Imagine this: Your company needs a video communication that will be issued company-wide. The video needs to be short and concise but also creative. It must also be completed and ready for distribution in a mere three weeks. Oh, and did I mention that you have a limited budget? You have helped with video projects in the past, and because you once assisted a colleague in editing a script and appeared in the company orientation video 10 years ago, your boss charges you with leading the project.
Where to begin?
What you need is someone who is dedicated to getting the job done. That person can’t be you because you have your own job, complete with all the usual duties and deadlines.
The clear solution is to bring in a producer. A good producer has the communication, organization, leadership, and administrative skills needed. Most importantly, the number one thing a producer is responsible for is delivering the final product to a client—a product that meets their goals and objectives and does so on-time and within budget.
Jack of All Trades or Production Specialist?
Some may say that a producer is a jack of all trades. However, a producer worth their salt, as they also say, is really a project manager extraordinaire. As your strategic partner, the role of a producer is to make your job easier and to ultimately help you and your company shine. On the front-end a producer will work directly with the client to understand and establish goals and objectives. They also develop budgets and creative treatments, create realistic production timelines, assist with scriptwriting, storyboarding, shot lists, and determine if graphics will be needed. Producers cast talent that are appropriate for your project…and working with talent whether professional or non-professional, can be a lot of work in itself. Whether it’s on-camera or voice-over talent, your producer is involved in rate negotiation, directing voice-over sessions, directing on-camera shoots, selecting wardrobe, securing props for every scene, etc. Before the video shoot, a producer also secures extras, researches the appropriate location(s), secures permits and insurance, secures, approves and manages payment of freelance talent and makes sure that everyone on the team knows where they’re going and what they are doing at any given time during the shoot. Producers are tasked with handling all travel arrangements for the crew, talent, and extras. Every detail is managed and often executed by a skilled producer.
On the day of the shoot, a producer will supervise the script on set, direct the shoot, and manage the crew and talent. And when all of these tasks and details are taken care of, the producer even feeds the crew. If you think any of the other tasks on this list are important, think about working a 14-hour day with a hangry crew!
Then it’s on to post-production…and a producer’s job is far from over. It’s the producer who needs to ensure that the original objectives, look and feel of the video, and most of all, the client’s important messages are clear, concise and creatively executed. Post-production includes hiring graphic designers, editors and audio engineers to complete the job. A producer works directly with these team members by negotiating rates, scheduling and setting deadlines and supervising the edit and audio sessions.
Throughout this entire process, the producer is also keeping the client abreast of each and every detail, and ensuring expectations and budgets are being met.
In short, bringing on a producer means you are effectively hiring a decision maker, coach, spend thrift, creative problem solver, planner, scheduler, budgeter, negotiator, casting agent, interviewer, director, writer, and even caterer. A responsible producer will wear many hats and will do so while being flexible, focused, and driven. In the end, the decision to hire a producer should make navigating the process of a communications project much easier and make you look good too. After all, that’s what we do!
This year Impact Communications attended the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Cleveland ADDY Awards and were fortunate enough to take home two Silver trophies for our 2018 Holiday Video and Cinematography Reel, both in the “Advertising Industry Self-Promotion” category. It was a great honor to be recognized alongside all the best creatives in Cleveland’s ad community. The AAF ADDYs receive over 40,000 entries every year so to standout and be recognized is rather humbling. Both videos will now have the opportunity to compete at the district level of this three-tier, national competition.
About our 2018 Holiday Video
When you have a staff full of creative, funny people, you open the door to a very imaginative concept that’s assured to get some attention. The Silver Addy is a testament to the artistic efforts of the entire group. We filmed our 2018 Holiday Video over five days and the hardest part was just getting everyone’s schedules to allow blocks of time for shooting. We shot it all on our Red Helium with Sigma lenses and mounted on the MoviPro. Great concept by our Impact designer / illustrator Kate Triantafellow!
2018 Cinematography Reel Highlights
Our latest 2018 Cinematography Reel is a culmination of our best footage from clients such as Aspen Dental, Signet Jewelers, and Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana. We’re so grateful to be a part of video shoots that provide opportunities to create beautiful visuals. The Impact team handles video production from start to finish, including content development, scriptwriting, project management, lighting, talent casting, and post-production.
If you want a laugh make sure to check out our holiday video outtakes!
No one company can be a jack of all trades. For many companies, there are often not the resources or the internal expertise to pull off a flawless event.
Whether a large corporation or a smaller business, hosting a live event can be daunting. That is where a seasoned event production company comes in. It is beneficial to rely on professionals that specialize in understanding your business goals and who can then create an outstanding event experience that aligns with those goals, and will resonate with both the hosts and guests.
Whether it is a sales or training meeting, a leadership meeting, or a large-scale launch event, the end goal should always be the same: move the audience to action.
What Are the Risks of Producing Your Event Internally?
While internal resources may have company knowledge on their side, there is so much more that goes into producing a top-notch corporate meeting or event. For starters, there are literally thousands of details to coordinate. For employees who already have other responsibilities, simply finding the time and expertise to plan and execute a live event can be one of the biggest challenges.
Finding the right mix of creativity is also vital to making that lasting impression. From the psychology of a custom theme and graphics development, script and speechwriting, and live entertainment to the little details like set design, technology specification and collateral materials, a creative spark is necessary across every aspect of the event. Without an experienced production team on your side, your event is not likely to achieve your goals.
