When preparing for a video production, most of your effort is rightly spent on telling a great visual story. Collaboration workflow is often an afterthought, leading to unnecessary wastage of your team's time and your clients good will. Here are some common workflow mistakes to look out for when planning your next video production.
1. Thinking you can sort out your collaboration workflow once the video is shot
Heading into a shoot without a fully planned collaboration workflow is like heading on a long vacation without underpants. A workflow slapped together at the last minute never works well for your team or your clients, and leaves you looking unprofessional. Don't get caught with your pants down. Put in the effort to get it straight before you shoot
2. Using DVDs to share shots and cuts
The 90s were great. Depressing grunge music, messy hair, bad fashion and arcane physical storage formats like DVD were all the rage for a while, but we've all moved on. As fun as it is to channel old spy movies and hand shiny discs to one another, the time for DVDs has passed. We now have this thing called "The Internet" which removes the need to fedex a disc to someone ever again.
3. Using FTP to share files
What was the login again? And the password? Is that all caps, or lower case? B for Barry or D for Dog? What the hell is an amper-sand? These are questions that no professional video producer should ever have to answer. Any time you spend trying to get FTPed video files to play on your client's computer is wasted time, and makes you look like an amateur. Anyway, who has the time or patience to suffer through a complex FTP server setup process?
4. Using Vimeo or Youtube to share your video
Don't be a cheapskate. You worked too hard on making a great looking video for your client to let Miley Cyrus's tongue get close to it, or to let Grumpy Cat's stern disapproval muddy the waters. Memes and advertising have no place next to your customer's video. And who cares how many people have viewed it and "liked" it? Only one person's opinion really matters... your client's.
5. Ignoring smartphones and tablets
Your exec, directors and clients have all adopted iPads and iPhones faster than you can say "but I like the solid touch of a hardware keyboard". Everyone is a mobile maven now, sending email, scheduling meetings, and reviewing content from wherever they happen to be, between bouts of Candy Crush addiction. A collaborative workflow that doesn't work on mobile devices is not really collaborative.
6. Encoding lots of formats for different reviewing platforms
Whether you're using fancy high end encoders, or encoding on your laptop, creating multiple different formats for your reviewers is a clumsy, time wasting process. Not to mention coming up with a good scheme for naming everything, and keeping track of all the versions. A single streaming proxy available online is all you really need.
7. Using cloud-based tools to log and rough-cut your video
The cloud is really great for collaborative workflows, syncing your world to all your devices and colleague devices. But lets face it, its terrible for content creation and video editing. A logging session should never be cut short by a browser crash or a Time Warner Cable outage. Do it the professional way - install a logging & rough cut tool like Adobe Prelude ($20/mo!!) on your suped-up laptop and get the job done fast.
8. Leaving metadata tagging until later
Nobody loves shaving every morning (or every week, if you're a beard guy like me) but we all do it anyway. In the same way, spending time thinking about metadata and entering metadata is nobody's favorite task. But like shaving, we all need to do it to look respectable. Put some effort into tagging your media so that you know exactly where to find the circle takes when your director asks for them.
9. Letting IT create a workflow for you
Technology is getting cheaper, easier to set up, and easier to use. Software-as-a-service platforms don't require you to set up any servers or networking hardware, and are typically well documented with online knowledge-bases. So you don't need IT to step in and define a workflow for you and your team. You can do it yourself.
10. Using a server-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) system
Those of us who have had the distinct displeasure of working with traditional server-based DAM systems know instinctively why they don't work. To sum it up, they are horrible to use. "Managing assets" is not a real thing that people do. Its something that should just happen as a function of a good collaborative workflow. So next time you or your IT guy are thinking about spending thousands on a big expensive DAM... stop, think, and realize that nobody will touch it with a barge pole.
MediaSilo lets you plan your collaboration workflow. The platform provides your team with a place to store, organize and find assets, run dailies, and deliver the finished product online. Get a customized demo of MediaSilo from a video collaboration expert: