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The Influencers

The Battle of Directors

INFLUENCER: Trust your in-house creative team and be aware that things rarely ever go as planned, writes LP/AD's Rinita Barua

The Battle of Directors

If you work in a creative agency, then you probably have art directors and creative directors alike on board. And if you’ve ever been part of a video production - and haven’t hired a director to produce said video - you may have experienced a battle of sorts between an art director and the videographer. 

Let’s break some things down for everyone reading – if you hire a director for your video production, then you’re handing over the freedom of creation to them. Now, here’s where things get a bit tricky. Sometimes, agencies hire a videographer and leave the directing up to the creative or art director – which makes sense, it’s part of their job. There’s a certain vision an art director may have and through sending example pieces to this videographer, they expect this videographer to transfer that vision into the film. Hope you’re still following. 

Now in this mush of 'visions', sometimes a videographer may take hold of the reigns as the director and ultimately provide a product that is completely different from the original concept. What do you do in this case?

Interestingly enough, this is an actual real life scenario that happened recently on a shoot I was involved in. And I am currently in the boat of figuring things out as I sail about on this frustrating journey of trying not to disappoint the client with false promises of a video concept they were sold on. So, sorry to disappoint you, but this is more of a therapy session than an advice piece. 

Please see: The Truth in Advertising video and fast forward to points #3 & #4 to really understand what this feels like. (I know it’s satire but it’s so spot on)

After my team received a draft cut of our video we saw that the videographer actually didn’t capture things the way we envisioned it and instead presented a different concept than the one proposed to the client. So naturally, we proceeded to freak out. 

Keep in mind, we made sure to send example clips prior to production and had our creative team on set directing the video. So essentially, what this means is that while our team was giving direction, the videographer decided to do their own thing.  

After some constant back and forth, our handy dandy art director decided to take video editing into her own capable hands and was able to conjure up a video that was similar (but still very different) to the original concept. Also, by cutting up snippets of the video into short quirky clips with overlay text and raw background noise, helped us get closer to the tone of voice that we originally wanted to convey. Hallelujah. We’re saved.

Not sure of what the moral of the story here is. But if I had to say a closing piece, it would be to trust your in-house creative team and to be aware that things rarely ever go as planned and some people (especially third party add-ons) have their own agenda. If you plan on doing a video shoot and having the in-house art director leading the charge, then it’s important to make that very clear when speaking to the videographer(s). Also be very clear on whether or not you’re open to suggestions/changes. 

Oh, and always have a back-up plan – that’s the key.



Rinita Barua is account manager at LP/AD

Genre: Strategy/Insight