Despite how easy technology and e-communication has made it to turn around an entire production without ever setting an eye on a client, our producer and director value meeting in person. Certainly at the outset of a production, a discussion over the table enables solid and effective foundations for the project and the all-important relationship with our client to be laid.
We strongly encourage key people to be involved at the outset of a project and indeed welcome a healthy discussion. What we are not at all keen on are committee meetings. And boy, have we had plenty of those!
Understandably, the committee meeting seems like a great idea to an organisation: everyone, or at least every department, is involved in the entire process guaranteeing across-the-board ownership and approval of the end product. No? Well in an ideal world it would. And, as video producers, were it a case of tailoring a video development to tell a good story whilst covering a number of key messages and ticking many people’s boxes, then that would be a challenge we would, and do, relish.
Unfortunately, in reality, it seldom pans out that way. Instead we find ourselves sitting around a table with a group the size of a football team, each fighting their individual campaign and all struggling to share a remotely compatible way forward for the project. On occasion we have watched as a whole debate kicks off about the whole rationale for the video, which is somewhat deflating when a long tendering process has been involved. Inevitably, as a lengthy discussion unfolds, the strongest characters and their loudest voices will emerge until, from the cloud of ‘going nowhereness’, we have our leaders of the committee and those ultimately ‘in charge’.
Until, that is, we turn up for the next pre-production meeting with our steering committee only to discover none of the key players who attended the first meeting are at the table.
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