Imagine managing a project and never running into snags or roadblocks — everyone takes ownership of their roles and every process runs smoothly all the way up to the finish line. Such a world exists! Teaming up with our friends at Wipster, we’re bringing you three important tips for streamlining communication and collaboration.
Just like how we know how to support our clients find music for videos, our friends at Wipster know a thing or two about getting everyone on the same page. Here are their three tips for working with clients on video and creative projects.
Every filmmaker strives to make their videos both creative and unique while also fulfilling the business goals of their client. The balance, however, between creativity and goals can be a fine line to walk when there are many cooks in the kitchen. So what are the best ways to set up your video for the ultimate success without losing your creative touch?
Let’s dive into the three ways to best manage your communication with your clients so everyone is happy!
The Creative Brief and Pitch Deck
When your client comes to you with a project idea, it’s best to work with a representative from your client’s organization to draft a creative brief. A creative brief should include these three core components: the target audience, call-to-action, an overview of the video’s goals and objectives, and the production schedule or any hard deadlines.
The creative brief then becomes the backbone of the project and the starting point from which you can make your pitch deck.
A compelling pitch deck should include the following:
An intriguing tagline the summarize the video (this is also known as a log line)
The Technical Style: How will the video be made? In what style? Animation? Live Action?
Voiceover Script (if any)
Reference and/or Inspiration videos and music
And mood images
Pro Tip: Include musical links or samples in your brief as well! Music is such a key component for the mood of your project and it will help your client understand the tone of the video.
Once the client approves the pitch deck, then formalize the agreement.
Formalize the Agreement
If you’re a freelance or agency, I’d highly recommend creating an agreement template that includes the production fee, deadline, and has your creative brief and pitch deck attached to it.
Before the agreement is signed, it’s important to make sure all stakeholders approve the brief and the pitch deck. This means asking your client, “who is the person at the top of your organization that must approve the video before it goes out?” Make sure their bosses’ boss is involved so that way there are no surprises when the final edited video reaches their desk for approval.
Of course, as production carries on things might shift or change slightly in the production. That’s the nature of production! But at least you can use the agreement as leverage to go back to hold both yourself and the client accountable.
In your agreement you can list out the number of feedback cycles included in the cost production. Typically two rounds of edits is the norm unless there are any outstanding typos.
Then send it out for signature!
Use Wipster for Review and Approval
Once your video is ready for review, there are a lot of ways to share with your team for feedback. If ever in the face of a tight deadline or pesky varying timezones, getting quick revision notes can seem challenging. But the workflow can keep flowing even in the collaborative process when using Wipster to send your video for feedback.
The creative feedback and collaboration features of Wipster allow your client to leave secure and private notes directly on the video, rather than feedback via an email chain which usually consists of a list of time-coded comments.
From Wipster, you will get notified when your client has viewed and finished commenting on the video, making the process seamless. And all feedback will be time-coded and nicely fit into one place.
Pro Tip: Before you send your client a Wipster link to review remember to inform them what Wipster is — so they understand what the tool is for. Remember, no surprises!
You can also send your client this list on how to give constructive feedback. More communication is better than none! Keeping everyone on the same page will not only ensure that your project succeeds, but also make your video client happy.
Once the video is approved, Wipster can also be the file delivery method. You can enable the client to download the original and approved video file.
The Wipster team is constantly working to improve feedback loops. If you’re interested in trying it out, sign up for a 14-day free trial. Happy video making!
When Jess Jacklin and Charles Beale kicked off StudioFest last year, their mission was to redefine traditional film festival processes—to award the winning filmmakers not just with a temporary status or accolade, but with means of creating their first feature work.
“Independent short filmmakers and screenwriters desire one thing: to make their first feature,” says Beale. “We have aimed to align the skew, bringing talented filmmakers straight to their first feature. The project has grown to include so much talent and enthusiasm and we can’t wait to share the film.”
Winning director, Anna Mikami and winning screenwriter Matthew Sorvillo walked away from the festival experience with a newfound professional partnership. With Mikami in the director chair and Sorvillo spearheading the script, Souvenirs was the product of creative collaboration, perseverance and a tried-and-true indie kind of resourcefulness.
Produced under a 1M micro-budget, the StudioFest collaborative proved it’s possible to churn out a high quality production even when a big studio isn’t at the helm. Partnering up with Marmoset to equip the production with the music rights for their feature film, a dream soundtrack was no longer out of arm’s reach.
Proving it’s possible to find songs for commercial use on a budget is what Marmoset’s music licensing team does daily. But when partnering up with other community organizations like StudioFest—to help outside projects license music for video—it’s a commitment to our community; to give what we can from our side, while always ensuring our artists receive their share and exposure for their work.
Thanks to the pioneering film festival that’s examining the leaps and hurdles every filmmaker faces, Souvenirs is no longer an aspirational idea—it’s a film slated to premiere in Fall 2019.
“The winners we chose compliment each other in a way we are very excited about. As we get into our second week of filming, there’s an air of enthusiasm shared with everyone involved,” says Jacklin. “Although we’re working with a micro-budget, the caliber of talent from cast, crew and sponsors adds a tremendous amount of value and we couldn’t do it without their dedication and vision.”
Stay tuned as we cover the release of Souvenirs and the making of its soundtrack.
Creating or finding music for your next film is something every filmmaker can attest to within their filmmaking career. And for some filmmakers, music enters the equation as early as setting up a scene — before the film is even complete.
In an interview with Criterion Collection and music composer, Jon Brion, Brion offers up his approach toward creating rhythms for director Paul Thomas' Anderson’s PUNCH-DRUNK-LOVE.
“He’d [Anderson] put on music when he’d set up a shot because even if the music wasn’t going to be there in the end it helped give a sense of rhythm, a sense of poetic pacing to the shot.”
Brion and Anderson’s collaboration is a testimony of using music that integrates to how a scene unfolds — using musical tempo to compliment how a character’s actions are captured or depicted through camera movement.
Inspired by Brion and other memorable movie soundtracks, our A&R Team curated a mixtape inspired by similar musical compositions and scores. From the bright and bouncy instrumental masterpieces of Lullatone — to imaginative orchestral rhythms of Pretty Pizzi — these songs are pensively sweet, rooted in lightness and whimsical tones.
Click the link below to find more music for your videos.
Criterioncollection. (2016, November 14). Jon Brion on the Rhythms of PUNCH-DRUNK-LOVE. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJNhxSFdrVQ
Little Moving Pictures creates and produces everything from commercial advertisement to film & TV. And everything they make sounds great too.
From the disco-inspired studio captured in the one million viewed music video they produced for Toro y Moi to the melancholic comedy about a young dad reeling from a broken marriage (How It’s Goin’ ) — Little Moving Pictures is taking off visually and musically. To find out more about what they’re up to and their approach for using music in videos, we caught up with studios’ co-founder Jeremy Summer.
Marmoset: Hey Jeremy, can you tell us what drew you to produce How It's Goin'?
Summer: When people ask me why we make the music videos and short films we do at Little Moving Pictures, my simplest answer is that we do those things because we said we would.
Working at an agency, everyone always has these side hustle ideas but they rarely get executed—a pitch comes up or a big campaign or whatever—it’s hard to carve the time when you’re working for someone else, where as here we can come up with an idea and do it without asking anyone’s permission.
How It’s Goin’ actually started a few years ago on 4/20/2016—I asked one of our collaborators Noe Chavez to come to golden gate park on 4/20 and shoot some portraits—we made this thing and put it out the next day. I had an idea for setting a story inside of it, something we’d film guerrilla style with the built in production value of thousands of extras—my first idea was a catholic nun traveling from Europe who accidentally comes across the 4/20 gathering and has a transcendent experience.
But my friends 26 Aries (directors Irene Chin & Kurt Vincent) came back with the script for what eventually became How It’s Goin’ and had their friend Steve Talley (the lead actor) attached. It’s the first scripted narrative thing we’ve done—think of it as our student film. We just wanted to try to do something new and thought that the novelty of making a film inside an actual event could result in something unique.
M: At what point do you guys sit down to talk about music the films or videos you create?
Summer: Music is a big deal to us across all of our projects and over the years we’ve developed a lot of relationships both with music houses like Marmoset and with labels/licensing entities. Earlier cuts of How It’s Goin' had a lot of different things happening musically that are very different than the final cut.
On this one, it really all came together toward the end. We brought on our friend Anthony Ferraro to do the original score bits—he plays keys in Toro Y Moi, we had just done a music video together for their single “Ordinary Pleasure”—and he nailed it in three-four days between tours; we wanted some warm Fender Rhodes stuff that helped connect the scenes and carry the picture, we are so happy with what he did for us.
M: What are some of the bigger challenges for filmmakers when it comes to creating music for their film?
Summer: One of the biggest challenges was finding a great piece of authentic sounding reggae music. Our rough cut had a great dub track from Trojan Records and even though we have a connection to the folks that license for that label, our timeline and budget weren’t going to work.
We looked at some stock libraries and were extremely disappointed with the “reggae” options. We were so thrilled when looking through Marmoset’s roster to come across the Dwayne Ellis song—in addition to having the sound we were looking for, it also had lyrics that tied in nicely with what the character is going through in the film and it sounds authentically Jamaican/vintage which is what we were going for.
We were playing around with a bunch of ideas for the song that ends the film and runs over the credits and had been listening to a lot of SF bands—Girls, Kelley Stoltz and Sonny & The Sunsets and came across "Children of the Beehive” which has lyrics and a feeling that ties back to the film in such a special way it’s almost as though it was written into the script.
I think the music we ended up with is a huge part of the quality of the end product—without the score and especially the songs, I don’t think it would have gotten the attention that it’s getting (Vimeo Staff Pick!).
M: What's something that really sets Little Moving Pictures apart?
Summer: I think the volume and quality of stuff we’re doing outside of advertising is something that differentiates us — though of course we have lots of peers we admire who are doing something similar — and the kinds of teams we can spin up without having to have everyone on a “roster” or a contract.
We also have a focus on post-production that I think might be a bit unique even amongst full service production companies, the editor is essentially a creative director on our projects from the moment we get a brief, not just there when we edit.
Because we’re so small (three of us full-time) and our over head is so low as a result, we get to be selective about the projects we take on so most of the work we’re doing is stuff we’re genuinely happy to be doing whether its for brands or for fun—either the budget is there and we can treat our crews properly/pay promptly and put on a good show for our clients or the creative is something that we’re excited enough about that we can rally the troops and make it happen regardless of budget.
Our hope is that eventually the passion projects and branded content will start to intersect more- feature length documentaries for brands, music videos that are sponsored, that sort of thing.
Also, my dog Beatrix. No one else has a Beatrix.
M: Your studios create everything from music videos to ad campaigns — what's the type of creative project that you're always excited to dig into?
Summer: We’re so lucky to do a blend of work for brands and work for ourselves. Aside from paying the bills (thanks brands!), working on commercials and branded content has helped us develop relationships with the directors we collaborate with and also the crew community and folks who are instrumental post production partners—colorists, sound mixers, music houses etc.
We leverage those relationships when it comes time to do the music videos and short films— people are down to lend their craft for little to no money on those things because we keep them busy and treat them well when we’re working for brands. Doing the music videos and short films is almost a gift to ourselves. It becomes material we can use to market Little Moving Pictures but in a lot of ways, we do art simply for the sake of doing it—and to learn and grow from the experience.
We love making commercials (especially when the budgets/timelines are reasonable), but there’s nothing like getting all our friends together to make some art.