A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

Liberty Hyde Bailey


If you know me at all, you know I’m a productivity geek. I use a lot of gadgets, software, tips/tricks and procedures to “Get Things Done“. But before I could benefit from these tools, I had to invest my time into learning all that they had to offer. Without that investment, all those tools were worthless to me. And so it is in the world of film making. The greatest technology, creativity and talent will never be as effective as with the client’s investment of time and effort in the process.
Though the years I’ve seen these 4 simple client investments deliver the greatest results for the client and their project!

Think it Through

It sounds simple enough, but in our busy, hurry to the next thing world, just stopping and thinking it through is sometimes the hardest thing to do. My best thinking time is in the morning. I also find that by isolating myself, eliminating interruptions and setting a timer – I am forced to focus and work through the process.
Great starting questions to ask which will get you thinking in the right ways about your project, should include the following:

  • What’s my objective?
  • Who’s my audience?
  • What’s the single most important thing you want to convey?
  • What defines success for the project?

Talk it Out

Once you’ve thought through the outcomes for your project, it’s time to run those assumptions by your team. Doing so will give you a chance to vet your ideas, strengthen your ability to articulate and defend the project and ultimately give your team the chance to validate your assumptions and the project.
I know what you’re thinking, “It will be so much faster if I just run with this.”  It could be, but in our experience, it never is. You want your team’s feedback NOW, not after you’ve spent a lot of time and money in production. As a rule, when a project is rushed, it almost always costs more and takes longer than doing it right the first time. Besides, this can be a productive time for you and your team and gives others input and buy-in on the project – which gives you momentum.

Live with It

It sounds simple enough, but give yourself enough time for the project to simmer. A day or two distance usually always provides fresh perspective for me. After that time of “rest” I find one of two things almost always happen – I come back to the project and am affirmed at the direction it’s taking or I look at it and wonder what I was thinking. Either way, “living with it” provides clarity.

Plan Ahead

Now that you have clarity of purpose, you really want to look down the road and PLAN. I find a great way to do that is to ask myself a very simple question, “What’s the very next thing that has to happen to move this project forward?” This is a great question because it’s helps you systematically think though each step of the project and ask those important “if this, then what” questions. “If XYZ happens, what are we going to do?”
This is all about anticipating the outcomes. It also provides another opportunity to involve key players of your team. Each of these what if questions provides you with a bigger picture of your project and greater clarity of the desired outcome and obstacles.

I know what you’re thinking about now, “None of these 4 investments are difficult.” And you’re right. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to over look them. But each represent an investment of time and energy in the film. An investment that can pay handsome dividends.
And what are some of the dividends that you can expect as a result of your investment?

  1. Increased Efficiency
  2. Reduced Risks
  3. Maintained Control
  4. Achieved Objectives
  5. Encouragement of Creativity and Innovation

We have a few FREE resources that can help prepare you for your project.

If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry about it. One of our roles as a video production company is to walk you through this process. The real purpose of this post is to remind each of us that great intentions are never enough. Just like “real life”, action is required – even for the client. So make use of these 4 simple investments of your time to make sure you get the most out of your project!

Question: What investments do you use to move from intention to action?