Harness the power of project management tools to optimize your video production processes
Video is trending as the fastest growing medium in marketing, advertising, and corporate communications. Why? They say, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. As the demand for video production rises, budgets are shifting to accommodate it. The increasing speed, volume, and demands of video production need a project management plan.
While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering video production, project management makes up as much of the job as the equipment, the actors, and the scripts. Project management is an all-encompassing task that defines how you will communicate with your stakeholders, build your processes, organize your thoughts, and scale your business.
If video production sometimes feels chaotic, organizing projects across clients, freelancers, and distribution channels, you’re not alone. You can take your video production to the next level with the right project management tools. This guide will explore how you can use our project management software for your video production.
Before we begin, it’s important that we define what project management for video production is. Whether you’re new to video production or you’ve been doing it for years, it’s fairly evident that video production has a lot of moving parts. From video briefing to scripting and storyboarding to equipment, a video project is filled with planning and logistics. Project management is just a way to keep track of all those moving parts in one central location.
“Entrepreneurship doesn’t get easier. The goals just get bigger.” – David Capece, CROOW Founder
If you’re on a budget and looking to manage a project without investing in a 3rd party software, it’s doable with spreadsheets, google docs, emails, phone calls, etc. However, that method requires a lot of handholding and oversight by the project manager. Consistently updating the spreadsheet or google doc, sending out manual emails to let a team member know it’s time for them to take on their task, passing back and forth video files via email or WeTransfer to the client, etc. All of these tasks are time-consuming and hard to keep track of! “Did I end up emailing Sara that she was supposed to have those scripts done by EOD Friday?” “Does Gary know that he needs to be at the shoot location by 7am tomorrow?”
To make it easier on yourself, we recommend investing in a project management software. A quick Google search will prove that there are dozens, maybe even hundreds of project management softwares out there. And most of them have specific use-cases. Some are designed for information technology, others are designed for software development, still some are designed for marketers. While many of those options will work for video production, it helps to have a project management software built for video production teams.
Introducing: CROOWpm. CROOW Video Production Project Management as the first video production project management platform built by and for video production professionals. From storyboarding to call sheets to client approvals, CROOWpm assists video production teams every step of the production process. Learn more about CROOWpm on our website.
Production Workflow: In every step of the video production process, there are opportunities to use a project management software to optimize your experience. And because the video production process is so unique, it’s wise to not settle for just any PM software. Using a project management tool that’s built for video production will make each step of the production journey much simpler. Let’s take a look at all the steps of video production process and where a project management tool or tactics might fit in:
Lay the groundwork for your video. The initial briefing session with key video stakeholders sets the tone for the rest of the project. It’s at this stage that you determine the videos’ goals, general message, and tone.
Project Management Tip: A quality PM software will allow you to store all your initial notes from the briefing session in one central location. This way, you can always return to the foundation of the project as new thoughts and recommendations surface along the way.
Decide on production requirements. Will your video be shot in a studio or on location? Will you need actors or is it going to highlight employees? Will there be animation in the video? What types of cameras will you need? All of this needs to be determined first, as it sets the foundation for the rest of the production.
Project Management Tip: Most PM softwares allow you to add a project description at the forefront of the project. Keep your notes here and tag key stakeholders to make sure everyone is in agreement on the basics.
Determine your timetable. Start with the finish line. What time do you want to have your video completely finished by? Then work backwards from there.
Depending on the length and production value of your video, timing will vary. If you’re creating a corporate video, brand video, or animated explainer, you can expect roughly a month from shoot day to launch. That means: 1 day for filming, 2 weeks for producing the first draft, and 2 weeks of back and forth between stakeholders and the video production team. If you’re creating a high-quality, expensive video with changing sets, animation, actors, memorized lines, and more, you’ll want to give yourself more time (think months, rather than weeks).
Project Management Tip: Use Kanban Boards and Calendar tools to assign tasks by due date to specific users. This way, everything is recorded in the beginning and you can allow automatic notifications to keep you on-track for the remainder of the project.
Video Production Team… Assemble! With the basics of the video established, it’s time to roundup a team of professionals to shoot the video. Think: Do you need animators? Actors? Editors? People to man the camera? If you don’t already have a well-established team to choose from, there are many options available to you. Use websites like Upwork, Fiverr or CROOW, or pull from your own network to find trustworthy, hardworking video production team members.
And of course, it’s important that all members of the team are included in whatever project management tool you’re using so they can be assigned tasks and held accountable for due dates.
Project Management TIp: Add all of your stakeholders (teammates, clients, etc.) to your PM Software so they have the ability to be tagged, assigned, and notified of changes/tasks as they come up.
Maintain Communication. At this point, you’re ready to film. Just make sure that your team, the client, your location, and any other stakeholders are aware of the plan so no one gets left behind. And from here on out, communication is the name of the game. Back-and-forth feedback loops are critical to make sure the video turns out just the way the client wants it.