Now that you are inclined to contract professional support, what wow factors should you look for when outsourcing your next live event?
What the Best Event Production Companies Do Well
There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting the “best” event production company to handle your next event, but a few really standout:
- Understanding the audience and the objective: A solid production team will ask the right questions in order to really understand who the audience is, where attendees are coming from, what their perspective is, and most importantly, how you want them to think or feel differently once they step away from the meeting or event. Answering these questions all begins with listening and relationship building with a client.
- Accurately telling the story: Every meeting or event has a unique story to tell and it is the job of a production team to tell that story in an engaging and motivational way. A story is not just spoken on a stage. It is told through theme selection, live entertainment, snappy graphics and the right video and music at the right time. A motivational story has many different components and the best event production companies have the resources and expertise to tie every aspect of an event in, leaving attendees invigorated and wanting more.
- Bringing the right resources to the table: There are many components involved in successfully producing a large-scale meeting or event. Bringing a production team with the right mix of expertise and capabilities to the table is a game-changer. A team that offers the whole package from soup-to-nuts (think script and speechwriting to talent casting, video production and even staging management) will ensure consistency throughout the event.
What has worked well for your events? Have they fallen short? We would love to hear your story and explain how we can build on what you have done in the past. Take a look at our most recent portfolio of work here.
Years ago, a local ad agency handed out little buttons that read “Eschew Obfuscation” to pitch their creative services. Eschew Obfuscation means avoid confusion. This button remains one of my favorite business promotional items because those two words together capture the essence of good writing. If I had been in the market for an ad agency, I would have hired them on the spot.
Those of us who write for a living – actually, those of us who write anything, period – can fall victim to filling scripts or presentations or e-mails with clutter words in an attempt to sound more authoritative or wittier. Readers or viewers get bogged down searching for the message in the quagmire of unnecessary descriptive terms. You lose them and you don’t achieve your project’s mission.
I’m asked what I do to shift between writing for different media or for different audiences. There are cardinal rules, such as knowing your audience, identifying the objectives of the work and using those objectives to meet the end goal. Right up there is also writing to make each sentence count. This is the case no matter what I’m writing.
Someone even asked me “how do you write for millennials?” as if there had been a generational evolution in comprehension I might have missed. I had to look up how because quite honestly, I did not know the answer. Turns out I’ve been doing it all along: No matter what the audience demographic, people crave clarity.
Whether for a video production or corporate event production, using crisp, clean and precise language is my goal with every script I write. It is okay to get illustrative – when it appropriately adds personality or color to the piece. I self-edit and I also have others provide feedback, which reminds me not to fall in love with my words. I’m not writing for me.
A lexical fact: The average active vocabulary of an adult English speaker is around 20,000 words. Promise yourself not to use them all in the same work. When writing, use words sparingly and judiciously. Eschew obfuscation. Get it? You will. And so will your audience, quite clearly.
I recently attended the annual Realscreen Summit in New Orleans. Realscreen is the premiere industry conference for the non-fiction television industry. The event brings together Network Executives and Producers from around the world for four days of panels, pitching and networking. Each year during the conference, Executives from the top non-fiction networks—including History Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel and Smithsonian, share details about the type of content they are looking for. Producers then have the chance to pitch new show concepts. It’s an exciting opportunity for Producers of all levels—from first-timers to journeymen—to gain rich insights and pitch their best ideas to key decision-makers.
This was Impact’s third year to attend Realscreen. Each year provides the opportunity to learn more about an industry where we hope to expand and allows us to pitch our own unique ideas and in turn, receive valuable feedback from some of the top contacts in the industry. In anticipation of this year’s conference, our team developed several exciting show concepts covering a diverse range of topics including history, travel and cars. We were excited to have the opportunity to pitch our favorites directly to History Channel and MotorTrend.
Key Takeaways from the Summit
- Even though people are consuming more video content than ever, the way they consume it is being spread across many more outlets.
- Just as the big three networks had to learn and adapt when cable came into existence with all of its options, now the “traditional” cable networks are having to adapt to the new Over the Top (OTT) services.
- US TV viewers quitting cable in favor of various Video on Demand (VOD) (both subscription and advertising supported) outlets increased by a dramatic 32.8% in 2018 (from 9.8% to 12.9% of the population – Source: eMarketer, July 2018).
- New players like YouTube TV and Disney+ are entering the VOD arena.
- VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are committing large budgets to acquiring content while Cable networks are forced to be more selective, making their budgets work harder.
- Producers bringing new programming ideas to market are working in a more competitive arena than ever.
Impact is best known for our innovative meeting and event production, video production, exhibits and interactive multimedia, all of which require the ability to captivate an audience through powerful messaging and storytelling. It is because of these abilities that documentaries are a natural fit for Impact’s creativity and experience. In fact, several members of our team have substantial experience in this field and know just what it takes to succeed. Emmy-award winning Producer/Writer Sarah Pagura has produced over 25 hours of non-fiction content for major networks including CNBC, Biography, History Channel, Weather Channel and National Geographic Channel. Associate Producer Melissa Bentley worked on A&E’s incredibly successful series First 48, and our Director of Photography Craig Toussant got his start in production at VH-1 and MTV.
Realscreen 2019 was a great opportunity to visit New Orleans, make some new friends and contacts, and take a great deal of knowledge away about the non-fiction television industry. We look forward to hopefully sharing some news about exciting projects in the future!