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Are you ready?

Are you REALLY ready for your new video production process?

I mean, have you really researched your goal and understand what you are trying to create?  If you don’t have a vision for your prospective video, how can you communicate that to your video production company you’ve hired?

This is a problem that many small to medium sized video production companies have difficulty handling.  When the client comes into the office, ready and willing to make those first steps in the production process, but doesn’t have a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish.

At Molly Media Studios, we’ve come up with our Needs Analysis Worksheets.

This is someone else’s needs analysis worksheet. We use a different one of our own design.

These Needs Analysis Worksheets are just that — worksheets to go through with the client to help uncover their original vision for their video, what kind of feel it should have, what kind of expert testimony, what kind of music to complement the overall feel and, most importantly, to determine who their target community is, and what is the story that the client needs to tell them.

This photo might represent ONE feeling or emotion you might want your video to accomplish. But have you communicated this to your video production company you’ve hired?

We work with our clients early in the production process.  We might pull out our Needs Analysis Worksheets during the second meeting with the client, sometimes even the first, and work through them with them.

If the questions you ask are well-designed, then the answers will help you design the video.  All clients, no matter how green around the ears in the field of video production, will have ideas and a vision for their video.  Coaxing it out of them is the hard part.  But if you ask enough of the right questions, you’ll get enough of the right answers.  And then you’ll have a map of what you need to accomplish with this particular video.

For example, one of my questions that I ask near the end of the process is: If your video were a color, what color would it be?  Why? Because colors represent feelings, they actually cause people to feel a certain way. If the client answers Blue, that’s a very different video to produce than if the client answers Orange.

Another exercise I do with them involves word associations. First I ask them, Can you give me five words that would describe your video? Let’s say they answer, Honest, Informative, Flashy, Heartwarming and Lightening Storm. I now have 5 different words that each combine to give a deeper understanding of how my client envisions their final product.  Then I ask them, Can you give me two words to further describe the word “Honest”? Let’s say they give me, Real and Expressive. Then I go onto the next word, and ask the same question again: 2 words to describe further the first word they gave me. And so on. And so on.

I now have 15 descriptive words that further deepen the understanding of what the video should be.

But I don’t stop there. My last question is to ask, Now can you give me one word to further describe the word “Real”? Remember, this is one of the words that they gave me when I asked for further clarification on the word “Honest“. And so they give me one more word. And I do the same thing for the second word they gave me to describe “Honest” which was “Expressive“: One word to further describe the word “Expressive”.  And I go through all the second level words, and there are 10 of them, remember?

So that means that I get yet another 10 descriptive words to further deepen my understanding of what the client has in mind.

So what’s the upshot?

At the end of this simply conducted word association brainstorming, I am armed with a total of 25 descriptive words that deepen my understanding of how to approach my client’s video – technically, creatively, and intellectually.

A map to where you are.

Another good reason to have the Needs Analysis Worksheets done early, is that it allows both you and the client to keep on track with the video.  You can always refer back to the Worksheets during the making of the first rough draft of your video, in order to double check that you are sticking to your original plans you conceived with the client.

And you can remind the client of the specific instructions and conceptual framework that was determined by working through the Worksheets – collaboratively with the client – by referring back to the Needs Analysis Worksheet before you show them the Rough Cut.

This reminds them of their original vision, and all those descriptive words THEY came up with that have been your guiding roadmap for creating the video. In other words, even before they see the Rough Cut, they are reminded of what the video is supposed to accomplish, and primed to look for those elements, rather than ones they’ve dreamed up since then and not communicated to you, but now want you to incorporate. And if they get argumentative (like some of them will do)? You can have a printed copy on hand of the questions you asked them and the answers they gave you, and go through it like a checklist as you re-screen the video for them. (It’s actually a great idea to type uip the questions and answers that came out of the Worksheet session and email that to the client for them to “refer”.  If you’ve followed your Needs Analysis Worksheet that you worked through with the client, and you actually HAVE done what was originally requested, you can point this out to them as answers to their arguments.

It’s a way to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.

At Molly Media Studios, we find that we are constantly referring back to the Needs Analysis Worksheet that we’ve drawn up with our clients.  It helps guide the rough draft before the client sees it, and it helps to ground our ideas when we start swinging out to left field — as can always happen in creative work.

So before you hire a video production company, try to find out what ways they have of harnessing your original vision, and ask how much involvement you will have in the creative say of the rough draft.  These simple checks and balances will help you have a much more enjoyable time during your video production!

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