A Professional Approach To Web Video – What Does A Video Producer Do?

A Professional Approach To Web Video – What Does A Video Producer Do?Video is becoming ubiquitous in corporate marketing – being used for communication with both external and internal audiences. However, in an age of flip cams, low-cost editing software and tight budgets, many companies think they can easily produce video themselves and as a result, are not creating final products that are as impactful or professional as they need to be. Years ago, the same thing was happening on the Web, with companies trusting their corporate homepages to employees with some HTML software and a little free time. Most companies wouldn't dream of not professionally producing a website today – and video should be given equal priority.

To help marketers better understand why it is important to consider outside production help when producing video, it could be helpful to understand what exactly a producer does. I hope this helps you develop an appreciation for their counsel and an understanding of the value they provide organizing all of the many moving parts that go into producing video.

With that, I give you Part 1 of our "What Does A Producer Do" series. It is meant to give you context around what is being done on your behalf once you put a pro to work for you. As you'll see, it's more than just scripting, shooting and editing video!

50 Things a Professional Video Producer Does

  1. Manages the production budget.
  2. Plans the video project and accepts it will not go according to plan.
  3. Accepts responsibility when no one else does.
  4. Plans for any and all resources needed to get the job done.
  5. Maintains a healthy state of paranoia ("What did I forget? What is missing?").
  6. Is obsessed with staying on schedule.
  7. Always checks a download link personally before sending to client.
  8. Is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a video project.
  9. Double checks work again before sending to client.
  10. Under-promises.
  11. Over-delivers.
  12. Develops very thick skin.
  13. Identifies the most creative and most organized on the team (both needed).
  14. Checks frustration and ego at the door when communicating with the client.
  15. Never names any file "Final" (equivalent of wishing 'good luck' before a performance).
  16. Understands the clients terminology (has read the client website thoroughly).
  17. Understands each function of the production and every production job.
  18. Acts as video project team cheerleader when necessary.
  19. Acts as video project team hammer when necessary.
  20. Knows that often the most creative people are difficult to deal with.
  21. Is willing and able to roll up sleeves and get his/her hands dirty in a production.
  22. Reviews every change to the content, no matter how minor, before sending to client.
  23. Praises in public and punishes in private.
  24. Has trouble sleeping the night before a shooting day.
  25. Hires everybody on the video production team.
  26. Oversees talent scouting.
  27. Keeps track of client tasks and act timely to remind them when late.
  28. Fires anybody on the video production team when necessary.
  29. Oversees location scouting.
  30. Looks for creative ways to cut cost out of the budget.
  31. Ensures everyone eats.
  32. Ensures everyone gets paid.
  33. Is married to their cell phone or other communication device.
  34. Keeps track of what went wrong (post mortem), avoids repeat mistakes.
  35. Keeps client confidential information secure.
  36. Wears comfortable shoes.
  37. Prepares for the first meeting with a client by thoroughly reading their web marketing.
  38. Picks up coffee and bagels if no one else can.
  39. Always asks about power, restrooms, and building access in preparing for on-location shooting.
  40. Answers emails while walking to and from the car.
  41. Knows who is traveling to/from location shoots and when as well as how to contact them on the road.
  42. Stresses when something DOESN'T go wrong...anticipating the storm.
  43. Removes logistical obstacles so they don't become a drain on the remote team.
  44. Asks to see in-progress work often, offers constructive criticism without micromanaging.
  45. Inspires efficient creativity.
  46. Discourages lethargic routine.
  47. Hires people much more creative than he/she.
  48. Hires people much more technically competent than he/she.
  49. Always asks himself/herself "Do my people on location have food/water?"
  50. Doesn't deliver content he/she knows the client doesn't want. Takes responsibility for client success in this regard.

Image credit - Flickr


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About Our Contributing Author - Shannon Newton
Shannon Newton is CEO of Rebel Unit Media, a creative services and video production agency based in San Francisco, CA. He is also Creative Director at online video collaboration company Market7, responsible for advising the product team in development, content creation, customer outreach, customer support, training and product evangelism



Please Note: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author and not necessarily that of

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What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.ThePowerofVideo.com Stephen Harvey

    I like this. So many clients really don't appreciate what it takes to really produce professional video or that it really is a profession. A pox upon flip cams! :)

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Thanks Stephen. I completely agree. flips might be good for some purposes
      but for business marketing purposes, most often, you are better off going
      the professional route.

  • Annette Eggers

    I absolutely agree. So many times I see people trying to produce their own video and they overlook crucial elements in producing. It takes experience to get this list nailed and its not something you can pick up overnight, I think you have to be born organised! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537551247 Jerry Kitula

    I like your knowledge.

  • MNVid

    51. Stays up all night working on the client requested rough cut changes so the timeline is ready for the next day's edit.
     
    52. Eats the OT caused by the CEO not being ready until late afternoon (because the OT $ are not really enough $ to annoy the client with but enough $ to mean 2 or 3 less modest restaurant outings for her/his family.)
     
    53. Pays the crew in 30 even though the initial 50% client downstroke (due upon receipt before shooting started) gets paid in 45.
     
    54. Calls in his crew favors for the client who two months later hires someone else for a followup job "because they're cheaper."
     
    55. Walks in to a shoot location and in 30 seconds knows if it will be a sound, lighting or logistics disaster.
     
    56. Hires from a trusted circle of production professionals that share his standards and are also willing to deliver more than they are being paid for.

  • MNVid

    So, what you are telling us is that you've not produced/directed many (any?) projects...

  • MNVid

    51. Stays up all night working on the client requested rough cut changes so the timeline is ready for the next day's edit.
     
    52. Eats the OT caused by the CEO not being ready until late afternoon (because the OT $ are not really enough $ to annoy the client with but enough $ to mean 2 or 3 less modest restaurant outings for her/his family.)
     
    53. Pays the crew in 30 even though the initial 50% client downstroke (due upon receipt before shooting started) gets paid in 45.
     
    54. Calls in his crew favors for the client who two months later hires someone else for a followup job "because they're cheaper."
     
    55. Walks in to a shoot location and in 30 seconds knows if it will be a sound, lighting or logistics disaster.
     
    56. Hires from a trusted circle of production professionals that share his standards and are also willing to deliver more than they are being paid for.

  • MNVid

    So, what you are telling us is that you've not produced/directed many (any?) projects...