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Important Questions to Ask When Moving Video Production In-House

by Celtx

Whether it’s film and tv, on-demand streaming services, or paid media, people love watching videos. Engaging narrative video content that blurs the line between media and entertainment has proven to be an effective way for businesses to connect with customers. During the pandemic, video production received a boost. Digital video consumption increased significantly as consumers and businesses tuned in to learn about products and services or to be entertained. 

Cisco estimates that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017! The popularity of video means there’s an opportunity to expand your audience if you can increase your video output. That’s why many B2B and B2C companies are moving their video production in-house, to take greater control over their video production cycles and align content with their brand. 

As you plan the phases of pre-production, your cast and crew, and the right tools for the job, here are a few important considerations before you can roll the camera.

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How Will you Build and Manage an In-House Video Production Team?

Depending on your situation, you may already have a full complement of talented creatives within your in-house team that can do double duty on video pre-production. Or you might need to staff a video production crew from scratch. Either way, it’s a good idea to build a list of the roles and responsibilities you’ll need when taking video production in-house. If you’re interested in this topic, check out our recent webinar on the subject, Building and Managing Your In-House Video Production Team.

How Will You Leverage Video Content To Tell Your Brand Story?

Big brands know the importance of brand identity in building trust with the customer. Video is an excellent medium for its ability to reach audiences and to experience a brand in a deep and immersive way. Think about how you can leverage video content to produce narratives and how you can help your scriptwriters collaborate with other visual creatives who will shoot your video. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page can help make sure that the finished product best represents the brand and connects with an audience.

How Will You Manage Video Production?

Production managers have a tall order to fill; scheduling the day-to-day activities of the video production team, balancing budgets, and maintaining an open dialogue with key stakeholders at each phase of production. Without the necessary project management tools to keep things running smoothly, multiple video productions can push the limits of a production manager. 

Managing a small video pre-production team may be possible with free task management applications, or even spreadsheets. However, as you ramp up video creation and hire more creative talent, tools that aren’t specifically designed for online collaboration in pre-production environments can increase human error and get in the way of creativity.

Consider the applicability of such tools in the long term. As you scale your video production, is there a case to be made for adopting a centralized video production solution for greater visibility across each phase of the production process?

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How Will You Maintain Transparency with Stakeholders?

Stakeholder management is just as important to video production as it is with any other in-house marketing project. Even if your video meets its communication objectives and exceeds your team’s expectations, if your stakeholders aren’t happy, then no one’s happy. 

Make a list of stakeholders both internal and external that you’ll need to provide status updates with throughout pre-production. Internal stakeholders might include C-level executives, management, an accounting department, scriptwriters, producers, or your director. External stakeholders could include freelance studios, consultants, or business partners. Think about each group’s informational requirements, and how you can keep them abreast of progress during each phase of the project. 

When feedback comes out of step with your production cycle, it can grind your project to halt, impacting timelines, affecting budgets – a real approval bottleneck. By adopting a shared pre-production solution that provides real-time visibility on the production, you can keep stakeholders updated on your team’s progress by sharing content as it moves through each phase. Getting buy-in at each step of video pre-production will help keep you and your team on schedule.

How Will You Manage Virtual Team Members?

As your need for video content creation increases, consider your access to creative talent and the specialized skills you’ll need on staff. While it may not be possible to access all required specialties from the local workforce, the popularization of remote work engagements means you’ll have the opportunity to hire from a global talent pool to staff your production team. Working with remote talent across continents and time zones comes with the caveat that you’ll need a shared virtual workspace to ensure collaboration between your remote workers and your in-house team.

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How Will You Maintain Control Over Your IP and Creative Assets?

While you may endeavor to build internal competencies for video creation, you may nonetheless need to fill in gaps when your resources are over capacity. If you plan on hiring freelance creatives on a short-term or long-term contractual basis, you’ll need to consider how to best manage these relationships and foster collaboration with the rest of your in-house team. 
Consider whether or not the tools you use will enable you to maintain control over your intellectual property (IP). Implementing a system to manage the sharing and permissions of your documents is essential to mitigate risk when working with third parties such as freelancers, or specialty studios.

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How Will You Manage Your Video Production Budget?

When it comes to video pre-production, it pays to have attention to detail. While your organization may already have an accounting system in place, you’ll need a purpose-built system that integrates accounting controls within each phase of video pre-production. 

With a purpose-built solution, you’ll get real-time access to budgetary data about your cast and crew, props, equipment, and other catalog items. This data can help production managers make informed decisions about budgeting so that they can prevent overruns before they happen. Other benefits include helping in-house productions adopt industry formats with budget templates like the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). And with multi-currency support, you can transact more easily when the next video project takes your team abroad.

Unlike other forms of content creation, video production involves managing accounts payable for hired talent, and an inventory of production assets. If you use a system that integrates each phase of pre-production with good accounting practices in place, you can focus on project management rather than administration and bookkeeping.

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How Will You Foster Collaboration Across Each Phase of Video Production?

Each phase of video production has its own inputs, outputs, and measures of success. How will you integrate each phase of production – from ideation to scriptwriting to pre-production – so that you can reduce manual processes that slow down your work and cost your organization? 

Collaborations can go a long way in improving the final product, expediting your production process, and ultimately reducing costs. Think about ways to connect creatives on your team. For example, you could provide your scriptwriter and director with tools that connect scripting with storyboarding. 

Mapping out the connections and frequent collaborators on your creative team will help you better identify the value proposition of the industry tools and technology available to you, so that you can make an informed decision when investing in a technology solution for video production.

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How Will You Support Technical Workflows for Video Production?

Pre-production has many interrelated phases: from ideation, scriptwriting, storyboarding, all the way to the shoot. While outlining the duties of a  production manager, now is also a good time to outline the technical workflow requirements that will also need to be fulfilled when gearing up for video production.

Considering the scope of functional requirements for each phase of the video production process, your organization may not have adequate IT resources to maintain, let alone develop, a purpose-built video production system based on your team’s technical needs.

Alternatively, you could repurpose existing project management tools used more broadly across your organization. For example, spreadsheets could work to outline a two-column AV script. You could write scripts with a de facto word processor. But this approach presents a different kind of challenge: siloed production workflows, difficulty with document version control, and a lack of visibility across your video productions. 

Video production involves specific technical workflows, so you’ll need the right tool for the job. Companies looking to tap into the popularity of video content have many in-roads to choose from. Budgetary constraints needn’t be a roadblock to access the professional video pre-production tools that it once was. Many affordable integrated video pre-production solutions, like scriptwriting and pre-production software, are readily available on the market.

Additional Considerations

Moving video production in-house is a great way to take your video content production to the next level. Whether you plan to manage the majority of the pre-production phase in-house or work with outside studios, it’s important to take stock of these considerations before investing in tools of the trade. 

Want more food for thought? Check out our recent webinar, Building and Managing Your In-House Video Production Team for industry insights and important considerations when evaluating solutions to ensure the success of your in-house video production team.

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