Corporate videography can be great for networking and also a very lucrative source of income. The relationships gained through this professional network can provide work for your business for years and grow your portfolio to attract new corporate clients in the future. However, being a video professional in a corporate environment can be intimidating and one bad experience can tarnish a relationship forever. Follow these tips to avoid awkward moments and create long-lasting friendships with your corporate clientele.
Arrive on Time
It may seem like a given, but you would be surprised at how many times people have complimented our punctuality towards filming! The first time we heard it, we were surprised because we couldn’t imagine showing up late to a project. It just goes to show that your clients will notice this, and understand that you take the job seriously and are ready to work. We always try to arrive on-location 30 minutes beforehand, whether it’s to get a head start on scouting locations, or just to hang out in the car before heading inside, you never want to cut it close to showing up on time.
Create Personal Relationships
Working with people in high-up positions in a large company can be intimidating, however, at the end of the day, they are people too with hobbies, families, and friends. Don’t be scared! They want to be able to trust you with creating a great video and once you prove that you can deliver a product they are happy with, having more fun on-set and joking around with the client will come more naturally. Be yourself, but act professionally.
Dress for the Occasion
When people think of the “film industry,” they might think of a guy with a beard, black jeans, a black t-shirt, smoking cigarettes outside after every setup, and grip tape hanging from his belt. Well actually, they’re not that far off on some sets I’ve been on sets where that consisted of a majority of the crew. However, know your client! There will be many shoots where dressing the comfiest makes the most sense. On the flip side, many shoots will consist of a much more professional manner. For example, most of us dress in a button-down shirt, dress pants, and nice shoes for almost every interview we have done. Even if the client is more casual than we are, it’s always good to show that the “film industry” can integrate into the corporate realm.
4. Listen to Client Suggestions, but Know Where to Draw the Line
We have been doing videos in the corporate realm for some time now. With many clients, they give us their ideas of what they want their video to look like. Sometimes it’s very straightforward, and other times, they can be very ambitious. If you say yes to everything, you can end up stretching yourself too thin with a poor product to show for. The last thing you want to do is fill your plate with something you cannot handle. Know your capabilities of what you or your team can accomplish, both on set and post-production. Usually, after a client trusts your abilities, they will give more creative freedom and will give less push-back on ideas you put forward.
Create Your Own Shoot Schedule
I intentionally left this as one of the last points because of how important it is and many clients do not understand how long it takes to set up on set. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard, “Can you get a shot of this? It’ll take 5 minutes.” This is why you prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Create a detailed shot schedule before the day of the shoot so that both you, your team, and the client can agree upon the list. Always have a copy to refer to on location, that way you can avoid many problems you may have on set.
BONUS TIP: The More Film Days, The Better the Final Product
Another tip is that some clients will want to cram in as much filming into one day so they don’t have to pay for another shoot day. If it’s possible to get everything they want into one shoot day, then go for it. However, if you don’t think you can capture everything possible, add another day to finish filming. This will only make the final product turn out even better and you don’t run the risk of producing a subpar video running out of time. You put the final product at risk when you try to rush a shoot, leaving your team and, most importantly, your client unhappy.
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