One problem with video production is that it is very abstract until you actually edit it and share a video file. In the beginning all we know is we need to create a video about topic X. By the end we need to know specifically that we will start on black for 1 second, then see a closeup for 3 seconds while sparse piano music comes up softly. Then we cut to this for 2 seconds, that for 2 seconds and land on a shot of X. In other words we need to have a clear idea of messaging, but then we need to translate that into specific shots in a specific order. And it is critical that we are all on the same page.

It is also subjective. For example, there are a dozen different ways for us to frame an interview. Without even realizing it, one person on your team might be picturing the traditional look with a medium lens with the subject in the right or left third of the frame. Someone else might be picturing something more avant garde (which we love by the way). The only way to get everyone on the same page ahead of time is to be specific about what kind of visuals you like. One of the best ways to do that is to share a team inspiration board.

What we mean by that, is simply a shared document where your team can add links to videos they like or even just screenshots.Once you have those you can be specific about what you like about them. Which shots from those videos could we use as inspiration? What can we do that is similar within our budget? These can be videos that are smaller in scale than what we are making or much larger. The point is that it gives us something visual to work off of and plan around. It might be an interview setup that you like or even just an emotional impact that moved you. It could be a Super Bowl commercial or a YouTube video you stumbled on.

Once you have those, the rest of the team can chime in and it will help you get much more specific about what you like and don’t like. Once you have that, your video production team will have a much easier time understanding what you want, and can suggest the same or similar ideas that fit your project.