Nine times out of ten, collaboration makes a tough project feasible and a good project great. There might be the rare occasion where too much collaboration leads to project slowdown or other hiccups. But overwhelmingly, the best client/production company relationships are collaborative.
Let’s walk through the whiteboard video production process and identify times and ways you can collaborate with your whiteboard video production company for a superior final product.
Be Clear with Scriptwriting
In the scripting stage, make yourself heard.
Even if you’ve engaged scriptwriting services with your whiteboard video production company, make sure your message is coming through loud and clear. You know your message better than anyone. And you’re not paying for the company’s best guess at a scripted version of it.
You’re paying for the best possible articulation of your message. So be sure of your opportunities for feedback and provide it. Give as much background as you can. If there is an option to fill out a questionnaire or otherwise prepare the copywriter, do so. Take advantage of each opportunity to review new drafts of your script. And don’t leave anything out when it comes to feedback.
Be thorough and be clear—and be warm. Collaboration is not meant to be an adversarial endeavor, so don’t make it that way. Be specific, be serious, and be gracious. Your relationship is a partnership, so communicate kindly from the beginning through the end of the process.
Before we go on, we should notice an assumption in the above point and address it. What if your company doesn’t afford you with frequent opportunities to review and approve? Is collaboration possible if review rounds and feedback are not included in the process?
Well, maybe; consistent requests for status updates and other communication about the project’s direction might get you close to a collaborative relationship. This sort of forced, ‘let-me-in’ attempt to create collaboration will always pale in comparison to the collaboration that comes baked into another company’s production process.
Be Specific with Drawing Feedback
Let’s continue on the premise that your video production company does encourage/enable collaboration. The drawings stage will be your next point of project participation. When you see your first round of drawings, the same suggestions apply as did to your script. Give your feedback in an honest, complete, and appropriate manner.
When you collaborate on imagery, specificity is golden; in other words, “I don’t like this” is not nearly as useful a comment as “I don’t like the way this character is situated in the corner. Could you put her closer to the center of the frame, to the left of the other character?”
Think also of what you can contribute to the artists to help them realize the best images for your message. If you have reference images that can give artists more insight into the drawings you want to see, share them.
If you want a specific person rendered in your video, and you have a photograph of them, supply them with that photograph. It’ll help the artist immeasurably, as well as save you time describing the person and hoping for the best in the next iteration of drawings.
Participate Fully in the Audio Selection
When it comes to the audio process, collaborate as much as your whiteboard video production company will allow you to. Choose your voiceover artist carefully; don’t settle for a voice actor just because the company likes to work with them.
Your producer should work with you to develop a set of criteria for your voiceover, and give you some choices. Much like in the scripting stage, make yourself heard—you know what voice you want, just like you know your message. Communicate politely, and be sure that you move forward with the narrator that you want.
Provide Valuable Feedback in the Initial Screening
After your script is finalized, drawings filmed and audio received, your whiteboard video company will present you with your first screening. With the process mostly complete, your job as a collaborator at this stage is to continue to provide valuable feedback or approval.
Bear in mind the ramifications of requesting extreme or substantive revisions at the screening stage. To get here, you’ve approved all the constituent parts. Most changes to them will require re-concepted art, further review, and re-filming. Desired changes to the script will require a second voiceover session.
Importantly, if you need to make these changes, do so. You haven’t come this far to get something similar to the video you want. Do remember, though, that you will likely incur a fee for out-of-scope revisions (unless your agreement has provisions for sweeping changes late in the process). And re-filming or other large changes will cause a delay in the delivery of your video.
Prevent any surprises at this stage (or at any stage) by being a knowledgeable collaborator from the moment you sign your purchasing agreement. If you’re keenly aware of the cost of a certain kind of change order, you’ll be more certain to keep up with the process and solve problems in feedback before they’re finalized.
Be Your Own Advocate
Be your own advocate, from script to screening. Give as much feedback as you feel is appropriate, make it as specific and useful as you can, and communicate it in the spirit of real collaboration: partnership. You don’t have to be the expert, and you’re not expected to be; your whiteboard video production company will provide the experts. You simply need to do your part, be enthusiastic and responsive, and your efforts together will result in a well-made and effective video.
TruScribe Collaborates with You
TruScribe is a whiteboard video production company that prizes collaboration highly.
Our producers are with our clients from kickoff to final video delivery, making sure to answer questions, give advice, and provide support along the way.
Our copywriters, artists, and editors place a premium on feedback, and make sure that clients have given their approval at every crucial juncture.
To reiterate an earlier point, if your whiteboard video production company doesn’t value collaboration, you might still be able to work some into the process—but why bother?
It’s valuable to be a thoughtful collaborator throughout the process, but being knowledgeable about the company you’re selecting might be even more important.
Collaboration will reinforce your confidence as a client and improve your whiteboard video production company’s ability to deliver the video you need.
Find a partner.
Contribute to the process.
Make yourself heard.
Chances are, it’ll be the beginning of a great relationship.