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Six things to include in your video brief

Published on Monday, 9th April 2018, contributed by Happy Hour Productions

So you’ve decided to commission a piece of film, great! Launching a video campaign is exciting, but it can also be quite daunting. You may be envisioning casting calls, location shooting and the glitz and glamour of a film set, but you might also be feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure where to begin when trying to get your idea onto the screen. Luckily, that’s where we come in.

As a creative production agency we get a variety of video briefs, from short social media videos to multi-national TV advertising campaigns, so we know how to go about delivering a piece of video content, from script to screen. Here are some common questions we ask people when they get in touch about a video; these are good starting points to include in a video brief to make sure you and your production company are on the same page from the get go.

Where is the video being used?

Are you wanting to freshen up your website with some video content? Perhaps you want a fun short film for your social media, or maybe you’re after a big, shiny TV advertising campaign. Where you want the video to be seen matters. It could affect the purpose of the video, its intended audience and even the video style. So have a think about what you want the film to achieve and then where you think the best channel for it would be.

What’s the purpose of the video?

Aside from being used as a marketing tool, is there a specific purpose for your video? Are you launching a new product, trying to encourage people to come to an event, creating a customer testimonial about a product or service, or showing off your brand to new audiences? The purpose of your video has an impact on the messaging you’ll want it to contain and could also affect the style of film. For example a shiny brand campaign aimed at getting your name or product more widely known is probably better on TV or social media whereas a customer testimonial might be more suited to living on your website.

What style of video?

Snappy stop-motion, to-camera interviews, CGI masterpieces or studio shoots - how do you want your final video to look? You know your brand and audience inside out so you know what will work best. For instance, animation or CGI can be good if you want to convey lots of information or demonstrate technical aspects of products or services, whilst live-action films are great for telling stories.

Do you have a script?

This is to the give the agency an idea of the scope of the work, which they can quote for accordingly. If you have a script worked up, great! If not, it’s no problem. Many agencies and production companies can collaborate with you to craft a script that’s just right. Experienced production agencies will also be able to advise you on messaging to include in your film to get the best results.

Budget?

This is a big one. How much does a video cost is a bit like ‘how long’s a piece of string’.  Depending on length, style and where it’s being filmed, costs can vary hugely. If you include an idea of budget no matter how rough in your brief, you can rest assured that you and your production agency are on the same page from the start and reduce the likelihood of unexpected costs popping up later.

Other videos/styles you like

It’s always handy to give your agency an idea of other videos you’ve liked, which can help them get a feel for the style you’re after. Put together a list of films you’ve seen which you feel could work for your brand and purpose.  This could be a video put out by a competitor, a tv advert you’ve always admired or even a clip you saw floating around on social media.

Including these six things is a great way to beef up your brief and give your agency or production company a really clear idea of the kind of video you’re after so they can crack on with creating the perfect video for you from the start.

If you’re working up a brief for video, why not send it our way? We’re now in our 15th year of creating video marketing for a huge variety of brands and we’d love to help you too.