If you’ve ever managed a video project you’ve had to deal with change requests – either as the one asking for them, or the one having to respond to them. In both cases the process can range from being helpful and productive, to extremely frustrating and time-consuming. Here are a few tips when working with your video supplier for managing the process in a way that improves the final outcome without driving your video editor crazy:
1. Consolidate feedback
Try to gather internal feedback first before sending through change requests to your editor so that all the changes can be implemented in one batch. If your video needs to be approved by different people on your team gather and consolidate all comments on a single email before sending through to your editors. This helps ensure nothing gets missed and that ambiguous or duplicate comments get processed correctly.
2. Use time codes
Good: “@02m23s remove line + number in computer and just use number”.
Bad: “Change the way numbers are displayed”.
3. Be specific
Whether your comments relate to the music, animation style, background colour or chosen clip – articulate as clearly and specifically as possible what it is you would like to see done differently to narrow the gap between interpretation and instruction. Provide examples if possible (ideally included with creative brief before project begins, but better late than never.)
4. Ask for input
If there is something you see that you don’t like, but don’t know how to ask for what you do it’s okay to ask your editor for their input. You’ve hired them for their creativity, skill and experience so make use of it.
5. Be flexible
If your changes are numerous and off-scope (ie, you’ve made script changes post-production or decided after reviewing that you wanted to add or remove elements initially approved), that’s ok. It’s a normal part of the creative process to have and often discard ideas. However, it is also unfair to make scope changes and then hold your supplier to a set schedule for delivery that necessarily has been impacted by your changes. Showing some flexibility and allowance for extensions is always appreciated.
Even the simplest video animation or interview based story can provoke new thinking and result in unforeseen change requests. Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you’ve seen something and realized it’s not what you wanted. That is a normal part of the creative process. Being open with your communications, being direct and specific while showing flexibility and understanding of the impact of your instructions often makes the difference between a great working relationship (which usually results in great final product) vs, a more challenging one.