The client process is something that is part of the everyday life of owning and operating a production company. Your clients, and their well-being, are among the most important things that need to be addressed and thought of everyday. Your clients are, of course, the reason that you will be doing work. They provide you with the ideas, the means, and the opportunities to create work that allows you to express your creative talent.
It is necessary to go into your client process with clear guidelines at both ends so that both you and your client know all of the details up front regarding creative ideas, production and editing. By structuring a well-organized relationship with your client you will save a lot of frustration and time. That will mean that both of you will be happy with the result that comes out of your project.
When it comes to creative ideas, we have dealt with two models. The first is that you, as a production company, have complete creative control over an idea, based on the materials that you are given.
The second is that you are proceeding with a specific creative idea from your client as your base. Both options are functional, but it is necessary to discuss with your client up front which one you will go with. If your client states that you have complete creative control, but then they are disappointed with the outcome due to a specific idea that they had hoped for, there could be more time spent on revisions. Taking the time from the very beginning to determine what the client wants and making sure that they understand the process involved in achieving it, will help make your entire process run smoothly. Your aim is to create work that your client likes and can use successfully, and that you can be proud of, in a time-efficient and stress-free process.
Editing and Post Production is itself a back-and-forth process between yourself and your client. One thing that we do to make it easier for both parties is to implement a three-tier system.
These tiers are Rough, Fine, and Final. It is easier for us to make the majority of potential changes requested by the client throughout the first tier. That way when get to the final two tiers, the process is almost complete. Some people are afraid to ask for a number of changes up front, and instead will ask in stages. This might work for elements such as animation and graphics, where you are dealing with models and things that need to be approved in stages. However, when dealing with small markets, it is generally easier to keep the back and forth process to a minimum.
Above all else, when working with your clients, the key to everything is communication. If both of you are clear up front as to what you want and how you want it to be done, then the creative process will be extremely smooth. You will both know what you are getting out of it, and you will both be proud of the result.
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