The most important element of any successful video project is a friendly, collaborative relationship between the client and the director. The better the communication between these key players the more likely you’ll end up with an effective final product. At every step of the process, it’s essential that client and director have a strong commitment to a creative partnership with the ability to compromise. When this relationship works, it not only results in a better program but also brings the project in on time and within budget.
- Who is the client? This is seemingly an easy question to answer but not as easy as you might think. In a perfect world, the client is the primary contact and the final decision maker who controls the budget, signs off on the creative direction, attends the shoots and approves the final cut. Ideally, one person performs all these tasks. Realistically, it’s a committee at a corporation and at an agency it’s the creative director and account executive in addition to all of the above. Your relationship with a director will often only be as good as the corporate dynamic allows. If the VP of marketing approves the budget, the communications manager approves the script, an intern attends the shoot, but then the CEO decides to sit in on the edit because he “dabbles” in Premier Elements on weekends, the project may become a challenge. If the client works for a company where employees feel empowered and their supervisors don’t second-guess every decision, the chance for success dramatically improves – but what if this isn’t the corporate culture?
- Can we all just get along? A really good production company (like Spin Creative) has worked with enough companies and agencies to know where an organization falls on the Zen continuum. It is their responsibility to quickly assess the situation and define and assign roles. If the client is not organized, it’s up to the video production company to introduce structure. There should be mutual agreement that the client knows what they want and that the production company knows how to efficiently and creatively make it happen. While the client may produce a couple videos a year, the production company does it every day.
In Part Two we will explain what directors do and why it’s vital that they do what they do well.