Project Management TIp: Any project management tool worth its salt will let you tag stakeholders in key messages. Keeping all communication in one central location, rather than spread out amongst different emails, phone calls, and text messages improves accountability.
Track Timing. Often, video production teams get paid by the hour, rather than flat rates. If that’s the case for your team, you need to make sure that you’re tracking time every step of the way. Even if you’re not paid by the hour, learning how long it takes to accomplish specific tasks can help you optimize your processes along the way.
CROOWpm is the first video production project management platform built by and for video production professionals. From storyboarding to call sheets to client approvals, CROOWpm assists video production teams at every step of the production process.
RESOURCES: With CROOW Studio, you can set up at one of our studios throughout the United States with video production in Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Washington, DC, and even video production in Philadelphia. We can even come to you. If you want to highlight your brand and employees, CROOWMarket offers various studio packages, including digital shorts, interviews, and brand stories.
When working on a video production project, employing the right kind of project management software can make all the difference. Every step in this process presents an opportunity to streamline your workflow and optimize efficiency. So don’t settle for just any ordinary solution.
What does “Success” look like to you? Whether it’s been said out loud or not, every project starts with one primary goal. It’s up to the project manager to assess whether or not that goal is attainable, comprehensible and measurable.
Clients may think that their goals are specific, but they almost always need to be adjusted. For example, “Spread awareness about Company X’s new product” is not a productive project goal. In contrast, “Spreading awareness on Instagram by increasing engagement by 15% by January 1, 2021” is much more precise. This is only step one. Next, the primary goal needs to be broken down into bite-sized, actionable objectives for relevant team members to act on. Set smart goals and set your team up for success.
So, where does that put video production teams? While you can’t guarantee engagement or even awareness with a video, as the promotion of the video depends on the team promoting it, you can guarantee certain elements of the video – and you can help your client understand video styles that will end up matching with their ultimate objective of the video. Here are some common objectives and the type of video that works best for these objectives:
There are many other types of videos available, but knowing the objective of the video will help you determine the location of the shoot, the team required, and the script. With CROOW video project management software, you can create Brand Videos and tell the world your story. Share how it all began, what drives you to succeed, and where you see yourselves in the future. Showcase a variety of perspectives from within your team by highlighting each individual’s unique take. Bring your mission and vision statement to life through storytelling that connects with customers emotionally.
Project Management Tip: CROOW’s project management software allows you to store all your initial notes from the briefing session in one central location. This way, you can always return to the project’s foundation as new thoughts and recommendations surface along the way.
There are many ways to gain efficiency at your tasks. Creating lists, blocking off time to focus, taking time off to recoup, and the list goes on. In fact, Indeed.com wrote a whole article entitled 12 Simple Strategies to Improve Work Efficiencies that goes through those tactics and more.
But how do those strategies relate to a video production team? And how can a video production team gain 2X productivity? After all, more productivity means more jobs and more jobs means more money. The better you can do your job, the more you’ll get paid, right?
Let’s break down some of the tools you can use to be more efficient at video production, and maybe even get to 2X productivity:
Of course, it helps to have a dependable team backing you up and a customer with achievable goals, but regardless, setting realistic goals, maintaining communication, and developing repeatable processes with PM tools can help you get to 2X productivity.
As a project manager, you have to make sure that all of your tasks are organized in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand. There are some tools you can use that will help you visualize all the disparate activities and group them in a specific time order. There are also ways to manage tasks without using unique Excel tips/tricks the old fashioned way.
Here are a few options:
Use an old-fashioned calendar. We’re not suggesting you get quite as old-fashioned as a paper calendar hanging on your wall, although that’s acceptable if it works for you! But using your email service provider’s built-in calendar function and booking time on all the appropriate team members’ calendars will help you manage due dates. You can usually set up custom alerts on the calendar invites so they remind you minutes, hours, or even days beforehand when your due date is coming up. Of course, these are useful for times you need to meet with the team, but also just generally useful as benchmark due dates to remind yourself.
Pro tip: Color-code the events in your calendar by project or task type so you can see at-a-glance what types of tasks are due this week.
Try a Kanban Board to Organize Tasks By Process. The word “Kanban” is actually Japanese and is roughly translated to “card” or “sign.” The reason is because this approach looks like a grouping of sticky notes or cards under specific categories. Your categories could be simple, like “To-do”, “Doing,” and “Done.” Or they could be more specific, like “Prospecting,” “Storyboarding/Scripting,” “Filming,” “Editing,” “Feedback,” “Done.” Either way, they represent a series of steps to completion. And at-a-glance, you should be able to see each task in that category.
