The foundation of a good film is a good brief, whether you produce it yourself or outsource the work to a production company. We continue our focus on film and how you can succeed with the important brief.
We have also slipped in a question of what is important when a film needs to display on a mobile phone. Our guide is film expert Joakim Lindhé, that you might remember from part one of our film special. If you want to refresh your memory, you can find part one here.
What is a brief really?
“The brief talks about what you want to achieve with your film and serves as a basis for a filmmaker or production company to write a quote. Therefore, it’s a good idea if the brief contains all the factors that could ultimately affect the final price.”
What type of information should it contain?
“For example, the client needs to consider how effective the filmmakers can work during filming. Let’s say that there are several people that will be interviewed in the film. The production company anticipates the number of working hours. If the client can gather all the people to be interviewed in one place at one time, that would, of course, be less expensive than if the filmmakers had to travel around to different locations.”
What do you think is the most common mistake when creating a brief?
“That there is not enough information in the brief. The risk is that different production companies may interpret the assignment differently, creatively as well as financially. Some might feel that they have to take height for different things unnecessarily, while those who settle for the lowest price may not have understood everything that the client expects. The risk is that both client and production company are ultimately unhappy, which may lead to difficult conversations to straighten things out.”
”It has never been cheaper to produce than it is today, but the competition for the audience’s attention has never been more difficult. ”
The Checklist – questions to answer in a good brief
• What is the purpose of the film?
• What is the target group?
• In what context will the video appear?
• What is the benefit for the viewer after viewing?
• How should the viewer be called to action after viewing?
• What is the deadline?
• What language(s) should the film be in?
• What kind of background material can you provide in the form of outlines, pictures, music, etc.?
• Include an indication of the budget – 10,000, 100,000 or a million?
Speaking about briefs, do you have any examples of a film where you’ve done well with the results?
“This is a really good company film, I think. Almost 200,000 views proves it. It’s super clear, it’s directed towards a small target audience, and it contains very good visual evidence of what it’s trying to convey. It’s about a company that manufactures washers, nuts and bolts.”
We will conclude with a question that many have questions about. What is important to keep in mind when making the film for mobile displays?
“Start strong. Do not save the best for last. The viewer scrolls through their flow at a record pace, and the finger is ever ready to swipe to the next item. Therefore, you need to give the viewer, in the very first few seconds, a really good reason to stay to the end.”
“Think silent movies. In more and more places online you can see movies start playing, but where the sound is something that the viewer must actively enable. Many viewers may not have access to their earphones at the moment they see your video, or are in a noisy environment. Therefore, it may be wise to ask if the film actually works without sound. Can one understand what it’s about? Would text make the film more useful? Also keep in mind the small screen size when creating name signs and other graphics.”
“Remember to try to refrain from the letterbox format. The mobile phone screen is already small. If production is not created in cinema size 21:9 from the start, it’s rather a waste of pixels to add a pair of black fields to make the video to look more ‘cinematic’.”
About Joakim Lindhé
Joakim has spent most of his professional life in television, as a reporter, editor and producer. He has worked with news and society, as well as culture, talk shows and several documentaries. Today Joakim runs Yellow Kid, a company that produces explanatory animated films. He also conduct training and give advice on moving images.
We at Johnér wish you a very Merry Christmas
Well, not quite yet, but we see that orders for Christmas motifs are quickly gaining momentum. We have therefore gathered a few of our favorites for those of you who are mentally walking in deep snow, humming “Jingle Bells” while searching for the perfect winter or Christmas motif. Click any of the images below to see our suggestions!