How Using the Cloud Can Help Make Video Production a Snap
If you run, or are marketing a business, chances are pretty good that you've commissioned or created a video to let the world know how amazing you are. If not, we should talk. So doubtless, you've done the back and forth with expensive agencies and post houses, and freelancers. That, or you've brought creative people on staff that don't really fit anyplace else within your company, and now they have nothing to do after the work has been completed. Whatever your story, the new digital marketplace model has all but completely eliminated the many pitfalls you can encounter when working with a creative team! Here are a few of the things you won't have to worry about when commissioning the creation of your online video through an all-in-one cloud solution.
Along with the list here, I've also created a downloadable PDF checklist, for quick reference going into production. Let's get moving!
Finding the right team to produce your vision.
If I had to compare the creative marketplace to any business out there, it would probably be one of the big club warehouses like Sam's Club or Costco. There are SO MANY choices when it comes to finding an individual, company, or crew to work on your video that it can become overwhelming. Not to mention you may not find the perfect fit your first time out. An online marketplace screens all the creative talent that works within its marketplace, to make certain you're getting the best people for the job. They also sort them in a database, so they can find the perfect fit for whatever style of video you want to produce.
Before going ANYWHERE to have your video made, be certain to look through different examples of the look you had in mind and provide those when approaching your prospective team or company. That way they can confirm they're able to do it, or make suggestions and provide examples of their own work that is similar in look/scope.
Struggling over the script.
There's a reason we aren't all running around with Oscars for best screenplay. Quite simply, scriptwriting is a skill that's developed over many long hours of writing, re-writing, applying constructive criticism, and developing ideas. Very few of us can just inherently do it, and most who can are running around with the aforementioned awards. There are a million and one reasons why your business stands out above your competition, but you can't list every single one of them. That's why you need a good writer to help sort though all of your company's benefits, and bring the best, most relevant information forward to better tell your story. When you commission an online marketplace to produce your video, the first person they'll assign will be the writer. They will hop on a call with you, and the rest of the creative team, and determine the message, goal, audience, and tone for your video. Once you've got the script in hand, it's time to go to work!
Be certain to determine what the goal of your video is going to be, and start with a list of bullet points that you want covered in it. From there, you can devise an outline that a writer can work from to produce an initial script. Nailing down your script beforehand will save you a lot of headache in the long run, as making changes here is MUCH easier, and cheaper, than deciding to start changing things once you start the animation process.
Working with freelance talent or traditional agencies often means accomodating their very busy schedule to make certain your project receives the attention it needs. An online marketplace's talent is usually fairly compensated for their work, so they seldom take on more than they can handle. There are also proprietary systems in place that set milestones to keep everyone on the same page, and (with prompt feedback), keep your project on-schedule.
Sometimes a video can be a last-second decision. If you can help it, be certain to plan ahead and commission your project with plenty of lead time (normally a month or so). That way you can avoid paying a hefty rush fee, and not getting the best quality possible.
Help! My team flew the coup!
It's rare, but it happens. Sometimes the creative team you hired either becomes overwhelmed, had a personal emergency, or has found a more attractive prospect, and now they've disappeared. This leaves you with nothing but 50% of the budget missing and scattered source files that were created in programs you've never even heard of (if you're lucky). When you hire an all-in-one cloud production service, you aren't just hiring a creative team, but an entire support group that can reach out to the team you're working with. If they're unavailable and your project needs to get done NOW, they can also assign new creative talent from their talent pool to pick up the reins and carry the project home.
Before embarking on the journey towards your completed video, be certain to do research on your selected team. Creativecow.net and other creative communities can possibly offer a greater insight into your selected company or individual's career past and client interaction. By knowing more about who you're looking to hire, you can hopefully avoid trouble later on. Once you start work on the project, be certain to give good critical feedback quickly, to ensure you're working within everyone's availability, and removing many excuses for not meeting milestones.
The one email you need is buried in scores of other junk.
We generate a LOT of email during the course of a regular work day. In fact, according to a study by the Radicati Group, corporate employees received an average of 78 emails per day in 2013. With that much incoming mail, it's really easy to lose track of that ONE NOTE from your animator asking for script approval and you're fast approaching zero hour. That's why the best cloud production solutions utilize custom project centers, to keep all correspondence in one place, in chronological order. Some project centers, such as Visually's, even utilize a real time chat system, so you can pop in and ask your creative talent questions when the need arises.
If you aren't working with an all-in one cloud solution, there are other ways of keeping track of all that correspondence. Filters and folders within your mail program can be helpful when trying to keep track of project-specific emails. Another option is utilizing a service like Basecamp, which, like a cloud-based solution, keeps all of your correspondence in one place, notifies you via email when you have new messages, and acts as a place to share files for review.
Passwords, huge files and cryptic URLs, oh my.
Video is big. No, I don't mean "popular" (which it is), I mean the file sizes are big! This is probably why there wasn't a huge amount of it on the Internet even as late as the year 2000. When you're working remotely with a team, they need to get those files to you somehow, that usually involves a remote server with a cryptic name, a file transfer from any number of random file transfer services, or posting the vid as "private" on either YouTube or Vimeo. Cloud-based production companies like Visually use in-line preview, where the video is added to the timeline in the project center. From here, the video can be played, downloaded, and commented on. No more driving out to the post house or agency to watch on a monitor from across the room or jumping through hoops to download a large file you may not even have the software to play.
Services like dropbox, or Adobe's Creative Cloud file system can be quite useful when it comes to sharing video files and project assets. You can also utilize a file transfer service such as HighTail or WeTransfer as well if your file is below their respective size limits. Check with your team's file delivery methods before pursuing a professional relationship with them, especially if you're on a tight deadline.
Obviously, your video production is unique, and will require a custom approach, but that's the beauty of working in the cloud. Between support teams, hand-picked creative talent, and a streamlined system for correspondence, you can pretty much throw whatever concerns you might have had about producing your video to the wind. It's time to start decreasing your bounce rate, increasing your conversions, and making your brand stand out the way it needs to compete in today's marketplace.
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