Call out Important Details with a Call Sheet. The call sheet may be the single most important asset you’ll create in pre-production. This document includes all the information necessary for the day of the shoot: What needs to be brought, where the shoot will take place, weather conditions, names and contact information of those in charge, parking information, and any other necessary details to help the day run smoothly. This typically gets sent out the night before the shoot so all the data is accurate and as up-to-date as possible. CROOWpm has a built-in Call Sheet tool that will allow you to collect all the elements necessary to build a helpful call sheet – including built-in tools to help you share it with the appropriate stakeholders.
Take a look at CROOWpm’s video production project management tools. Project Management Tip: Use Kanban Boards and Calendar tools to assign tasks by due dates to specific users. This way, everything is recorded initially, and you can allow automatic notifications to keep you on track for the remainder of the project.
Communication is the lifeblood of any team, but it can be hard to stay connected across long distances and disparate teams. CROOW can help you bridge this gap, allowing you to easily stay in sync with your colleagues no matter where they are.
When you’re in the business of video production, you’re going to have to master the art of communication across your team – be they internal team members or freelance employees.
In our CROOW blog entitled, “How Creative Agencies Can Maintain Effective Organization,” we break down 4 key features of communication with your team and clients:
Following these four points should help you improve your collaboration both internally and externally.
With the help of modern technology, it’s now easier than ever to collaborate with your team and clients on video production projects. Keep track of multiple brands and teams by utilizing a structured system from CROOW that can expand as needed.
Whether it’s a discussion about a project or a file-sharing task, CROOWpm video project management software makes it easy to keep everyone on the same page. Keep all your communication centralized so all team members can find due dates, tasks, notes, and general communication in one location.
When the day of filming comes, there’s limited time to perfect everything. Missing a shot can be challenging to fix in post-production, so you must be well-prepared before the shoot begins for maximum productivity. Here are some tips for how to maximize your production time:
Storyboarding Is Key. The time you spend prior to production is essential to making sure the day of the shoot runs smoothly. Storyboard every scene of the video, making sure you include b-roll scenes, narrator’s lines, headshots of key speakers, and every other detail so nothing is missing on the day-of. And double check that you have buy-in from all key stakeholders before filming to reduce the chance of disagreement or last-minute changeups. This is all made simpler with the help of CROOWpm and its native storyboarding capabilities: Simply map out your video in our pre-built video storyboarding template and receive feedback directly in the tool!
Know Your Shoot Location. Whether you’re filming in a studio or at-location, knowing what to expect once you arrive is extremely important for your productivity on the day of the shoot. If you’re picking a specific location to shoot, go there a few days ahead of time and make sure you are comfortable with the lighting and surroundings. Find areas where you’ll be able to get high-quality sound without external noise disruptions. Take a few shots for b-roll if it’s a nice day when you’re scouting (you can’t have too much b-roll!). If you’re using a studio, ensure you have a full understanding of the lighting and sound capabilities the studio offers. That way, you can create the atmosphere required for your video.
Build the call sheet. As mentioned earlier, the call sheet is perhaps the single most important document you’ll create throughout your production process. It includes all the information for shoot day to be as successful as possible. While you can collect all the information needed for the call sheet, type it into a word processing tool, and manually email it out to all the required recipients, you could also automate that process using a tool built for video producers: CROOWpm. With an embedded call sheet template tool, building your call sheet is as simple as filling out a form – and then tag all stakeholders natively in the platform so everyone is well-equipped for the shoot day!
From the inception of the video concept to the exporting of the final .mp4 file, there are a lot of records that need to be tracked down and/or created. Yes, this can all be managed using word processors and emailed out manually to those who need to be made aware, but why not use a project management tool to store this information in one central location? CROOWpm has built-in tools to help you build your video concept, storyboard, call sheet, and more!
By templatizing the video production process, from ideation to delivery, each step is standardized with a set of requirements applied to all projects. This standardization ensures every project goes through the same procedure and has consistent quality standards. And with the right project management process you can create more videos at-scale. Here’s how:
Using our project management software can help you concentrate on the creative side of video production without worrying about administrative tasks. This way, you can take up more projects and bigger challenges without feeling overwhelmed.
“Project management is the key to meeting deadlines more easily, getting greater creative output, and ultimately growing your video production business.” – David Capece, CROOW Founder
Project management is an all-encompassing task that defines how you’re going to communicate with your stakeholders, build your processes, organize your thoughts, and scale your business. Investing in a project management tool that will automate some of the processes and take the weight off of your shoulders can vastly speed your ability to scale and make your job a lot easier. And while there are plenty of project management solutions available, why not pick a project management software that was built for video production?
CROOWpm was built for video production teams by a video production team, and it can help you manage your project every step of the way, from video creation to completion. Register today for a free demo or learn more on our website.
This is our "Complete Guide to Project Management for Video Production" white paper in an easily readable and storable PDF format. We hope you are able to use our tips to take hold of the power of project management and optimize your video production processes with this white paper.