If you’re completely new to the creative game, a production brief is a concise summary of what the client needs their branded video to contain and achieve that is presented to the team who will be producing it. The production team will then create a proposal based on the information provided, and once the client signs off, the project can commence.
The key to the perfect production brief is: More is more! Even if you think you’re going overboard on the details, you can never provide too much instruction (within reason). Always give as much info as possible to make sure everyone throughout the process is on the same page. Be detailed, decisive and ruthless.
What to include in a creative production brief
To write an effective production brief, there are some simple questions to answer.
- What is the video’s purpose?
The simplest way to answer this is to work out what are the objectives? What do you hope this video will achieve?
- Who is the target audience of your video?
Who will watch it? How and when?
- What are the key messages to communicate?
List the key messages / values that need to be conveyed to the audience. You might like to include examples.
- How and where will the video be distributed?
Will this video appear as an advertisement on television? On social media? Which platforms? And how often? It’s also a good idea to include which outputs are expected. (For example, 1 x 30 second edit, 2 x 15 second edits).
- What is the timeline of the deliverable elements?
When do you need the first draft? Will the client expect to make changes throughout the production process? When is the final deadline? Ensure that there is ample time from concept to completion, allowing the production company enough time to deliver a polished product.
- What is the budget?
As a client, you’ll have a budget in mind. The production team may come back to you with a quote that is higher than expected, but before freaking out, talk to them. A production team will always quote to achieve the very best result, and it pays to take their advice on what you should and shouldn’t skimp on.
- Who are the main competitors of the brand?
This allows producers to see what’s already been done and to avoid using the same materials. It will help to establish a unique voice for your brand.
- Are there any mandatory elements that need to be included?
These could include logos, a style guide, fonts, graphics, colours, statistics, credits or information that legally must appear in any advertising material. It is ideal to provide these elements sooner rather than later.
- Are there any challenges that may hinder the project in getting the go-ahead?
Be completely transparent with any obstacles that you foresee delaying the project – this is really helpful information for the production team.
As a client, you may have seen something that you think might be a good fit for the brand. You can provide visual examples to the production team to give them further insight into what you’re hoping to achieve. These can include camera angles, lighting examples, colours or grade.
If you think there is a particular piece of music that might suit, provide a link. Locations are important, too. Providing as much info as to where you’d like the content to be shot allows the production team to estimate costs involved which can include permits, accommodation, travel expenses and other associated location fees.
Simply put, for most agencies, a production brief is standard practice. Most production companies will supply the client with a template of a brief to return to them with all necessary information about the project they’d expect to receive.
Creating a brief for any project will ensure that all creative messages are on-brand. It will give the production team an overall vision of the brand, the business and/or products. Best of all, it will reduce client / creative conflict by ensuring everyone remains on the same page until the project is complete and ready for the world to see!