document, typically 1-3 pages, that outlines the creative concept and goals of a project. It’s a foundational document. And, it serves as both a vision piece and a reference document for you and your creative team. Even with the most straightforward project, a creative brief is a valuable tool to have ready in your pocket to refocus and reference.
5. VAGUE CALLS-TO-ACTION
In your creative brief, you will outline goals for your video project. Maybe it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or event promotion. Without a clear call to action, you will have a beautiful, eye-catching video that creates momentum for your audience to go… nowhere. Use all the tools available, from text on screen to voiceover direction to action buttons on social media. Keep it simple, and be direct.
6. CHEAPING OUT ON TALENT
A project budget is king, but that doesn’t mean quality should be sacrificed. Know when to hire professional on-screen talent instead of the in-house so-and-so who was voluntold to make a cameo. Sometimes in-house talent works, and sometimes it breaks the whole project. Defer to your producer and creative director about what’s best, even if it means flexing the budget. If you want your video to convey the proper emotion and invoke the right reaction from your audience, then on-screen talent has to be a priority, not an afterthought.
7. MINDLESS REPETITION
While you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with each project, it is important to keep the creative fresh. Cohesive branding serves as the familiar touchstone your audience needs to know it’s you. And, there can be value in repackaging a message with new footage or recycling old footage with a new message. But, most of the time it’s best to begin at the beginning. Branch out and try new things with your creative approach. Play with humor and emotion. In 2023, video is expected to account for 82.5% of all web traffic. So, you can’t be using the same old thing.
BONUS TIP: ACTING INHUMAN
What matters most to your audience is always, always the human element. And, we believe that it’s the most important part of our job to help you discover that heart and portray it in a way that is relatable to your audience. The most important demographic to remember is human. Remember that no matter the industry, we are all seeking connection, even as we scroll alone on the internet. The most effective video is one that acts as a conversation between you and your audience. What are you trying to say? How do you imagine the audience will respond? How can you shift the focus to the human element?