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How to Create a Video Brief: Your Ultimate 10-Step Guide

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

how to create a video brief
It all starts with a goal and an audience

Producing captivating video content doesn't happen by accident. It starts with an essential step that is often overlooked - the video brief.

A video brief is a blueprint of your project. It defines your objectives, your audience, the video's core message, and various other crucial details. It's the map that guides you, ensuring that everyone involved understands what you're aiming to achieve, and how you plan to get there.

As a leading video production agency in Edmonton, DC Brandon Films knows the ins and outs of creating a video brief that hits the mark. When you hire us, we carefully walk you through the video brief process, making for a seamless project intake process.

But since we are all about sharing knowledge, so we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you craft an exceptional video brief on your own. If you're wondering how to create a video brief, you're in the right place! Let's delve into the components that will make your brief stand out.

1. Set a Goal

Starting with a goal is not just critical in video production; it's essential in any project. A goal states what you want your video to achieve. It might be increasing brand awareness, driving more traffic to your website, educating your audience about a new product, or encouraging donations for a cause. Be clear with your goal.

Your goal becomes the North Star of your project. It guides every decision, from the tone of your video to its distribution channels. It provides a sense of direction and helps measure the success of your project. Without a clear goal, it's easy to lose sight of what you're trying to accomplish and whether you've achieved it.

If you were a fly on the wall at the video brief meeting with Sony prior to the launch of their flagship A1 camera, I'd bet the goal was "Convince influencers this is the camera true artists use". Why? Because the endgame is to get even novices to believe a camera like this can make you a pro, even if it costs $10K.

2. Identifying the Audience for Maximum Engagement

The audience is the recipient of your message. Their needs, preferences, and behavior should shape your video content. Most importantly, clearly identify their pain points. What problem do they want to solve? Knowing who you're speaking to helps you tailor your style, tone, language, and format to resonate with them. It's all about making a connection.

Consider your audience's demographics (age, gender, location, etc.), as well as their psychographics (interests, values, lifestyle, etc.). Understand their pain points and what solutions they seek. The more you know about your audience, the better you can engage them, which brings you closer to achieving your goal.

3. Project Overview: The Blueprint of your Video

Next comes the overview. Think of it as the 30-second elevator pitch for your project. It's a high-level description that succinctly summarizes what your project is about. The project overview gives everyone involved a general understanding of what you intend to create.

At DC Brandon Films, we actually create a logline for each commercial project. A logline is a brief (usually one sentence, but sometimes two) summary of a film, television show, or commercial that provides an overview of the story. It's designed to hook the reader or viewer, providing them with the story's essential elements in a concise, compelling way. Loglines often include the protagonist, their goal, and the main conflict or challenge they must overcome.

The logline is a crucial tool in the film and TV industry, often used in pitching a script or project to producers or potential investors. It helps them quickly understand the narrative and decide whether they are interested in learning more.

Here's an example of a logline for the movie "Jaws": "A police chief, with a phobia for open water, battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in a holiday resort."

As you can see, the logline identifies the main character (the police chief), the main conflict (the shark), and the setting (a holiday resort). It's concise, compelling, and communicates the key elements of the film's plot.

Having a one liner comes in super handy during the entirety of the production - from communicating what the project is about with your co-workers, to explaining roles to actors, having a logline ready to go is a super efficient way of getting everyone on the same page--fast!

4. Communicating your Core Message Effectively

In the sea of online content, you want your video to stand out and leave a lasting impression on your viewers. That's where your core message comes into play. It's the primary takeaway you want your audience to remember long after they've watched your video.

A core message is the main idea a brand wishes to communicate with its audience. It usually emphasizes the brand's unique offerings or stirs an emotional connection with viewers.

For example, Google's recent "No place like Chrome" ad series embodies a clear core message: Google Chrome is more than just a browser; it's a versatile tool that enriches everyday online experiences, and makes life simpler. This message aligns with Google's broader brand ethos of making life easier through technology.

