OMG! That was awesome!” Seconds after blurting out your amazement having watched the coolest video you’ve seen in a while, five will get you ten that the question in your mind will either be “How’d they shoot that?” or, “How’d they come up with that idea?”
The first question deals with production and post-production, the second and third steps in the film and video creation process. The latter query falls within the realm of the initial stage of filmmaking — pre-production.
Pre-production is where most of the creative development happens. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential steps of creative development, from understanding your product to producing a captivating video. Ready? Let’s dive right in!
UNDERSTAND THE BRIEF
The first step in creative development is not to create anything. Yet.
Read the brief if there’s one. If not, ask the client to take your team through the project requirements. What’s the product or service? Market background? Scope of deliverables? Timelines? All these and other relevant details should be agreed upon before letting your creative juices flow.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SELLING
Take the time to truly understand the brand and the product or service you need to push. Knowing the ins and outs of what you’re promoting or sharing will help shape your creative direction. Dive into the details, discover its unique selling points, and identify the core message you want to convey.
KNOW WHO YOU’RE SELLING TO
If the above step asks, “What are you selling?” The next task is to find out who you are trying to reach with your commercial video. In understanding your target market, consider their demographics, interests, and preferences of your audience. This knowledge will funnel your creative decisions on how to sell your product. After all, you wouldn’t use the rough-and-tough imagery and aggressive voice of a Harley-Davidson campaign if you’re promoting baby products, now would you?
THINK BIG (IDEA)
Now that you have a clear understanding of your product and target market, you can finally let your creative juices flow. The conceptualization process will be the hardest, and most crucial stage of creative development. Brainstorm, explore different angles, and think outside the box to come up with a unique and compelling idea that aligns with your product and resonates with your target market. Consider the tone, style, and format that will best convey your message. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Whether it’s a quirky concept, a heartfelt narrative, or an eye-catching visual approach, let your imagination run wild!
WRITE THE SCRIPT
Now that you’ve got a concept (and it better be a really BIG IDEA), it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write your script. The script serves as the blueprint for your video, guiding the dialogue, narration, and overall structure. Keep it concise, engaging, and in line with your creative vision. Don’t be afraid to add a sprinkle of humor or a dash of personality. As you flesh out your script, always make sure that everything in it is ON-BRIEF and ON-BRAND.
Once your client green lights the script, grab a pencil, mouse, or pen tablet and storyboard like a boss! Storyboarding is an invaluable tool for visualizing your video. Create a shot-by-shot visual representation of your script, sketching out each scene, camera angle, and transition. This step allows you to plan the visual flow, composition, and pacing of your video. Don’t worry about your drawing skills; stick figures and rough sketches will do the trick!
PRODUCTION (AND POST WORK)
It’s showtime! The production phase is where your team rolls up their sleeves and get to the actual making of the video called for in the brief.
In the analog days of yore, this required shooting on film (later in digital formats) for clients with big budgets. Nowadays, the advent of social media has “democratized” advertising — allowing small- to medium enterprises to afford to make commercial videos. Either on their own . . .
. . . Or through digital production studios like, ahem, The Studio Bridge.
We can create videos without the need to roll out expensive camera equipment for either location or studio shoots. The marriage of advanced software technology and our digital team’s experience and expertise allows us to create our own magic from 2D or 3D assets, motion graphics, and even virtual worlds.