The video and film production clients are in a state of relentless flux. There will always be technology, improved equipment and ever-evolving notions of what's hip and what's not. Trends appear and disappear, but CRAFT is eternal.
I define Craft as the sum of all the small decisions that ensure the highest quality in each and every aspect of the production. Craft makes a statement about your company. It tells your audience that you simply care about your image and by extension your products, your customers and your employees. Craft sets you apart. Craft is important.
Great video is made. The important thing word is "created." This isn't a tangible product that could be mass-produced. Each program is custom-made towards the specifications of a discerning client. It is storytelling delivered to life with words and music.
Of course quality is extremely subjective but here are a few of the elements that define Craft for me personally.
Story. A highly effective video starts with an excellent story and it's important that the primary indisputable fact that holds the program together is sensible and connects towards the audience. CRAFT is about creating a powerful connection to the viewer.
The Creative Brief. Ideally, a powerful creative brief is both creative and brief. It is definitely the rationale for the project and clearly states the objectives and goals. This is critical because at various points along the way, you will have to determine if a given decision will achieve the stated goal. A great producer will raise an alert if a production decision strays from the stated goal and will get things back in line. Craft works from the clearly defined vision.
Creative Treatment. Before a thing of the script is written, a general direction and framework for that program must be decided to. Within the creative treatment the elements are defined and decisions made which will determine the plan of action. Most important, the customer and the production team must agree. Otherwise you is going to be going through multiple versions of the budget and the script.
Script. This is actually the blueprint for that final product you're all building. The author should indicate what action is happening on the screen in addition to what happening while we view it. What's the narrator saying? Is there music? Exist special effects or graphics? A good script will drive consensus and advice the way to a successful shoot.
Production execution.The development of a video is really a logistical dance. Craft makes that choreography seamless. Planning is extremely important is really a shoot will be successful. Your production team should cooperate along with you to remain on schedule as well as on budget. Craft is economically responsible.
Location. Which side your program be shot? Inside a studio? Your corporate offices? In a customer location? Wherever it takes place, it has to look like some thought has gone in to the visual design. Interviewing a customer before a cinder block wall is not likely to create viewer interest, unless probably the customer sells cinder block.
Run and Gun. A relevant video production company that believes in craft, does not send crews to "see what happens" or document meetings, weddings, baseball games or news stories. It is a big mistake to appear with no plan and be prepared to produce a compelling and efficient TV commercial or marketing video. "Run and gun" wastes time and money - and frequently misses opportunities (due to poor planning), to raise storytelling impact. Craft doesn't.
Audio quality. The visuals might be stunning but if the audio is garbled it not only results in a bad impression, but also threatens the prosperity of the video. If your production company lets you know the camera microphone is adequate, find another production company. If they tell you a sound engineer is unnecessary, find another production company.
Lighting. Effective lighting gives your production texture and depth. It is neither too light nor too dark. A reliable videographer knows that shadows are as essential as light. Often it surprises clients the number of artificial light sources it requires to make a shot look natural. In a visual medium, expert lighting is key.
Plan what to shoot and shoot that which you plan.The script is definitely an agreement between the production company and the client that specifies what elements is going to be included in the finished product. The script is also a tool to remain on budget. Whether it isn't within the script, it should be not in the budget.
Quality interviews. Great interviews don't just happen and great planning can make a great interview better. The bottom line is an in-depth pre interview. The director and producer should know what points is going to be covered prior to the camera is turned on. A pre interview informs you what the subject will say and just how well they will say it.
The director. It might appear obvious but - a highly effective director should be good at dealing with people. Even if you're shooting food or cars, the director must communicate well with the stylist, the producer, the DP, check your grip - and of course the client. Which reminds us from the shoot in which the director was composing a shot, researched in the viewfinder and said, "Lose the bald guy." The bald guy was the VP of marketing.
Talent. Sometimes a client will tell us that Sid around the loading dock includes a great voice and should narrate their program. Or Melissa in accounting is taking acting lessons. Most of the time, Sid and Melissa ought to keep their day jobs. Unless they're being interviewed about what they are doing, craft necessitates the utilization of professional talent, who has the right look and know how to perform for camera.
Camera movement. Video and film captures movement. This is exactly why you're not just providing brochures. Sometimes the movement also includes your camera. A fluid, traveling shot with the camera on the dolly or a Steadicam can gracefully draw the viewer in to the scene for greater impact.
Graphics. The artful utilization of type and may enhance almost any program. Try not to allow the graphics overwhelm or distract from the message. Tasteful yet creative is essential to support the storytelling.
Fix it in Post. The cost of video production rises because the production moves towards completion. Post-production - the step in which the footage is organized, narration recorded, music composed and edited - is not the place to solve problems which occurred during the shoot. It can make no sense to create major changes throughout the most expensive phase of the process.