How to write a video brief 

A video brief is the first step in making your video ideas a reality. Basically, a competent video production agency should be able to manage all aspects of the creative and technical process – shoot, animation, post-production and all the bells and whistles – to ensure that your audience responds positively to your video and you receive the required return on investment – but it all starts from your brief. 

So what does the video production agency need to know from your video brief?

For starters, they must understand your company’s products and services, your brand story and culture, your distinguishing offer or USPs, and how your business’s products and services benefit your consumers. Then they need to understand the video’s intended communication style, who is the intended audience, the key messages, and the call to action. Finally, knowing beforehand how you wish to distribute the video — for example, to a live audience, on your website, or via social media can also help the agency to suggest the right format and creative style. 

So how can you capture all these in a short 2-3 page document, especially if you are new to video marketing? To help you develop a simple video brief that gets you the right result, we have compiled the following pointers:

First, let’s understand the objective of writing a video brief. What is it that you wish to achieve or get as an outcome from the agency you are sharing it with?

There are three main objectives that the video brief should help you achieve:

It should direct your agency to come up with creative ideas

“We require a great video”, is not a good starting point for any agency. You need to share your vision and articulate your expectations. Sharing your company’s corporate profile in the form of a PowerPoint deck or a printed profile or even directing them to your “About Us’ section of your website is a good starting point. Sharing loads of your company’s information – could feel like waffling at first, but that’s fine; good video production agencies enjoy details. So don’t hesitate to share as much information about your company as you can. 

It should help your agency to develop a budget for you

Before you ask an agency the budget, we suggest you have a budget in your mind. It is totally up to you if you would like to share it with them or keep it hidden. If the video production agency has a rough budget or at least a min & maximum range to work with, it cuts down on both your time. 

However, if you are new to this and do not have a budget in mind, you can provide the following information which the agency can use to develop a budget:

  • A reference video that you like 
  • How many locations do you operate from and needs to be shot 
  • If its an animation video, the time and style of animation 
  • Requirement of models or talents 
  • Days of shoot

It’s always advisable to add all these factors in your brief so that your agency can include each component in the budget. 

It should help your agency to estimate a timeline

If you have a deadline that your video production company must meet, be sure to let them know. For the most part, this will allow your video production company to plan your project and devote the necessary resources to complete it on time. However, if you do not have a deadline in place, you need to understand the step-by-step process of video production. 

Video brief
Video brief

There are 3 main components that you need to keep in mind when it comes to video production.

Pre-Production
The pre-production stage is quite important. To clarify, this is where you’ll build the groundwork for your video and establish a reference point for project scope and deliverables, so everyone stays on track.

Key steps to keep in mind:

  1. Developing and approving a creative brief
  2. Creating and approving a script
  3. Developing and approving a scene by scene storyboard

Production
Things start to fall into place throughout the production stage. Your agency is creating the raw footage for the video here. Therefore, you’ll want to double-check that everything is in order, otherwise, you’ll have to plan pick-up shoots or spend additional time in post-production re-editing and rewriting because someone overlooked something important. The following items should be included in the production:

  1. Set up and lighting
  2. Filming
  3. Collecting b-roll 
  4. Recording voice-over

Post-Production
Video productions often have just two or three iterations before a final cut, but they take the longest to complete due to post-production editing.

Key steps to keep in mind:

  1. Editing
  2. Iterative & collaborative review
  3. Version comparison
  4. Final approval
  5. Delivery

Equally important is to let your video production agency know about your approval process. For example, if you prefer to have a hierarchy who would be approving each step in the pre-production, production, and post-production stage. Do not hesitate to convey this message to your agency as it will help the agency understand the processes, and will help in production and delivery. 

Social media
Summary: What should be included in the brief?
  1. Your Company’s Profile
  2. Vision, Mission, and Values of your company
  3. How do the products and services of your company help your customers
  4. Elements of the shoot 
    1. Locations, 
    2. Number of days
    3. Need for talent, etc.
  5. Your deadline
  6. Your approval process

There is no predetermined length for this; but, the more information you supply, the greater understanding your agency will have. However, if you make it too long, you risk missing some important details. So, we would like to recommend keeping it to roughly 2-3 pages to make it easier for you to write and for others to read and comprehend. 

So there you have it: you now know how to write a killer video brief. Please contact us if you have a project you’d like to discuss or if you need some further help putting together a document like this.