A valuable client lesson

We’re here to make you look good

The second commercial shoot I assisted on was for a large beverage company who’s brand is red (guess). I learned quickly that the client determines the nature of the shoot. Contrary to the EY shoot, this client wanted full control of what happened on set but did not have a list of explicit deliverables. For EY, a script was determined in advance and verified by EY’s corporate office. After the script was cleared by corporate, most of the details were left to the production house. Storyboards and every thing. While an EY manager observed on set, the shoot ran according to the production crew’s schedule and creative intuition. This one on the other hand, had a less detailed list of deliverables: simple lifestyle pictures and videos incorporating the sponsored celebrity and the company’s product. The clients did not know exactly how they wanted their concepts executed, but they did know that they wanted them to fit a particular aesthetic. We determined the crew members, the location, and the set up within the location to meet the company’s goals but allowed for flexibility. On the day of the shoot, this beverage company made last minute requests and monitored each photo and video, offering advice or suggestions throughout the day. One of the directors at House of Sticks, taught me something valuable on the Coca Cola set that sums up what I learned by working with different clients. When talking to the agency creative director, he said,

Is there anything more we can do to make you look good, because that is what we are here for. 

In retrospect, the post production manager, also said, “Usually the person you work with isn’t the person paying for the production so our job is to make the people we work with look as good as possible.” From their comments, I learned that a production is not about making a production company look good. Instead, the production company is there to please the client and make their representatives look good. This is because companies and agencies don’t just choose a production company based on the work they produce, but on how easy they are to work with… this is particularly true the second time around. So make your boss look good.

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