Crafting the brief
It's really important to begin the early creative stages with a spot of market research so that we can write up a solid brief for our creative team. Whether you’re able to supply us with the juice (because you've got your content strategy sorted, haven't you?) or we go do some digging ourselves, understanding your brand’s position in the market and taking a gander at what your competitors are up to helps to inform our creative approach. We take a long hard look at what’s succeeding—and what isn’t—to ensure your content stands out and works its arse off for your brand.
Ideas and concepting
As creative creatures, our team don’t tend to conjure up just one idea for you. That’s not how their brains work, you see. Instead, when they’re given a brief, they get excited. There’s head scratching. Some furious scribbling. A fit of giggling. Hands wave about emphatically. “Is there money for [insert various expensive props]?” Some more scribbling. Then focused silence. Sometime later, a page of concepts is ready for an account manager to peek at.
We like to propose a tiered offering of concepts aligned with varying levels of budget. Creativity has a cost and we want the creative to work for your budget as well as your brand. There’s no use us getting everyone excited about a concept that’ll take £150k to pull off when you’ve only got £5k to spend, is there?
Once a concept is nailed down and signed off, we plough full-steam ahead into development, which includes writing a script that weaves in all your key messages, fleshing out the art direction and constructing that all-important storyboard.
Once you’ve picked a concept, it's time for us to write the script—the blueprint upon which the entire production rests. Whether it’s a tense period drama or an explainer video about health and safety software, getting the script right is critical for any measure of success.
It includes all the ingredients that will go into your production: dialogue, characters, actions, music, sound effects, graphics, lighting, locations…the whole darn lot. There’s usually a few rounds of amendments before a script is signed off—we work closely with our clients to make sure everyone’s on the same page with every decision that’s made.
At this stage, we determine how best to represent the concept visually, developing the overall look and feel of the video or campaign. Our Creative Director will work with the director, cinematographer, and the rest of the art department to make sure the tone ties together and sits nicely with the brand and its intended audience using colour palettes, locations, design elements and visual themes.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get a clear image in your head just from reading words in a script. When you’re in love with the idea of your lead character being a giant piece of talking cheese, but you and the rest of your team might not have quite the same imagination we do, that’s where concept art comes in handy.
One of our directors will work with an artist to get visual concepts down on paper. Does this cheese-being wear a top hat? Is she on ice skates? Are we talking a solid block of mild cheddar or a gooey mess of brie? The details are important. This process helps you and your team visualise our ideas and make educated creative decisions.
So you’ve chosen a concept, signed off on the script and decided that Mrs Cheese does indeed sport a fabulous top hat laden with jewels. That doesn’t mean that you can imagine the finished video from start to finish.
A storyboard is a visual representation of how the film will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of boxes containing illustrations representing each shot, with notes about what’s going on in the scene and what’s being said during that shot. It’ll give you a solid idea of how the content will flow.
Traditionally, these storyboards are static, but with a little extra effort, we can also produce an animated storyboard (sometimes called an animatic), which takes into account the timing of each shot, essentially allowing you to watch a very rough draft of the film from start to finish.
This whole process helps you and your team visualise the final video, so if anything stands out (“I really don’t think we can show the cheese eating a piece of itself—it’s weird”), amends can be made before we start shooting or animating.
Fancy a chat?
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