Too often, we, as creatives, fight so hard to inject our creative will on a project we were hired for. Granted, we were hired for our talent, vision and excellence, but it is still your client’s baby! Your client brought the project to you hoping they could collaborate with a trusted team. You’re simply being hired to come along side of them and help drive the project to completion. Why do we feel threatened when the client or an art director needs to be on set to protect the client’s investment? They should be on set. This helps ensure execution is very close to the intended idea. Even with a tight script, detailed storyboards and a schedule, chances are still better if someone other than your team is representing the client’s interest and investment too.
There might be an argument with a creative director or client on set that may hurt the schedule or injure the filming process. It is expected that you need to protect your team and your brand. So, what can you do to protect your team and ensure the client’s vision is executed with great care?
1. Communicate. Then, Communicate Some More
If the client and/or creative director need to be on set, find out what they are trying to protect. It might be specifics about product positioning, legal concerns, etc. Find out what’s important to them and get on the same page. What is important to them should be important to your team. Check in throughout the process to see how the team is doing addressing their concerns.
2. Set Expectations
Share the client’s goals with your team and encourage them to keep these goals in mind while filming. Make your team part of the solution. Also, ensure your team that you will fight for what’s best for them. They may fear becoming a doormat; speak to that concern.
My team leader on an African mission trip last year, prepped us to be flexible like ‘Gumby.’ Focus on the relationship and the win – not time. You don’t have to be a doormat, but you do have to be flexible with the schedule and willing to adapt or stray from the plan a little.
Remember, your client doesn’t have to hire you again, but they will if you are talented and easy to work with.