If you produce video for clients, you encounter difficulties every day. They are not difficulties of creating the content, of storyboarding, of editing. The difficulties arise in communicating with the client. You have to get the work product to the client in a way they can use it – How? Do you email it to them – huge slow attachments that take forever to upload, then download, then store, before the client can finally review them? Or do you use something like Dropbox to get the file to your client. Well, unfortunately, many corporate firewalls block file transfer sites like Dropbox. YouTube seems to be entirely out of question as a lot of clients will reject the idea of posting the video they are paying you to produce, especially if it uses any of their proprietary content, on a public place. Although YouTube has a “private channel”, it is not secure. If you know of the existence of the channel, you can see the content, and YouTube content can be downloaded by any viewer to be reused (or maliciously edited) as they see fit. You are also at risk by uploading your video to these public forums because the client may be willing and capable of taking your in-progress video that has not yet been paid, and proceeding on the project on their own or giving it to another video producer.
Getting the video to the client for review is just the start of the challenges that a video production company deals with every day. Once the client gets the video, the frustrating process where the client gives the company their feedback can commence. This has its own set of problems:
- Indeterminate – Many companies receive their customer’s comments over email or on the phone – imprecisely associated with the content of the video. “I don’t like that thing that looks kinda like a blue alien floating across the back of the screen about half-way through…” Do you know what part of your 5 minute video of French Pastoral backgrounds discussing coffee has a blue alien?
- Non-collaborative – The issue of organizing the feedback of multiple clients around the same video. Perhaps the multiple reviewers need to see/hear each others comments and build on them in a synergistic manner. Yet how do they accomplish this type of collaboration seamlessly? Sending the video to each client one at a time so that they can build on each other’s thoughts would be incredibly time consuming, but during a conference call, you are bound to miss some suggestions with everyone talking at the same time.
- Repetitious – Next comes the problem of how to review the revision of the work product where you have incorporated all the comments from the various constituents. How do you keep comments on version 1 from becoming part of the feedback on version 2. By sending each file one at a time, the client has no comparison to see how the video has evolved, and you run the risk of editing and re-editing the same thing over and over.
This does not sound like a fun process, does it. Did you get into the video production business to go through this hassle on every project? Or did you pick this career because you get to put your creative ideas on the screen and convey the client’s message to a diverse audience? Where do you want to spend the bulk of your time in a video production project? Would a tool that took the brunt of this communication work off your hands, giving it to the user, make your job more rewarding – not to mention more efficient?
The Private Media Channel offers secured communities for sharing your projects with your client and only your client. It requires sending no files and risks giving no download capability to either viewers or clients. Clients can comment on each version of content, right on the content page, and time-code their annotations with the video content or mark it up with bluepen – at the timeslice of the video about which they are concerned. It’s safe, it’s convenient, and best of all it requires almost no effort on your part to become productive in the review and approval process. It reduces your effort substantially, thereby lowering your cost to produce each video – allowing you to either pocket more profit or reduce your price to gain competitive advantage. And it keeps you able to focus on the part of the job you LOVE – the reason you started doing this in the first place. Oh, and by the way, it’s affordable too. Take a look at how Video Production companies are using the Private Media Channel for Review and Approval of videos.