How to Get the Most Out of Your Animation CompanyWilliam Gadea 04.18.2014
You’ve hired us to create an animated video for your company. You’re excited to start digging into the scripting and share in our creative process. Rest assured, we want to make a great video just as much as you do, so what can you do to team up with your animation company to get the best results?
Be Clear on Strategy Strategy is the foundation of the video, so it’s best to think it through thoroughly. Ask yourself: what business objectives would you like to achieve with this video? Who is your audience? (Think about demographics – age, gender, education – but also psychographics – the personality profile of your targeted viewer). Also, think about how you will distribute the video. All these factors affect how we deliver your message.
Be Clear on Branding How do you want to project your brand to the public? Is your brand serious and buttoned up, or playful and funny? Are there any colors or fonts associated with your brand? Is there any particular visual style? We are team players and want to be part of an effort that will present a seamless vision of your company to the world.
Involve your stakeholders early. If you are head of a start-up, it’s likely that you will make the decisions, or maybe you and one other person. But if you’re part of a large organization, you’re likely to have a number of stakeholders who will want a say in the video. It can be disruptive to any process when stakeholders jump onboard after the ship has left port, so if there’s anyone that might want to have sign-off, bring them in early. If their availability is too scarce for them to be involved in every detail, at least get their sign-off on the script.
Appoint a Point Person. Taking notes from several people at a time is frankly problematic for us, especially when the notes contradict each other, or trickle in at different times. That’s why it’s always a good idea to appoint a liaison whose responsibility it will be to consolidate feedback and coordinate reviews by your team. If your people aren’t good about getting back to you in a timely way, consider setting up review meetings so that you can resolve differences of opinion in a timely way.
More time equals more love. We understand that business doesn’t stop for anyone. You may well have a website roll-out or event where you’ll need your video for, and we will certainly work with you to meet your needs. But if you can afford to give us some extra time, we will use it to lavish extra love on your piece… and it won’t cost you a cent extra.
Go Soft and Hard. As a Creative Director, not all my opinions are strongly held. Sometimes I give what I call a soft note to a creative on our team, meaning they can take it or leave it… or perhaps address the concern in a totally different way than what I suggested. Other times I know exactly what I want and I give a hard note, meaning it’s something that I require. I’ve found this to be a useful way of getting the best out of creative people. It allows artists to keep a sense of ownership and spurs them to find better solutions. If this feels right for you, use it! Let us know which are your weak inklings and which are your strong convictions.
Don’t hold back. You’re probably going to have some ideas about both your message and the aesthetic choices your animation provider makes in communicating that message. Don’t hold back on either! On the former, you know your message better than anyone, so you are the authority there. As for the aesthetics, appreciate that we are artists who have spent most of our adult lives thinking about things like storytelling, color, line, and timing, but at the same time, remember… if we didn’t welcome viewers’ reactions to our work, and take them into account, we really wouldn’t deserve to be called professionals. So don’t censor yourself! And don’t worry about our feelings… we aren’t fragile as all that.
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