3 min read

How to Write a Clear Video Production Brief

When you have a great idea for a video, you’re probably excited and want to just jump right into the production process. But before diving…
How to Write a Clear Video Production Brief

When you have a great idea for a video, you’re probably excited and want to just jump right into the production process. But before diving head-first into filming or hiring a production crew, you need to work out the details about what you want and expect from the video. A video brief — basically an overview of the what, when, where, why, and how of production — will set you and your team up for success so that you can turn your idea into a piece that’s ready to publish.

1. Overview & Purpose

Give a short overview of the story that you want told and why you want to tell it. This should include who your target audience is and where the video will be published.

For example, if your brand sells apples, your purpose for publishing a video might be to sell more apples. Your story could be a short doc about one of your apple-pickers, and the impact that your brand — and your apples — had on his life. You could publish the video on Facebook, targeting an audience that likes apples and who may be inspired to purchase them from your brand.

2. Storytelling Style

Outline how you want the finished video to look and give an example of a similar video that you like. For example, whether you want the story to be mostly b-roll with voice-over, or just need an interview with multiple camera angles. You can also note here what you want in terms of video pacing, tone, and the emotional effect it should have on your audience.

3. Production

In this part of your video brief, you need to describe who and what you will need in order to actually produce the video. This can be broken down into a few parts:

  • Crew Members: List the crew members that you’ll need, such as a one-man band freelance filmmaker, a full production company, a commercial video editor, a documentary shooter, a drone operator, etc. Even if you already have editors on your team and just need shooters, specify this. It will help anyone you work with on production have a better understanding about the workflow.
  • Equipment: Include any required camera types or other equipment if your company has specific guidelines.
  • Production Requirements: If there is anything that the crew or filmmaker might have to do, such as secure access to an interview or apply for a filming permit, you should make a note of this. This could also be as simple as noting how many rounds of edits you will require from them.
  • Deliverables: Specify the final project you want delivered. This could be raw footage, b-roll, a fully edited video, or something in between.

Pro tip: If you don’t have a crew in-house and you want to produce a big budget, commercial-style video, then you should hire a production company instead of putting a crew together yourself.

4. Budget & Expenses

Nobody likes talking about how much content can cost, but your budget will make a difference in the quality of video that you can expect. If you only have a very small budget, high-quality freelancers and production companies aren’t going to be interested in working for you. When it comes to video production, you truly get what you pay for. Before starting production, it’s really important to understand how much your company is prepared to spend — especially if things go wrong and you need more time and money to keep filming.

In this part of your video brief, you should also include your company’s expense policy. Many companies will cover expenses like driving costs, hotels (if necessary), or meals for their production crews or freelancers.

5. Delivery & Deadlines

Give your team or crew members deadlines for when the footage, rough cuts, or final video should be delivered. You also need to be clear on how it should be delivered, whether this is through a hard drive, WeTransfer, or FTP (file transfer protocol).

If you need to find a crew or freelancers for your next video production, Storyhunter can help. Find out how.

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By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor