A Pro’s Tips to Writing a Brief

If you’ve opened up this article on how to develop a brief, there’s a good chance that you want some video content to be produced, but you aren’t quite sure on what you need to do in order to get the ball rolling. Luckily, the first step in getting the process moving forwards is recognising the power of video and wanting a piece of that magic for your business. This makes writing a brief the second step (see, you’re already making progress!) and one of the most important documents needed to develop your idea from your brainstorms and pen sketches onto the screen. 

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What is a Brief?

A project brief is a written document that explains the video you are wanting so that a production company can go away and work on the conceptualization fully informed. Don’t feel pressured to write a technical document using specific film language – this is where a lot of people get intimidated and stumped. For us, the perfect brief focuses on answering three main questions:

  1. What do you want people to know?
  2. What do you want people to feel?
  3. What do you want people to do?

What a studio needs most from you is a clear idea of the tone, messaging and objective of your intended video. If you have a fleshed-out creative concept, that’s perfect, put it in the brief! If you are a little more unsure of the creative direction but know very clearly what you are wanting to say and who to, the creative team at a studio would be more than happy to be a part of the conceptualisation process. 

What else should I consider with my brief? 

We understand that every project is different and there is a good chance that your brief will reflect your priorities and work style. However, at one point or another, all projects will need to consider it’s budget. 

Some people will approach their brief from a ‘budget first’ perspective, in which they have an idea of the maximum they are wanting to invest into their video. 

Others are more concept focused and will want to lead their development discussions with a clear creative idea, and then have the producer figure out the production cost based on the specific elements a client may want. There are times in which the evolving scope of a project will increase the costs, but a good producer will always flag this by you. 

In the end, there is no wrong way of going about your budgeting process, as long as you are open to learning about the reality of bringing your ideas to life. 

It is also important that your brief includes some contextual information about the video. What was the situation in the company that prompted this video to be made? Where do you intend this video to be published?  Is this for TV? Online? If online, is this for YouTube? A website? Both? Who is the target audience? Is this for internal or external use? What are the deadlines for the project? 

It is always better to be specific about these things, as this often informs the content, as well as the video formatting. 

Okay, I think I’ve got this now, any final tips? 

At the end of the day, It’s important to note that it isn’t at all necessary to specify creative stuff at the briefing stage, in fact, it’s usually a better idea to simply hammer out the other stuff and leave the creative stuff to the people who know ins and outs of video.

The best part is, the Lumapixel Briefing Document is quite intuitive and is filled with hints on the type of aspects you should be considering when briefing our team.

It’s important that the brief is viewed as a starting point for the overall project, and the stronger this foundation is, the more effective and spectacular the end result will be.