Having a working concept allows you to better plan the overall project and hone in on all the resources necessary to complete that concept. In this video, Walter explains how having at least a rough working concept allows you to plan for more specifics than generalities in your budgeting. This can lead to a much more accurate budget.
- Having a working concept allows you to better plan the overall project and hone in on all the resources necessary to complete that concept. Actors, equipment, crew, location, and even the time required to complete the project are all driven by your concept. Never assume anything. If you've completed a client assessment you should have the information you need to move forward. Now it's easy to make assumptions from that information such as, well I assume the client is going to provide this or that, or I assume the style the client is looking for is just like this show.
If you simply propose a budget full of numbers but without a working concept of what you plan to produce, you have no way of knowing if you and your client are on the same page. For example, your assessment of the client needs is producing a talking head video while the client is really expecting something with actors and locations. So they approve your budget and when you start to plan that talking head video, the client pushes back expecting actors and locations. Well now your approved budget isn't big enough to deliver the correct project and you're back at square one but with a frustrated client.
Based on the client needs we discovered in the client assessment, what's a working concept that would best serve their needs? This doesn't have to be a fully developed concept with a treatment and a rough script, just a basic, maybe an outline. So you can put together a budget and allow the client to understand what you're planning to produce. Is the concept based on a known property? Is there a show, a video, maybe a movie that has the style you plan to emulate for the project? Well, that's an easy way to give a client a working concept that they can understand quickly.
For Water Science with Wade, I knew we needed to produce something fast paced, like a science children's show. Well that naturally led to Bill Nye, Science Guy. Saying that the project will have the look and feel of Bill Nye allowed the client to immediately recognize what I'm proposing to produce without any additional explanation. Now if you're planning an original concept that will require you to put a little more effort into the working concept. You'll want to offer the client more detail on how you propose to create the project and give them some sense of the final product.
You might need two to four paragraph treatment of what the final product will look like and sound like. Also be prepared to answer a lot more questions from your client to further explain the original concept if necessary. Don't assume anything. Present a working concept that spells out what the budget is designed to produce. This allows you to more accurately prepare your budget and helps eliminate assumptions that could cause confusion later on.
- Completing a client assessment
- Discerning between client needs versus wants
- Developing a working concept
- Creating time and crew assessments
- Coming up with the budget
- Presenting the proposal
- Revising the budget
- Knowing when to walk away