Keeping track of video production is not an exact science, but the key lies in communication and making sure that clients and creatives are on the same page at all times. There are plenty of trips and hazards, but nothing is impossible when information is clear and dealt with at the right time. This means linking your schedule to a communication strategy made just for your purposes which combines three essential elements: the vision, the meetings and the reports.
It may seem obvious, but it’s worth remembering that clients feel far better about a project when they see an organised production team with a clear goal from the outset: a confident production manager with a project team at the ready, and enthusiasm emanating from all corners. If we put all the contact information in one place to streamline the production, it all helps to inspire confidence.
A video production schedule has an amazing quality which brings together two essentials of production monitoring: clear objectives and transparent organisation. When you also use a centralised platform like Skeem, you have a winning combination 😉
But let’s be clear: the ability to precisely and regularly monitor the production means your clients don’t feel neglected, worry unnecessarily or miss information they need to get a good picture of what’s coming.
A schedule is a unique gateway to video production monitoring: it creates a central, coherent, shared vision of the how and the why. Ok, so that’s one thing out of the way.
You have to set the tone! Announcing the launch of a video production sets the tone for how everyone will work together. This is the time to instil confidence and inject enthusiasm into the project you’ll all be working on. It’s also when we motivate our teams and ourselves: we haven’t run into any difficulties yet, everything’s rosy, no client feedback in sight (yet)… It’s going to be the best production of all time and the most creative video in history.
Real results! The idea at each stage of production is to keep everyone on track and informed, so they have a full understanding of the project and know what to expect upon delivery. It’s all about being pragmatic – nothing fancy!
We should remember that in our profession we often speak in codes that clients don’t always understand, openly discussing our “deliverable” to make it as well received as possible, whether it’s the music choice, a voiceover, a script, a suggested visual design or a video. The discussion and chat tools on collaborative platforms like Skeem have been designed to keep people in contact, throughout production monitoring but also more specifically in the middle of each individual stage.
Now it’s time to get a little more serious (at least on the surface). It’s time for direct and firm communication, while remaining approachable and professional. From one perspective, we’re checking what we deliver, communicating with our teams, taking stock and making changes. From another, we’re delivering (ideally on an online schedule), and requesting clear, precise feedback. A video annotation system is the ideal tool for this.
Precise communication at this stage is extremely important because it has a direct impact on the film’s content: expert production monitoring at this key moment avoids misunderstandings later on, saves a lot of time and energy, and keeps everyone in a good mood! It’s the time for absolute focus.
We have to be a bit careful here, since these are the stages of the production monitoring process that can’t be anticipated and perfectly organised from the start. They require diligent communication with the client (and within the team!), since the unexpected can often become a source of frustration and tension.
Some may feel that more and more is being asked of them, and that the effort is not balanced. Others may think it’s never-ending, that production is dragging on, or that they haven’t been understood. In short, this is when video production monitoring relies more than ever on our ability to listen, understand, moderate and find solutions. Empathy, pragmatism and clarity are essential.
We’re through the thick of it, we’re getting there. This is the part of production monitoring where emotions are running at their highest. Either because everyone is very happy to (finally) finish, or because everyone is looking forward to seeing the end result that they’ve all been working towards.
Whatever the case, delivery is a key moment to take stock, thank and motivate your teams, and build client loyalty.
And No One Has Their Head In The Sand !
Yep, we always start with hard facts: what happened during this stage of production? What have we produced? What difficulties or nice surprises have we encountered?
We can then move on to analysis and personal points of view. For example, which types of direction did we favour and why? Which variants should we offer and why?
We don’t sweep anything under the carpet! This is a foundation of video production monitoring as well as communication in general. Obviously nobody expects flawless performance from everyone at all times, but it’s good to react in the event of a problem and suggest solutions.
Questions, feedback – this is the part where we ask our client and teams what they think. It’s good to know how to gauge this, because many areas of production require a frank and expert opinion, but the most readily received proposal is always the one that results from a joint and open process. Work together on it!
We can see that video production monitoring, like any project management, is based on core fundamentals: vision, meetings and reporting.
However, it’s important to remember that each AV production organisation has a unique group of people, teams, video projects and companies.
This means we should adapt these core fundamentals of production monitoring to support our clients in a way that is unique and personalised to them.
In the end, good video production monitoring may mean listening more attentively than usual and taking a step back, while always staying creative.