Your message could be your brand's value proposition, a specific call to action, or an educational point you want to highlight. Make sure it aligns with your goal and is clearly communicated to your audience. A well-articulated message can evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and inspire actions.

5. Weaving a Narrative with the Theme

The theme is the thread that weaves your story together. It's the underlying narrative or concept that makes your video unique and engaging. The theme of your video could be a narrative arc, a visual style, a specific mood, or a combination of these elements.

Your theme should be relevant to your audience and message. It should enhance the storytelling aspect of your video, making it more memorable. A well-chosen theme can make your video stand out in the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your viewers.

One of our favourite examples of a strong theme is the "We The Optimists" campaign by UCLA. The campaign, which celebrates UCLA's Centennial, encapsulates the theme of optimism, embodying the idea that optimism can bring about positive change and progress.

The commercial campaign shares stories of faculty, students, and alumni who embody this spirit of optimism, each contributing in their own way to improve society. Through innovation, research, and a dedicated approach to societal challenges, these individuals highlight the transformative power of positive thinking and action.

By presenting this strong theme of optimism, UCLA not only celebrates its achievements over the past 100 years but also inspires the broader community to join in their mission for positive change. The campaign aligns seamlessly with UCLA's mission to foster education, research, and service for the betterment of society.

6. Defining the Budget: The Reality Check

The budget is often a tricky subject, but it's an essential part of any video brief. It determines the scope and scale of your video project. The budget affects various aspects of your video, from its length and style to the quality of the production.

Being clear about your budget upfront helps manage expectations and allows you to plan effectively. It guides the selection of equipment, talent, location, and other resources. A well-defined budget helps you maximize your resources and avoid unnecessary expenses or surprises later on.

7. Visualizing the Concept

With your theme in hand, you now need to develop it into a full-fledged concept. The concept is the heart and soul of your video. It outlines the plot, characters, visual and auditory elements, and overall feel of your video.

The concept should bring your theme to life. It should align with your message and appeal to your audience. The concept is a preview of how your video will look and feel. It sets the stage for the production phase and gives everyone involved a clear vision of the final product.

8. Determining the Look and Feel

The look and feel of your video relate to the aesthetic and emotional tones it evokes. It's about how your video should make your audience feel and the atmosphere it creates. Is it going to be humorous, inspirational, dramatic, or educational?

The look and feel of your video guide the selection of color schemes, typography, music, and other stylistic elements. They're integral to creating a cohesive visual and auditory experience. By defining the look and feel of your video, you ensure that it aligns with your brand's identity and resonates with your audience.

9. Setting Timelines: The Key to Project Management

Timelines are essential for project management. They outline key dates, milestones, and deadlines. A timeline provides a clear trajectory for your project, ensuring everyone knows what needs to be done and by when.

A well-structured timeline can prevent miscommunications and delays. It ensures everyone is on the same page and keeps the project moving forward. Remember to account for potential delays and leave room for adjustments.

10. Navigating Approvals: Streamlining Decision Making

Lastly, outline the approval process. Who needs to sign off on the script, the storyboard, the rough cut, and the final cut? Having a clear decision-making process prevents confusion, streamlines communication, and ensures everyone knows who has the final say.

The approval process also ties in with your timeline. Consider how long approvals may take and incorporate that into your schedule. A clear, well-structured approval process can save a lot of time and effort, and prevent needless back-and-forths.

Crafting a Stellar Video Brief with DC Brandon Films

A well-crafted video brief is an invaluable tool in video production. It provides a solid foundation for your project, guiding the creative and technical processes. By giving due attention to each component of the brief, you set your video project up for success.

At DC Brandon Films, we understand that creating a video brief can be challenging, especially if you're new to video production. But don't worry, we're here to help. Our team has years of experience in crafting effective video briefs that translate into successful video projects. So, if you're planning your next video project and need a helping hand, don't hesitate to get in touch. Together, we'll create a video that not only achieves your goal but also leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

We're here to make your vision a reality. So, why wait? Contact us at DC Brandon Films, your friendly, professional video production agency in Edmonton, and let's create something amazing together.

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