The COVID-19 outbreak has altered daily operations for most businesses. For those that rely on in-person services and interaction, like video production, the pandemic has been especially problematic. The last thing you want to do is shutter your business, but how can you avoid this outcome as a production company?
Our team at CoolBox Films put together these six tips for keeping your company running during the coronavirus. They are:
Protect Your Employees and Partners
In a public health crisis, it’s safety first. If you want to successfully lead your production agency through the pandemic, you must ensure your staff can make it through unscathed as well. And, as a video company, you likely work with many outside partners like actors and actresses. Not putting their health at risk should also be a priority.
The simplest way to safeguard your employees’ health is by asking them to stay home. If you can manage a telework set-up, then allow your staff to keep working from home as much as possible. If you or your team does have to go into your office, try to limit the number of people present at one time. And remind everyone to always wash their hands if they go out in public.
At this point, it’s probably a little late to anticipate stoppages and you’ve most likely already experienced them. But there are still things you can do to cope. One way is trying to produce films in bulk. Whatever your daily video production output is, try to increase it while you have the means to do so.
The next thing you can do is encourage your creators to film themselves at home. Of course, this depends on the nature of the videos you’re producing. But if your clients have the ability to do their own filming, that will give you material to work with.
Prepare Your Post-Production Team for Remote Work
Right now, your employees are probably already at home. If you normally do post-production exclusively from your office, having your team off-site and split up presents a challenge. You have to rethink your workflow, secure your material, and make it available for remote editing.
One way to do this is by moving your post-production to a cloud-based management system. Such systems have features for securing the storage and transfer of your data, so your editors can access your pre-cut material, safely, from anywhere. You can go one step further than using the cloud, and turn to a remote ingest and online collaboration tool designed specifically for production companies.
Review Your Client Contracts
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to review your contracts. With clients cancelling or postponing projects, you should ensure your agency is covered for related costs.
For UK video producers, the Advertising Producers Association has created a document that agencies can add to their commercial contracts. This addendum requires agencies and clients to cover costs for relocation, postponement, or cancellation due to coronavirus.
Rely on Local Talent
Quarantine measures won’t start lessening at the same pace in every country. So even if restrictions loosen in the UK, there might still be travel bans in place in some European countries. When your agency gets back to filming on location, those locations might have to be local.
Shooting in the UK can raise production costs, but it can lower risks and disruptions associated with travel. Relying on local talent, like UK-based directors, actors, or camera crews, can also help reduce health and travel risks.
Pivot Your Services
A final step you can take to keep your production company running through the coronavirus outbreak is shifting your services. If your regular client work is drying up, offer video production geared toward the current situation. You could propose producing public information or service announcements for government agencies. You could also provide internal videos for organisations working remotely. Even offering entertainment videos like cooking tutorials or workout videos could bring you some business at this time.
Providing different types of videos, along with offering to produce self-shot footage or add animation, is a great way to help creators who otherwise wouldn’t have to opportunity to produce their video. It also gives your agency more business during this time.
Final Thoughts on Keeping Your Video Production Agency Running
The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way video agencies work for now. But your production company doesn’t have to shut its doors during this crisis. By taking the steps listed here, you can keep your agency afloat and see it through to the end of the coronavirus crisis.