Starting a New Video Project

A storyboard drawing
Julia Cowell

There’s a long standing joke in filmmaking: “We’ll fix it in post.”

fix it in post: Why that's a bad idea

There’s a long standing joke in filmmaking: “We’ll fix it in post.” It’s a cringeworthy phrase that you’ll hear on set when a crew runs into frustrations with lighting or audio or an interview subject. It basically means, “we’ll fix it after the fact,” or, “we’ll find the story we need in the editing room.” Nobody wants to “fix it in post,” especially not your editor. Say that phrase near an editing suite and watch your editor’s eyes glaze over as they imagine 100 different ways they’d like to throttle the video crew.

So how do we avoid problems in the filmmaking process up front rather than hand them off to an editor to smooth out when production is done? Simple: start with your kickoff meeting.

Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting is for you, the client, to really nail down the story you want to tell, before production has even started. This is where you tell us, your production team, everything you want to see in your video, from messaging, to the tone or feeling of a video, to the style of graphics you’d like us to use. Did you see a commercial last night on TV that you really liked? Let us know. Do you know the key players you’d like to see interviewed in your video? Let us know. Do you have no idea what you’re getting into? Let us know.

We’re here to help you mold your vision into a complete and cohesive story, and we can help you fill in the gaps you can’t figure out yet. These kinds of details are key, not only for honing the message of your video, but also to direct the way that we film and edit your video into the final product. When the crew knows up front what you’re trying to say, they know exactly what kind of questions to ask interview subjects, what shots to capture, and what kind of gear to bring in order to capture them. When the editor knows the style and mood you’re going for, they know what kind of music and graphics to use to help reinforce the impact you want your audience to walk away with. Communicating these decisions at the start of the project means that the production team can focus in on what matters most, reducing the amount of edits needed and getting you your final video faster.

Here’s a few questions to have on hand with you at your kickoff meeting, whether it’s in-person or via conference call.

  • What’s your message? What should the viewer understand at the end of your video that they didn’t know before?
  • Who are the key players that need to appear in your video?
  • Do you have an inspiration video that you’d like to use as a guide for the look and feel of your video? If not, what’s the style of your brand? Is it edgy, modern, traditional, corporate, etc.?
  • What action should your video inspire in its audience? Answer this question with the following statement: At the end of our video, the viewer should want to ________.

If you’re only able to answer some of those questions, that’s OK! We can collaborate with you to nail down your vision so that our team can hit the ground running when production starts. Our goal is to deliver the video that best serves you and your brand, and the more we define in the kickoff, the better we’re able to do so.

Contact our team to discuss your next project.

About The Author

Julia Cowell is a producer at Creative Liquid and post production manager. She works with clients from start to finish on new projects and manages the entire post production process.