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Who Has Creative Control?

As the client:

  • Do you retain complete creative control?
  • Do you call all the shots (literally)?
  • Are you the boss? You are paying for the video right?

As the production company:

  • Do you give creative control to the client? They are paying you, of course, so they’re the boss right?
  • Do you retain creative control?

This is the dilemma that clients and production companies have faced during every single project since the beginning of time… Who has creative control over the video production process? The client? Or the production company?

Let me start this off with an example of a simple, “non-creative” situation:

You need to replace the roof on your house. Assuming you don’t have a relative who’s a roofer, you’re probably going to hire a professional roofer or roofing company. So you go online, look at reviews, ask friends and family for recommendations, and you hire the best roofing company you can find. Now, at the beginning of the process you have some choices to make: you choose the style, color, materials, time-frame, and things of this nature depending on your needs and budget. You make said choices and the roofing company gets to work on your new roof. Keep in mind here, if you’re replacing the roof on a 1,800 square foot home, you could be spending upwards of $10k on this roof! That’s a good chunk of change! So you’re gonna get your ass up on that roof with the crew and tell ’em what equipment to use, how to line up the shingles, where to lay the water shield, what sealant to use, and where to nail every nail, right?? No. You’re gonna let the roofing company do their job. If you did your homework and found the best roofing company you could, you’re going to trust the professionals to take care of you and provide you with the best possible product for your money.

Hopefully you can see where I’m going with this, so I don’t need to recant the aforementioned scenario using a “client” and “production company” as examples.

My point is this:

For some reason creative services are not looked upon as black and white (like our roofing scenario). Because creativity is often looked upon as an abstract and/or theoretical skill; not a concrete skill or trade like roofing. But here’s the deal: if you’re hiring a production company to produce a video for your company, you’re not a creative professional… Please don’t take offense to this. It’s the truth! If you could just produce the video yourself, with the same quality of a professional production company, you would right? Right. But you can’t. So you do your homework and you hire a great production company to deliver the creative goods. They are going to give you creative choices, like in our roofing situation, but once they get started, stay out of their way and let ’em do their job. You will be SO happy you did. If you’re the production company in this situation; stand your ground, share your thoughts and opinions, apply your years of experience and expertise because your client is PAYING you to do so. YOUR reputation is on the line with every project. If you let a non-creative professional call all the shots they are not going to be happy with the finished product… and who’s fault will that be. YOURS. Damn right.

Clients, the next time you embark on a creative project with a creative company, step back and relinquish total creative control to the creative professionals. The benefits will be two-fold. 1. you will get some amazing creative content, and 2. you can help the production company and yourself by focusing on what you do best, your job, and let them do the same.

Production companies, let your voice be heard. YOU are the ones being paid to deliver.

 

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Josh Cremer

Creative Director